BIBLE READING: Judges 1-3
Yesterday my alma mater had made it to the semifinals of the state girls basketball championship. Not being able to attend due to some previous commitments, I listened intently on the radio to cheer them on. As the game progressed, it seemed like our girls were going to advance into the final game as our lead grew to double digits. However, basketball is a game of swing of momentum and that is exactly what happened. After leading almost, the entire game, the other team took the lead with under a minute to play. I listened intently as the single minute seemed to go on for half an hour. Then with only 12 seconds to go, one of our seniors hit a massive three that tied the game and sealed almost certain overtime. I will have to admit, my emotions were all over the place. I just knew that this was it and we would be able to play for the state title. Just then as the buzzer sounded in what would have been certain overtime, the other team hits the winning basket with no time left on the clock. Talk about a major let down! I had already gotten my hopes up for these girls thinking they were going to win, only with seconds to go have that dream ripped away from me. Joshua had a dream as well. His dream was that the children of Israel would remain faithful to the LORD who had blessed them in so many ways. Yet sadly, the nation of Israel had a major letdown. The book of Judges describes this letdown in a very detailed and yet destructive fashion. “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. So, the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 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 2:11-15)
In an effort to pull them back to God, He appoints for the people Judges who will lead the efforts to right the ship. As you read and study this book of Judges, pay close attention to how the people of Israel turn to and then away from God in a cyclical fashion. How is it possible that the people would turn away from God so quickly after reaffirming their commitment to Him? Maybe by noticing how rebellious the people had become will help us learn for their mistakes and not suffer the same letdown with our faith.