Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them.
They aroused the Lord’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands.
Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
– Judges 2:10-19
We are starting to see the cycle of sin, judgment, and repentance that Israel experienced over and over. It is sad to see that each generation failed to teach the next generation to love and follow God.
Parents were strongly encouraged to teach their children the ways of God back in Deuteronomy chapter 6. Teaching children about God isn’t a job to hand over to the church or Christian school but, rather, the job of parents to live and speak in such a way that God’s character and God’s ways are caught and taught in the home.
The gods of Baal and Ashtoreth caused Israel to stumble greatly and take part in detestable and immoral sins that angered the true God of Israel. Despite Israel’s disobedience, God showed his great mercy and grace by raising up judges to save the people from their oppressors. Wow, what a great God we serve.
Throughout this period of history, Israel went through 7 cycles that can be described the following way:
1). Rebelling against God
2). Being overrun or taken over by enemy nations.
3). Being delivered by a judge who was God-fearing.
4). Returning to God under that judge,
5). Rebelling against God again after the judge died.
We also tend to follow this pattern when we fall away from relationships with God’s people, stop attending church and don’t engage in Christ-centered COMMUNITY. Let’s determine to remain faithful.
The Big Question
Why do we not learn very well from history?
How are you doing with making a priority out of coming to God’s house and engaging in real Christian COMMUNITY?
Do you have someone ahead of you spiritually calling you to a higher spiritual walk? Do you have someone you are building into for eternal purposes?
Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.