Some things never change. Such it is with God’s standard of righteousness and justice. In the present context let’s consider Israel’s taking possession of the land of Canaan during the time of Joshua.
The time was approximately 1375 BC. Joshua had spent nearly three decades trying to remove the inhabitants of Canaan. The job, however, remained undone at the time of his death.
Before entering the Promised Land the Angel of the LORD had addressed the Israelites.
“I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.’” Judges 2:1
God reminded the Israelites that He had delivered them from their bondage in Egypt. He confirmed that He would never break His unilateral promise to Abraham, or his descendants, that He would give them the land of Canaan.
God had made it very clear that the Israelites were to destroy all the people in Canaan and any semblance of their culture as they entered and possessed the land.
“And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars…” Judges 2:2
The Israelites had been forewarned that if they disobeyed God’s instructions there would be consequences. Disobedience to God always has consequences.
Then God reaffirmed the consequences.
“Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” Judges 2:3
If Israel disobeyed, God would not drive out those that Joshua hadn’t removed. Instead He would use them as instruments to discipline the Israelites. They would indeed, be thorns in Israel’s side and their false gods a trap to them.
Joshua’s generation heeded God’s warning and lifted up their voices and wept before their God.
“So 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 had done for Israel.” Judges 2:7
However, after Joshua died at the age of 110, the next generation forgot all about Israel’s past blessings that God had bestowed on their fathers.
“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
When a nation forgets their God they revert back to their natural tendencies and strive to appease those around them instead of God.
“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD… and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt…” Judges 2:11
“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers…so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity; as the LORD…had sworn to them. ” Judges 2:14-15
Is there an application for today?
To begin with, God delivered Israel from being under the bondage of a foreign nation. God gave them a new land and promised His protection and prosperity.
God warned Israel in no uncertain terms of His expectation that they obey His instructions along with very specific consequences for disobedience. Such consequences included delivering them into the hands of their enemies. In fact God would bring calamity upon them and cause their enemies to be victorious over them.
He instructed them not to make treaties with the people of Canaan nor have anything to do with their idols or culture.
“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11
Now then, did God deliver America out of bondage from another nation? Is America now making treaties with her enemies? Is America accommodating cultures and religions contrary to Biblical standards? Is America fostering a generation that will not know God?
The logical question then, will there be consequences?
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