Background: Joshua has passed away, after doing whatever God had asked him to do. Now the Israelites are left without a leader (someone like Moses and Joshua). God had already declared that the Canaanite territory belonged to the Israelites and Joshua in his last days, even distributed the land amongst the Israelites.Now the Israelites had to fight the Canaanites tribe by tribe and take over their respective lands. Some of the tribes did(Judges 1:1-19), some did not(Judges 1:27-33). To the tribes which did not drive out the Canaanites God said "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you." (Judges 2:1-3). Now before blaming God for being angry at them, lets see the following.
What had gone wrong :" After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7 The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. "(Judges 2:6-7)
However in (Judges 2:10-15 ) "After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. " we see, once the generation that had seen the Lord, had passed away and a new generation had come, who did not know God, how their disobedience had brought them defeat.
I'm thinking:Its a sad situation, the elders who had seen the Lord's work from Egypt through Canaan,did not keep the covenant with God alive.
- They mingled with the Canaanites and did not drive them out
- They did not teach their youngsters about the Living God who delivered them out of Egypt
The Israelites had the simplest part of the Covenant to follow-to obey God-thats all, and during Moses' time God had told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:9 "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them". They had forgotten to tell of all the wonders God had done for them, they had forgotten God in all their endeavours and were now doing their own thing. Worshipping idols which were not God and honouring idols which had done nothing for them. Giving themselves up to idols of stone and metal and forgetting what a "Living God" had done.
Life's Question:Don't we feel sad when we've done something good to someone and they forget about it and us totally and moreover they go and do something we don't like. Moreover, to make matters worse, what if they went and made friends with someone who totally dislikes you and is against you. What would you do? Would you go back to being friends with them, even if they don't you there? Would you help them, even if you know they will never come back to appreciate what you've done?