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What is the significance of Judges 10:13–16?

The Israelites cry out to God because of their oppression from foreign rulers. The Lord refuses to deliver them because they have abandoned him (vs. 13–14). The Israelites repented, put away their foreign gods and worshipped the Lord. The Lord “also could no longer bear to see Israel suffer” (vs. 16). Hence the Lord changed his mind about the matter and fought once again on behalf of Israel.

If the whole of the future is eternally settled in the divine mind, God could not have been straightforward in declaring his intention to not deliver Israel from their plight—for he ended up doing just this. This passage, like so many others, shows God to be a relational God whose estimation of a relationship varies as the relationship varies. He is not locked into one course of action, but is the God of possibilities who is perfectly responsive to new circumstances initiated by his free creations.

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