Starting Anew

“Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord…” Judges 3:12

“Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 3:7

“Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

If you have children, they are probably all back to school this week. It is the start of a new school year. There are new teachers, new friends, new classes, and maybe even a new school. I can remember before my first day of school there would be new clothes and shoes purchased for the coming school year. It is a fresh and new start; last year is over and we’re on to a new year.

The Israelites in the Old Testament often found themselves starting anew after a time of not following God and His commands. This pattern is seen frequently in the Book of Judges. The Israelites do well for a certain time period, then they begin to fall away. Because of their failures God brings in a foreign nation to punish the nation, the people cry out for help, and then God sends a Judge to free the people from the rule of the foreign nation. At that point the people turn back to God and start following Him again. And the same circle repeats itself over and over in Judges.

Life is full of high and lows. The excitement over the first day of school quickly fades as the homework and assignments start rolling in. The job that seemed perfect at first soon becomes something you may dread. The excitement of life comes and goes and maybe you find yourself in a situation today that leaves you empty and wanting more. What happened to the excitement you once had? Often times it’s a falling away from what God has asks us to do.

So, while the children are starting a new school year, what new start do you need to have with God?

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