Verse of the Day Devotion. Judges 2:3
“Therefore, I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'” – Judges 2:3
Today we will start looking at the Book of Judges and some key and important ideas found there. In Chapter one, we see that Israel had experienced the great faithfulness of God who, through Moses, led them from Egypt, and made them His people. In him they conquered Canaan, a noble country. Also, they had the promise of the divine word that God would never forsake them, that the truth on which He had up to this point built up their life and nationality would endure, even if they did not completely obey Him. “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.” Leviticus 26:44.
Reason enough had been given them to fulfill everything prescribed by God through Moses, whether great or small, difficult, or pleasant, whether it gave or took away. They had every reason for being completely with God, whether they waged war or enjoyed the fruits of victory. So, were they totally with Him? Could they be with Him after battling the inhabitants of Canaan as we see occurred in chapter one? Unfortunately, it appears they did not. God lays out their failure to them. “Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done?” Judges 2:1-2. Note the last part of verse two. ‘But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done?’
God sent the Angel of the Lord to Bochim, where His people were and told them all He had done; ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers, and I said I will never break My covenant with you.” He was clear here. He had brought them out of Egypt and brought them to the land He had promised them. He is declaring He kept all His promises to them. And He asked of them to make no covenants with the people in the land He was giving them. This they did not follow, and the basic idea of the message was that God would in all ways keep His promise; but they, by their flagrant and repeated breaches of their covenant with Him, had forfeited all claim to the stated benefits. Having disobeyed the will of God by voluntarily courting the society of idolaters and placing themselves in the way of temptation, He left them to suffer the punishment of their misdeeds.
And what was this punishment? “Therefore I also said, I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” Judges 2:3. Back in the Book of Joshua, Joshua tells them he is getting old and would not be able to keep fighting the enemy with them so he tells Israel to continue the work after he is gone. “But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. For the LORD has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day. One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God. For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,.” Joshua 23:8-12. God is telling Israel because they did not obey Him, in that they did not drive them all out but allowed some to stay, He would no longer drive the people out of the land given to them, but they would do it themselves, as He has told them. And they were not just allowing them to stay in the land, but they developed relations with them, which went against what God had told them. And the result of this message was repentance. “And it came about when the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. So they named that place Bochim; and there they sacrificed to the LORD.” Judges 2:4-5. They then understood they had done wrong and cried out to God with weeping.
And God will speak to us, as Christians, letting us know if we are not following His will or ways. He may do it directly or may speak through another. Either way, we must listen and look deeply within ourselves to see any truth in what we have been told. And if, after examining ourselves, we see it is true, then we must repent of whatever wrong we have done and make whatever changes are necessary to no longer continue in our sin. God wants to help us in our walk with Him, and He will make wrongdoings clear to us, and will forgive us if we repent and ask forgiveness. “Come now, and let us reason together says the LORD, Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 1:18-20. Let us always take this seriously and make whatever changes are necessary to rid ourselves of sin and cleanse ourselves of all unrighteousness.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.