Joshua and the elders die. The Israelites live in the mountains because they did not attack the Canaanites in the valleys with their chariots of iron. The Israelites sin by befriending the Canaanites and they stop serving God (Judg. 2:10-11).
Verses for Today:
The Lord . . . said . . . 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? 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 (Judg. 2:1-3).
The Israelites were chosen by the One True God to reveal Him to the heathen nations and to glorify Him by being obedient to His Word. The first few verses of Judges give us a sense of high hope for the total conquest of the land as begun by Joshua: Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it (1:17). One by one, Canaanite cities fell to the Israelites — then the Philistine cities (1:10-11,13,17-18). And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that He did for Israel (2:7).
A new era in the history of the 12 tribes began soon after the death of Joshua. The Lord's command to complete the conquest of Canaan was not fulfilled because of the people's compromise with the pagan inhabitants of the land. It is disappointing to read: There arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord. . . . And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim. And they forsook the Lord. . . . And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He said, Because . . . this people hath transgressed My Covenant . . . I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them (2:10-21).
The Israelites chose to do what they thought was more "humanitarian" and created peaceful coexistence with the enemies of God. Perhaps they argued: "How could a God of love destroy 'innocent' people?" The concept of innocence disappears when we see sin for what it really is and that false gods are deceiving people so that they will be eternally lost and in hell where this shall be. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
Thought for Today:
Although the work God is doing in us is a continuing process, it is important to understand that giving only partial obedience is disobedience to Him (Phil. 1:6).
As the Angel of the Lord who is understood to be Jesus Himself, for He speaks as God Himself (I made you . . . and have brought you . . . I sware . . . I said, I will . . . My Covenant) (Judg. 2:1-4). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
1:7 meat under my table =leftover food; requited =epaid; 1:20 expelled thence =drove out, defeated; 1:23 descry =spy out; 1:27 would dwell =determined to remain; 1:30 tributaries =forced laborers; 2:12 bowed themselves unto =worshiped; 2:16 spoiled =plundered; 2:17 went a whoring after other gods =were unfaithful to the One True God; 2:18 repented =grieved, showed compassion; 2:19 corrupted themselves =became more sinful; 2:22 prove =test.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Bernice Rathbone (retired) • Government Officials: Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY) • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for trials because from them we can learn patience (Rom. 5:3).
Optional Reading: John 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10