July 25, 2013
READ: Judges 2:1-18
You disobeyed My command. Why didyou do this? (v.2).
I recently began searching for a good used car. When I went to check out a 2006 model, the vehicle looked pristine. Looks can be deceiving however. For when I had my mechanic take a peek at the prospective purchase, he found some major transmission problems. If I had bought the car, it would have cost me dearly to fix.
Ancient Israel also tried to look good on the outside, but they definitely lacked something ‘under the bonnet’! Having professed undying loyalty to God and promising that they would serve Him in obedience (Joshua 24:21-24), they did so partly—not completely. In Judges 1 we read that the faithful “Lord was with the people” as they drove out the pagans and their idols from Canaan (vv.19,22). But sadly, the people were disobedient and didn’t complete the job. The word failed is used seven times to describe their lack of obedience (vv.21-33).
In response, the angel of the Lord appeared before the Israelites and said, “You disobeyed My command. Why did you do this?” (2:2). Then he told the people that God would no longer help them in their ‘clearing of the land’ quest, and they “wept loudly” (vv.3-4).
Again, their outward appearance of contrition looked very good. But soon they “did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal” (v.11). God, burning with holy anger, turned them “over to their enemies” (v.14). Something was rotten in Canaan—the hearts of God’s people. So He disciplined them in love, desiring that their hearts would be fully restored to Him.
What’s in your heart today? Are you fully committed to God or is there something rotten within your heart that needs to be brought to Him in repentance?—Tom Felten
Mark 9:38-50 ‹
Read 2 Timothy 2:13to see God’s response even when we’re unfaithful to Him.
What happened when God’s people truly served and loved Him in obedience in the Old Testament? What things can cause your heart to become rotten?