In my last post, I mentioned how God sent judges to deliver the people of Israel; but why did they need deliverance?
Their leader died (Judges 2:6-9). Joshua died at 110 years old but he was influential in ensuring that the people followed the Lord's commandments. When Joshua and those of that generation died, the upcoming generation did not know the Lord and all of his works. Because of this lack of knowledge they chose to worship other gods. This worshipping of other gods instead of the one true God makes God seem petty, but He's not. When you make other things an idol - they become very important to you. Idols will now have a high priority in your life; the idol determines how you live and who you associate with. In Israel's time, false gods like Baal and Ashtoreth - couldn't save lives, couldn't deliver you from oppression, couldn't help you cross a Red sea, couldn't rain plagues from heaven. Instead, these idols created a false hope and filled lives with rituals that had no meaning. But God was and is different - everything He instituted had meaning and purpose and was not an empty ritual. God knew what He was talking about. Today we make idols out of different things - fame, athletic prowess, smarts, money. If we give these things more precedence than God who made us, they are an idol and they will have the same detrimental effect as worshipping false gods in Israel's time.
There was a gap in knowledge (Judges 2:10). As much as it is up to you, your legacy matters. Perhaps because they had not experienced God's goodness directly, the younger generation made a choice to test God. Perhaps they did not really understand what it meant to serve God. Sometimes in spite of passing down what God has done, the next generation chooses to go astray. Each individual has to make the choice to serve God.
God made all of us with free will (Judges 2:11-22). We get to choose. God said if you're always going to choose wrongly, you will suffer but I will still make a way out for you.
So why is it so hard to stay the course?
- Sin is enticing. The worship of false gods was enticing to the Israelites; it was all around them. Proximity to sin also made it tempting.
- Sin is influential - Bad company corrupts good character.
- Sin makes us weak - We don't really have willpower unless we choose to subject our minds. Our wills are entirely powerless.
Even though you fluctuate, He remains faithful.