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Judges 2

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 1 Now the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and have brought you to the land that I swore to give to your fathers, and I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you;

 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; but you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. Why have you done this?

 3 Now therefore I say, 'I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'"

 4 And it came to pass, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice and wept aloud,

 5 And they called the name of that place Bochim [weeping], and they sacrificed there to the LORD.

 6 Now when Joshua had dismissed the people, the children of Israel went every man to his inheritance to possess the land.

 7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, which he did for Israel.

 8 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old.

 9 And they buried him within the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash.

 10 Also all that generation were gathered to their fathers, and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, or even the works that he had done for Israel.

 11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals,1

 12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods of the people who were all around them and bowed themselves down to them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

 13 They forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

 14 So the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of plunderers who captured them; and he sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could not stand any longer before their enemies.

 15 Whenever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were greatly distressed.

 16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, who delivered them out of the hand of those that plundered them.

 17 And yet they would not listen to their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned quickly out of the way that their fathers walked in, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD; but they did not do so.

 18 When the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and vexed them.

 19 But when the judge was dead, they returned to their ways and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and bowing down to them. They did not cease from their own practices or from their stubborn ways.

 20 So the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, "Because this people has transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not listened to and obeyed my voice,

 21  From this time forward I will not drive out from before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died,

 22 That through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not."

 23 Therefore the LORD allowed those nations to remain, without driving them out at once; nor had he delivered them into the hand of Joshua.

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1 there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, or even the works that he had done for Israel. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. I find this record of Israel worshiping Baal amazing because: 1) these were children of the generation who saw the walls of Jericho fall down from circling them seven times and blowing the trumpets; who saw the Jordan River dry up and pile up into a wall of water to dry up the river so they could immediately walk over; who saw the Lord fight for them multiple times against a superior enemy in numbers and physical height, and 2) these were the grandchildren of those who saw the Red Sea part, rebels swallowed up by the earth, water spring from a rock, heard God speaking to them in mass, the fire by night and the cloud by day leading them through the desert and dwelling on the tabernacle when at rest, etc. You know they listened to the eye witness accounts of all those events. You know they were aware of the forbidden worship of stone or wooden idols. Yet they ignored God to worship Baal and Ashtaroth.

The only explanation is this: We as human beings are far more rebellious than we are willing to admit. We have an inherent desire to violate laws, feeling free and superior in doing so. We doubt anything we cannot see. We can't take someone else's word for a fact. We are eager to reject any authority in our attempt to escape the guilt of violating that authority's warnings and laws. Our minds are full of evil, just as Jesus said: For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man, and defile him. Mark 7:21-23.

To be freed of these evils in our hearts, we must have a savior, a deliverer, a redeemer, a captain, a cleanser, a washer, a purifier, a perfecter, a restorer, a reuniter, a conqueror — we must have Jesus to be revealed in our flesh to destroy these works of evil, these works of the devil in us, which are sin: For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8. And when the works of the devil are destroyed in our hearts, then Jesus is resurrected in our hearts and we are translated into his Kingdom to forever be in union with he and the Father.


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