The people of Israel had gone into a terribly sinful period of time. They were plagued by the multitude of threats both physical and spiritual, that came from their disobedience to God’s command to remove all the inhabitants of Canaan. They were constantly being attacked by the Canaanite leaders and their armies while they also struggled with the temptation to avoid the pagan practices they saw all around them. They struggled and often failed.
It was in these circumstances that God raised up a leader. He was the first of the judges, Othniel. Israel’s choices had taken them outside of God’s protection. He allowed them to be taken over by another nation and in that they cried out to God for deliverance. His deliverance came in the form of Othniel. He led Israel to both military and religious freedom. He overthrew their oppressors.
What’s amazing about this is that salvation for Israel was so attainable, but it took so long for them to find it. All they had to do to find peace, prosperity, and promises from God was repent. They could have avoided so much suffering had they just humbled themselves and turned back to him. They took the much longer and much more difficult route though.
Are you taking the harder road to repentance? Have you done what seems like irreparable damage to your life, family, and future by pushing forward in a path not right for you? Salvation is so close. The Apostle John once said that “if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Forgiveness is so close. You’ve just got to reach out for it.