Friday, April 01, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Judges 2:11-23

Today, we're beginning a look at the book of Judges.
Joshua has died and the people are beginning
the next phase of their life in the land.
Judges 2:11-23 sets up the whole pattern of the book ... 
 
Israel forsakes God: 11 Then the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord ... 12 They abandoned the Lord ... who had brought them out of the land of Egypt
 
Israel Chases after Other gods Instead: 12 They followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and bowed down to them.
 
God's Anger is Kindled: 14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.
 
God Takes His Hand of Protection Off of Them: 14 The Lord ... gave them over to plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the power of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15 Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring misfortune, as the Lord had warned them and sworn to them; and they were in great distress.
 
From their Pit, the People Cry Out to the Lord: 3:9 But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord ...
 
God Raised Up Heroic Leaders called Judges: 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the power of those who plundered them.
 
But as their Circumstances Improved, They Turned Away from God Again: 17 They did not listen even to their judges.
 
And the Pattern Repeats
 
Israel Chases After Other Gods: 17 They lusted after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord; they did not follow their example.
 
From their Pit, the People Cry Out for Help: 18 the Lord would be moved to pity by their groaning because of those who persecuted and oppressed them.
 
God Raises Up Another Judge: 18 Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge.
 
Soon Their Circumstances Improved 18 The Lord ... delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge ...
 
And as Life Improved, They would Forget God Again: 19 they would relapse and behave worse than their ancestors ...
 
They Would Worship Other Gods: 19 ... following other gods, worshiping them and bowing down to them. They would not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.
 
The Anger of the Lord would be Kindled: 20 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel ...
 
And God took His Hand of Protection Off of Israel: 20 And the Lord said, "Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their ancestors, and have not obeyed my voice, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died."
 
Etc., Etc., Etc.
 
Here's the great irony of the book of Judges: The worse their life conditions were, the closer they were to God (crying out Him). The better their life conditions were, the farther they drifted from God (most likely giving credit to themselves for their success).
 
Spiritual Reflection: How often do we do the same thing?!
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who'd rather learn to
need God in the good times
(so I don't need bad times
to correct my waywardness!)
----------------------------
We tend to cry out in the bad times, but it isn't just times that are a little bad ... it is when we hit rock bottom. When we realize that our pride and stubbornness will not help us. What we need to learn is to rely on God all the time. Good. Bad. All the time! To stay close to him all the time.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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