The Book of Judges tells a sad tale of a people without knowledge of their God, a people allowing a seed of sin to take root and grow into a bramble of briars picking away at their strength.
“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old…And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers… and there arose another generation after them which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:8,10.
I wonder, in all the warring and conquering of lands, did the past generation fail in declaring the One who gave them victories? Did they leave the future generation vulnerable to captivity instead of conquest?
“Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” Isa. 5:13,14.
Have we done the same with our younger generation? Are they seeing us as those in the days of the judges,
“In those days there was no king in Israel:
every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25.
Father, forgive us where we have failed to declare you as our King and live like kingdom children.
It has been said,
“Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go.”
If we could see where sin will take us, would we still go?
I’m afraid the answer is, “Yes”. For God in His word has shown us. And, yet, many still choose it.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13,14.
For the few who enter the strait gate:
The cycle of sin is broken.
It reigns no longer unless we allow it.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God…But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:12-13,22-23.
In Judges the people had more good years than bad. But they missed the best because they failed to drive out the Canaanites. Chapter one lists those failures. Chapter two relates the results.
“And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the lands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies…Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet, they would not hearken unto their judges…they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.”
Their lives became one test after another:
“That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.”
Life did not have to be this way. Moses warned them and Joshua warned them. But the word failed to be spoken to succeeding generations and the cycle of sin ensued along with its enslavement.
We have the full counsel of God’s word. We have the promises and the warnings.
“The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
What’s your choice? And are you passing the word along?