And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. Judges 2:11-12
Joshua dies, the people settle into their new land, and it doesn’t take Israel long to forget all that God had saved them from and done for them.
When we are desperate, we will cry out to God and promise to do anything He says. But as time passes and things get better and we start to feel a little more in control, we forget.
We begin to push the boundaries a little. Nothing happens immediately, so we push a little further. Sometimes we don’t even know we are doing it; we are simply following along with what everyone else around us is doing.
It is so easy to slowly start worshiping other things over God…friends, family, popularity, material things, success in school or sports or work, other people’s opinions. Before we know it, we become a slave to these things, trying with all our power to keep a grip on them. We fit in too comfortably to the world around us as we climb that ladder toward whatever the next pleasure or goal might be.
A continuous theme in Judges is, “In those days Israel had no king and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” God wanted to be their king, but they rebelled against Him.
Why is the lure for things that are not in our ultimate best interest often so much stronger than the lure for God? The Israelites move into this new land and they become just like the evil people who live there. Instead of displaying the character of God, they forget God and adopt all of the corrupt cultural and religious practices of the Canaanites. A time will come when God will not stand for it any longer.
Questions: In your circle of friends do you see that the lure for what isn’t of God is stronger than God? Why do you think this is the case? How can we stay firmly planted in God’s will and not allow this to happen to us?