May 25, 2022
Today’s reading: Judges 2:11-13
The consequences of actions
We read in Judges 2:11-13:
11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; 12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
We are now seeing what happened to Israel without a great leader. When Moses died, we saw how his leadership was passed on to Joshua. Now that Joshua is dead, there is no clear leader who should take his place.
It is not because there was a lack of leadership in Israel that they began to worship other gods. The Israelites were actually bent on idolatry. The absence of a great leader simply magnified this natural tendency of Israel.
As a result, we see a cycle of obedience, idolatry, and deliverance throughout the book of Judges.
For the Israelites, they thought it wouldn’t harm them to let a few Canaanites stay here and there. However, they never expected how deeply it would harm them physically and spiritually.
They might not have totally abandoned their worship of the true God. They were simply “adding” gods. Baal seemed to be the god of wealth while Asthoreths was the goddess of sex and fertility. They both were attractive to Israel and thus, they played the harlot and went after these gods.
As a result, Yahweh didn’t fight for Israel and helped them to completely conquer the land. Israel would then begin to experience difficulties at the hands of its enemies.
The end goal of God’s punishment was not to destroy Israel but to lead them to repentance.
Sadly, the repentance of Israel was just short-lived and after just a few decades, they will then again worship other gods.
It is frustrating to read about the idolatry and stubbornness of Israel. However, as we go through Judges, let us bear in mind the true will of God in our lives, the consequences of sin, and how God wants everyone to repent and turn back to him.
To learn more about waiting and patience, please read, “10 Little-Known Lessons From the Life of Caleb.”
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