“When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.”
Judges 2:4-5 (NIVUK)
Often places in the Old Testament are named after events, and, in this instance, the place is called Bokim, meaning “weepers”, because the Israelites wept aloud there.
It’s an interesting passage. Did they weep because they were not getting their way and subsequently offered sacrifices as an attempt to change God’s mind? Or, did they weep out of sorrowful regret and offered sacrifices for their disobedience? Did the words of the angel of the Lord pierce them to the heart so that they burst into tears? Does the realization of the depth of our sins cause us to cry?
The angel of the Lord had visited them previously and told them to dismantle the Canaanite religion, but the Israelites had not done so. This time the angel explained that they would continue to be ensnared by Canaan’s false gods, and, also, God would not intervene and drive the Canaanites out of the land (see verses 1-4). God would send them judges by way of temporary deliverance, but, each time when the judge died, “the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors” (verse 19).
There is a lesson here for us. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, how genuine is our sorrow for committing the sin? Is it just for a season and we return to our old ways, and then we hear a sermon or read something and we say we’re sorry again only to fall back once more? That was the spiritual cycle in the book of Judges. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 Paul explains that “godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death”.
When we are sorry, and weep over our sins figuratively or literally, pray that our sorrow may be godly sorrow that leads to change so that we don’t have a life of regrets.
Let’s break the cycle of sin, and let the Spirit of Jesus change us.
Father, I know that at times I am trapped in a sinful cycle in a similar way to how the Israelites were ensnared in the Book of Judges. Help me please, through your Spirit, to have godly sorrow that leads to a changed life. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson