Today you should read: Judges 3
Do you like roller coasters? I really like them despite the fact that I am not fond of heights. The worst part for me is at the very beginning of the roller coaster ride you take that long, slow climb to its highest point. Then you drop over that first hill that nearly takes your breath away and after that it is just a series of ups and downs that happen so fast all you can do is scream. The book of Judges sort of depicts the life of the people of Israel as a roller coaster. From Exodus through Joshua it is that long slow climb to the top (with a few hiccups along the way). At the end of Joshua, Israel could not have been any higher. They had entered into the Promised Land and God had given them the land and victory. However, due to their disobedience, the book of Judges illustrates that fall from the top and the up and down roller coaster of a ride to the end of the book. Each time Israel repents they never quite make it back to the top and they begin a constant spiral into sin. So what started the drop?
1. Israel disobeyed.
a. God told them to completely wipe out the land but Israel did not follow through. Therefore, the Philistines, Canaanites, Sidonians and Hivites were left to temp the people of Israel into worshipping other Gods and Idols. (3:1-6)
b. Do we sometimes find ourselves tempted by other gods and idols that we allow to stay around? We can find ourselves worshipping God on Sunday and loving the world Monday through Saturday.
2. Israel conformed.
a. Not only did they not listen to God’s commands but they willingly gave themselves over to the ways of the world. They even went so far as to marry into their families (v.6)
b. This is the issue that we are faced with when we allow ourselves to flirt with sin. James 1:13-15 states:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Israel found themselves spiraling out of control because of their own sinful desires. They wanted to follow after the ways of the other tribes because it appealed to their own sinful desires. The truth is that we all still have a sin nature that, at times, desires to be satisfied. Just like when Israel allowed the other tribes to stay among them and were tempted, we, too, allow sin to dwell in our homes. It comes in the form of things we watch, music we listen to, and things we read. I am not saying we should never watch movies and listen to music that is secular. What I am saying is that we should be intentional with what we put into our minds because that is where sin begins (Romans 12:2, Matthew 6:22-23). God sent judges to save Israel when they got in over their heads but they always ended back up in the same mess. If you and I do not repent at the heart level we will continue to give in to our flesh.
Question to Ponder:
What do you need to cut out of your life? What should you invest your time in?
Posted by: Chad Wiles