How did we end up here? (Judges 1-2)

“Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for harm, as the Lord had warned, and as the Lord had sworn to them.  And they were in terrible distress.” Judges 2:15

In our (USA) present political and spiritual climate one might be led to ask, “How did we end up here?”  As one looks around the world scene in which Christians are being targeted simply because they are Christians, he or she might be led to ask, “How did we end up here?”

The answer to this question is not a new answer nor is it a superficial answer.  It is the same answer that has characterized mankind since of the fall in Genesis 3.  Humanity is living in direct rebellion against God.  This rebellion has led us to have terrible distress throughout our world.

Consider our readings today.  The book of Judges shares the continuing narrative of Israel’s life in the Promised Land.  The narrative is set up by chapters one and two.  Here is what we understand:

  • Chapter one could be entitled, “those who did and those who did not.”

The Tribe of Judah did what God asked, “they went up and drove out their enemies,” Vs: 1-26.

The other tribes except the house of Joseph, “did not do what God asked,” Vs: 27-35.

  • Chapter two could be entitled, “The fallout caused by those who did not.”

The people did not obey the Lord, Vs: 1-5.  The result was both pain and perversion. The people would not obey, Vs: 6-10.  One generation after Joshua we see a total reversal of spiritual direction.  The people turned away from God, Vs: 11-15.

In this moment there is a strange twist of events, Vs: 16-22.  God saw the grieving of the people and he extended mercy.  God raised up leaders to judge the people correctly.  During the days of the judge they obeyed, but when they died they turned backed to their pagan gods.

This story continues throughout the book of Judges.  This is how they ended up in terrible distress.

Question: “How does this apply to our context?”

Each day our world faces the test, 2:22, “will we be those who do (obey God) or will we be those who do not (obey God)? ”

Brothers and sisters, this is crucial to our lives.  Check out Revelation 3:1-4:

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.

You and I cannot force anyone to be a doer of the Word.  But we can be doers of the Word as a light to those who are in the darkness.  I challenge you not to waste your time complaining about how we got here.  We are here.  Ours is the task to be a light to the world.  Time is short, the judge could be standing at the door, James 4:7.  We know, when He comes, he will judge the world, Ephesians 1:20-21.

 

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