(Today's post by James Rooks)
Judges 1:1 – 2:5
Background/ What happened
We have a brief account of Joshua's death and a passing of the torch for the tribes of Israel to drive out the Canaanites and to take possession of the Promised Land. All of the action in this passage takes place in and around what is now present day Israel. From 1:1- 1:26 we see the obedient response of Judah to drive out the inhabitants, then beginning in 1:27 – 1:36 the tribes do not drive out the inhabitants. Rather than following through with God's directive, they compromise and live among the inhabitants with some pretty disastrous results. Judges 2 begins with the angel of the LORD bringing a strong rebuke to the Israelites.
God's command to drive out, move in, and destroy the altars was only partially obeyed. We see even in the short passage of today's reading plan where the Israelites begin to worship other gods and even falling into slavery to the people that they were supposed to have victory over. It is easy to see, even today, that the region of the middle east (Israel in particular) is the object of much turmoil and conflict. One has to wonder what the picture would look like now had the Israelites followed God's instructions.
We've looked at the literal side of events here, but what about the principle can we learn from it? When I think about basic components here: Drive out (sin), Move in (walk in God's promises), and destroy idols (worship only God)…these apply to us today as they did to Israel in the book of Judges. How many times have I fallen into the trap of sin because I didn't quite kill it all the way? Maybe its a habit that I feel convicted about so I take action..just enough action against it to say that I'm in control of it. However I don't quite kill it only to find that one day it again has control of me. Anybody else been there? I've heard pastors say before “always be killing sin or it will be killing you”. After walking through Judges 1:1 – 2:5 I see that same principle being played out. I have to see sin the same way that God sees. it. When He tells me to move, I need to move. And I HAVE TO actively remove idols and gods that vie for my attention and affection. As we see in Judges 1, the results on partial obedience lead to disaster.
A take away for me, and one that I've been thinking about since Sunday is how I don't use my job as a mission field. I feel like I've made being accepted by others and/or being a cool guy to people a higher priority than being on mission in the work place. I've made their opinion of me a higher priority than God's call. If I'm ok compromising there, what else am I unknowingly allowing to creep in? Its time to start killing sin (of pride and compromise) and walk in the call that God has for me in the workplace.
What is your take-away today?