1. Application

The patience of God

Judges 2:11–23 (ESV)

11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.

The glimmer of hope in this passage is that the Lord does not cut off his people. And this should surprise us far more than it probably does. If Israel would not listen to the judges; if after a judge’s death Israel persisted in idolatry; and if in light of all this, Yahweh’s anger flashed out against such covenant-breakers, we would expect the Lord in his fury to rain down fire and brimstone in final judgment. But we see him, as it were, restraining himself and imposing discipline. This is the Lord, Yahweh, the God who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). That should stir up wonder in us. If we have a sense of our sinfulness, we can only say with another prophet, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22).1