In the previous lesson, Stray? Not us, Never...Joshua's Real Battle, we realized that Israel had a clear opportunity before them: remain faithful in the new land and be blessed beyond imagination; or, disregard the word of God and assume the values of the culture around them, and be morally, spiritually and temporally destroyed because of it.
The following lesson reads like a litany. Within one chapter of biblical history and Israel's physical departure from Joshua, they have also morally departed from the ways of God. So much for their determination to serve Him to the end.
The scriptures below simply list some of their attrocities. The first section is God's reminder of His part of the bargain to them:
Intro An Angel rebuketh the people -- The wickedness after Joshua.
2:1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars; but ye have not obeyed my voice; why have ye done this?
Now, the consequence for their transgression is pronouced, and the people show true sorrow:
2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
But what happens? The children of these Israelites, who did not experience the power of God, the mighty strength of being led by His arm, their hearts went after things of the world:
2:10 ...there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim;
2:12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.
Despite the Lord's anger, he continued to do great things for them, specifically raising up true and knowledgeable people from within them to help guide them back on course.
2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them; and they were greatly distressed.
2:16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
So, how did this generation respond to God, for providing some wise people among them?
2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them, they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so
2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
The consequence for disobedience is described next. The rogue nations were not driven out, but rather left as a scourge to Israel, to remind them to seek after God.
2:20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died;
2:22 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.
2:23 Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
Remember, these aren’t the heathen who went astray, these were God’s people, i.e. The Church.
About a generation after the elders die, what happens? The children pursue their own lusts, assuming they are still in the favor of God, without knowing the peril that awaits them Other sinful nations were left to prove whether Israel would be faithful…
Ezekiel 44:10 .... Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols...
Remember the pattern of disguise, delight, deception that Satan uses to persuade humans to adopt his designs...they can be at work within a soul, within a church, or within a nation.
An idol isn't a forged gob of gold or a whittled statue that people fall down to worhip; it is anything that replaces the true meaning, purpose and identity of God with something false, that people devote their love to. An idol can be an idea, a trend, a saying, a mis-guided purpose.
Are idols alive in the hearts of Christians and the church today? We must be eternally vigilant.
Read the next lesson to see one of the peculiar symptoms of a people that stray...they scatter, and split. Read .....Then They Split.
Searching for scriptures regarding sexuality and homosexuality? It is a popular search topic, and with good reason: people want to know what God's word says about it.
While our culture has produced new words in our day describing issues of sexuality, the spiritual and moral issues regarding sexuality are are age-old, and are dealt with directly in scripture. Click Here To Find The Words Used in Scripture Regarding Sexuality
The topic of Sexuality and Homosexuality has faced the Christian Church in New ways. What does the world teach? What does the Word of God teach?
|Watch your Thoughts,|
|They become Words...|
|Watch your Words,|
|They become Habits...|
|Watch your Habits,|
|They become Character...|
|Watch your Character,|
|It becomes your Destiny.|