Judges 2:10-19

Jojo was in a mess. He had been digging up his garden and had put a spade through the telephone wire. And no matter what he did, it just made things worse. But then he had a bright idea. He decided to advertise for some help. So he went down to his local grocery store, put a card in the window, and went home.

But he didn’t have to wait for long. Because almost before he got back home, there was a knock on the door, with someone willing to help. And help they did. For it didn’t take long for them to repair the line and sort out the mess. So in no time Jojo was thanking the person at the door and saying goodbye.

And if you thought that was the end of the matter, then you’d be very much mistaken. Because Jojo thought, ‘Well if repairing it was that easy, there shouldn’t be any problem continuing on.’ So he did. Only this time he got himself in a worse mess. He put his spade through the water pipe. And no matter how hard he tried he just made the situation worse.

But knowing how he got help last time, he knew what he had to do. So he wrote out another card, went down to the grocery store, and put it in the window.

And, you guessed it, in about the time that he took to walk home, someone else was standing at his door wanting to be of some help. And like the first time, his troubles were sorted out in no time.

‘I don’t know why I have so much trouble,’ Jojo thought. ‘It’s easy. I should be able to take it all from here . . .’ And so the cycle continued over and over and over again. Jojo was always getting in a mess. And he put his spade through the sewerage, through the gas, and through the electricity. And someone was always coming to his rescue.

And even then, Jojo thought . ‘I’ll be alright from now on.’ And so it continued. But each time the mess he got into was worse. The problem was that Jojo never got it right. He always made things worse. And he always needed greater and greater help to get him out of his mess.

And you might think that’s the end of the story. And it could quite well have been, because some people never learn. Except for the fact that after getting help fifty-seven times something finally clicked. Jojo suddenly realised he wasn’t good at digging holes. He didn’t just need people to come to repair his handiwork—to sort out his messes—he needed some guidance on how to do the work. And so that’s what he did.

So this time, when he went down to the grocery store to put a card in the window, it wasn’t just for temporary help, to fix up one of his disasters. It was for someone who would help him on a permanent basis. And you know, it worked.


Now the people in the Old Testament often found themselves in a mess. And a mess of their own making. So they called for help. They asked God to help them. God then sent someone along to give them a hand. And things were alright for a while. But then they thought they knew better. Then they decided to go their own way again, all on their own. And you can guess what happened next. They got themselves into another mess. And a mess worse than they were in before.

So they called out to God for more help. And, . . . Well I think you get the message. But the sad thing is that, unlike Jojo, they never worked out the true solution. Their lives just continued to spiral down. They just couldn’t work out that they needed God’s permanent help. Indeed, they didn’t trust God to help them on a permanent basis. And that’s sad. Because if they had, they would not have got themselves into all the messes they found themselves in.

Knowing your abilities and limitations is an important part of life. And there are certain things in life we cannot do on our own. We need God’s help, and we need each other’s help too. Because if we don’t, then our lives will just continue to spiral down and down and down. And I wouldn’t wish that anyone. Would you?

Posted 17th October 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis