Judges 2 - Part 2QUESTION: Danger of Compromise - 2ANSWER:Judges 2 - Part 2
by Pastor Nathan Shepherd (Dive Chapel, Candle Key, Florida)
“And in verse 2, this Angel, Jesus, asks, ‘Why have you done this?’ Do you ever hear Jesus saying to you, Why have you done this and that? Why have you gone against my example?
“Because they’ve blown it in spades, He goes on to say that He won’t drive out the Canaanites from the Promised Land and, here we go, ‘they shall be thorns in your side and their gods will be a snare to you.’ A snare is a trap. I read this as Jesus saying that these other gods will be a sin trap to them. Ah, but our other gods, will be a sin trap to us today.
“I can just hear some of you saying, ‘What other gods?’ Okay, how about money? Sex? Sports? A new job? Your wildest dreams? Ouch. Anything you put above the Lord Jesus Christ is a Canaanite god, a sin trap!
“Now, I think we’ve established that, unfortunately, we will have Canaanites living in the Promised Land of our salvation. It’s sad, it’s crummy, but it’s our fault because we did not drive out the sins – the inhabitants of our hearts – immediately following our salvation. We got rid of some of them. I know a lot of you who, when you were saved, cried out to the LORD for deliverance from smoking or drugs or alcohol or pornography, and you haven’t been there again, ever. But even those slobs the Israelites obliterated some of the Canaanites.
“I’m going to throw out a concept that I will keep repeating throughout this study. The Canaanites of sin are still inhabiting your Promised Land, but you cannot get comfortable with them living there. Do you hear that? We must push back against sin.
“Does it bother you deeply when you hear the name of the Lord taken in vain in movies? What about when you read it in books? Do you even notice anymore?
“And what about when people yell ‘Jesus’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ as a statement of surprise or distress? You know, one of my favorite Bible teachers likes to say that he has yet to hear anyone hit their thumb with a hammer and scream out, ‘oh, Buddha!’ Think about it. I’ll challenge you today to challenge the people around you about their use of the Lord’s name in vain. It’s tough to do but what if you said, ‘Why did you say that?’ Quote the ‘oh, Buddha thing’ to them and see what they say.” There was nervous laughter throughout the room.
“Back to the text, watch what the children do; in verse 4, they are convicted. It says they lifted up their voices and wept. They apparently repent and hold a big sacrifice at Bochim and ‘get right with God.’ We’ll see. At the end of verse 6, Joshua gets up and sends everyone off to their homes.
“Now, the Bible I use for just reading breaks Judges 2 into three sections: Israel’s Disobedience, Death of Joshua, Israel’s Unfaithfulness. Wow. What did we say were the essential ingredients for living abundantly in the Promised Land? Obedience and Faithfulness. Right here, in chapter 2, we see behavior that is the exact opposite, diametrically opposed to these two essentials. And, as we’ll see throughout the book of Judges, and in our lives, that leads to the cycle we talked about a few weeks ago.
“Remember? It’s a seven-step, circular model. The top of the circle is us joyfully serving God. Then, we’re tempted, we have decisions to make and we tend to go off-road. Third, we succumb to sin. I do it, you do it, too. Fourth, we find ourselves enslaved to sin. Then, like the prodigal son, we find ourselves sorry about our sin and especially its consequences. So, at the sixth way point of the circle, we repent and the Lord delivers us from our sin. And we are back at the top of the circle – where we ought to be – joyfully serving God.Judges 2 – Read Part 3!