The ancient book of Judges in the Bible is so contemporary–everyone “doing what they considered right.” Does this sound familiar?
Moses, who had given the people God’s commands for a godly and orderly life, was dead and gone.
Joshua, who had victoriously led them into the Promised Land and urged them to continue to follow the Lord, was dead and gone.
The generation who had lived under the leadership of these men and experienced God’s amazing miracles was dead and gone.
“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10 NLT)
And that’s when society broke down. With no personal commitment to God and his standards, everyone decided what was “right for them” and lived accordingly. This meant…
…failure to push ahead with their occupation of the land God had given them
…”forgetting” God who had done everything for them, doing what He considered evil
…intermarrying with the pagan peoples around them, producing children who no longer knew right and wrong
…worshiping and serving false gods, participating in their violent and obscene rituals
…infighting and treachery, sexual abuse and butchery
What was the result? Were they happy and fulfilled?
God allowed them to experience the natural consequences of their choice. They were oppressed, ravaged, and impoverished by wave after wave of neighboring nations, for over 300 years. At the height of each wave of misery, they would appeal to God, who would mercifully rescue them through a powerful figure such as Gideon. But as soon as things settled down again, they went right back to their rebellious ways and the cycle repeated itself. What a horrible existence!
And for us today–
–Are we who know the Lord effectively passing our faith to the next generation?
–Are we who follow godly generations also genuine in our faith, making it our own— or just taking the easy way down the mainstream of society?
–What can we expect if we continue down the same path of defining and doing what we think is “right for me” instead of what God says is right?