Reading For Friday Judges 2:10-23
A new generation establishes a pattern of not obeying God and doing what they felt was right which provoked the LORD to anger, and he gave them over to their enemies. While the people were suffering, God would raise up judges to rescue them. However, after a judge died the people returned to faithlessness, disobedience and idolatry. They did not know God and his wondrous deeds among his people. Knowing about God is different than knowing God. Israel’s spiritual decline was somewhat gradual and almost imperceptible. Partial obedience to the command to evict the Canaanites led to toleration of their practices and worse. This generation did evil and walked in ongoing patterns of disobedience by serving the various types of Baal gods and their female counterparts.
Baal was a fertility god worshiped throughout Canaan, and each community had its own version of Baal. This fertility religion with its sacred prostitutes appealed to the base instincts of man. The people had forgotten what God had done. This lapse of historical memory and forsaking of God shows so much ingratitude toward God and employing the use of these gods constituted a rejection of the exclusive claims of God. Forsaking God meant that he was only one deity among many others. God's anger and wrath are just as amazing as his grace and that anger burns against Israel. In his anger, God gave them to plunderers, sold them, and opposed them. No matter what direction they turned, the hand of God was against them, and they found themselves in great distress.
God did not abandon Israel at the first sign of apostasy, and their cry brought forth demonstrations of divine grace. God sent “Judges” to deliver them. God raised them up, called them, commissioned them, and then equipped them to accomplish their mission. God's grace and patience was followed by ongoing disobedience. The people would not listen to the Judges and their guilt increased. Israel quickly turned aside from the path of obedience that their forefathers had trod apparently even within the lifetime of the various Judges. In spite of Israel’s disobedience God continued to deliver them and he would give his people blessing and rest. Why would the Lord do this? God had pity on his undeserving and unworthy people. However, nothing God did during that time amounted to anything but temporary correction.
Thing To Consider:
- What does the Bible mean when it says that the generation did not know God? Does this happen today? How?
- What led to this decline?
- What are things that gradually lead us away from the Lord?
- How terrifying is it to hear of God's anger and wrath?
- How perfect are God's anger and wrath?
- Can God be love, anger, and wrath at the same time?
- How patient is God?
- Have you thanked him for his patience and forbearance toward your sin?