Devine Testing of Israel

One day a minister was having lunch with a Catholic friend. He asked him why he prayed through the Virgin Mary. He answered, “It is because she is closer to Jesus than anyone else. She can get His ear and attention.” He said, “Suppose you wanted to have an intervie … More

Influence

Because Israel forsook the Lord, He forsook them. He turned them over to their enemies time after time. When the judgment  became so severe that the nation finally did cry out to God, He would send a deliverer in the form of a judge (vv. 16-17). Sad to say, the people would turn to the Lord only when in trouble and once the judge was gone, the nation would fall back into sin again (vv. 18-19). These failures are often seen in professing Christians today. Instead of overcoming the enemy, we compromise and let the enemy drag us down. When this happens, God must chasten us, and the only remedy is for us to repent and return.

In the book of Joshua, there was one leader and God worked with the whole nation; but in Judges, there are many leaders and God is with the leader only and not with the nation (2:18). In this portion of Scripture we find a very important lesson of the Judges. Unconquered enemies must not be tolerated and unconfessed sin must be confessed and abandoned. The enemies of the Israelites acted as a thermometer recording the spiritual temperature of the nation. Her continued relationship with the Canaanites would be a test of her disloyalty to God (vv. 20-23).

Application

When I am with non-Christians do they influence me or do I influence them. I need to talk to my family about the dangers of dating an unsaved person or going into partnership with an unsaved person.  Compare this to what happened to the Israelites in this portion of Scripture.

Judges 2:16-23 (English Standard Version)

Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so. Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he said, "Because this people has transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not." So the LORD left those nations, not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into the hand of Joshua.

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