Scripture Read: Judges 2 - 3
Title: The people do what is evil in the sight of the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so." Judges 2:16,17
(E) Explain: How quickly the Israelites forget their commitment and their God. After Joshua dies a new generation arises and this generation did not know or care about the God of Israel. Their disregard for Him was so, that they did whatever they wanted. They did evil in the sight of God. The wickedness of this generation begins a multi-generational systemic problem for the nation of Israel. This downward spiral goes like this.
(A) Application: There is an old cliche' that goes like this, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The nation of Israel fits this definition perfectly. But, how true is it for us today? I see churches and individuals who have deep systemic problems that have been around for generations and nothing is done about it. People continue to think, well maybe things will change, just because while putting no effort into trying to change anything. An addict can't expect to overcome their addiction by not taking any action to change. No, if one does nothing, nothing will happen. The same goes for churches. If they are unwilling to look at their future and see that there is a systematic problem that often results in dysfunction and do nothing about it, then how can things change? How can people expect God to bless a church or individual if they choose to continue doing the same thing over and over?
Now, how does this passage apply to you personally? Are there symptoms in you life that are contributing to you doing what you want to do without regard for God? Is there something going on with you that continually hinders you from fully hearing from and committing to God? Remember, God is gracious and merciful. He will forgive, but He will also correct when we need correcting.
I close with another cliche', "If you keep doing what you are doing, you're going to keep getting what you get."
(R) Respond: Search me God, to bring to light the negative or systematic dysfunctions I have in my life that are keeping me from completely following you.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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