“For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter, for there was none left, bond or free, and there was none to help Israel” (v26). Israel’s succession of kings had led the people into idolatry, and so they were vulnerable against their enemies. They were suffering, rich and poor together. The present king, Jeroboam, worshipped idols, yet God was reluctant to wipe the nation out completely (v27). He worked through Jeroboam to win victories and to save the people (v27).
Our own sinful choices can make life “very bitter,” yet God doesn’t turn His back on us. He is always waiting for our repentance and is quick to forgive and restore.