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March 1, 2024 - Judges 1-2

Before Joshua died, the people promised to obey the Lord, to worship him only, and to turn away from the evil done by the nations.  Well, we know how that turned out:  “Now the angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim.  And he said, ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers.’  I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’  But you have not obeyed my voice”  (2:1-2).

 

The Lord announced that he would discipline Israel, and the people cried out and wept.  Caught!  But, then, the Lord had warned them.  The people cleaned up their act a bit until Joshua died, and “there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord” (2:10).  And with this a pattern was set for the entire period of the judges:  the people would sin, God would discipline them, they would cry out for deliverance, and the Lord would send a leader, a judge, to rescue them.  This cycle was repeated over and over again.  Israel was learning (She was a slow learner!) that God would indeed discipline but also about God’s patience and grace and willlingness to forgive.  They, and we, had hope, and that hope was found only in the Lord.

 

O magnify the Lord with me,

exalt his holy name;

when in distress to him I called,

he to my rescue came.

The hosts of God encamp around

the dwellings of the just;

deliv’rance he affords to all

who in his promise trust.   –Anonymous (1754)

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