Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the Lord and did not serve Him. Judges 10:6
Quotes For Today
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words…When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint”
“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”
These would be such precise assessments of today’s youth, had they not been penned well over a thousand years ago. The first quote is attributed to the 8th century Greek poet Hesiod and the second to the 5th century Greek philosopher Plato. Apparently there is nothing new under God’s sun. Things have not changed one crumb, except to say that there are now billions of people in the world making the perversity appear a billion times worse. We should not be surprised. In the Book of Judges the Lord raises up deliverer after deliverer and each time, the children of Israel repeatedly do evil in the sight of the Lord. If we weren’t so culpable ourselves, we might be shocked.
Why Does This Happen?
Well the short answer is that we’re all sinners, however for the born-again believer, that excuse no longer floats. A true follower of Christ Jesus; one who is enveloped in the components of the faith, should know better. So what happened with Israel? In their case they were recurrently guilty of what we’re so often guilty of: complacency. God would save them, there would be peace in the land for forty years or so (the length of a generation), and then the next generation would fall away into idolatry. Why? Because the previous generation kept their faith to themselves; they were self-satisfied and made little or no effort to carry on the oral traditions of their faith. God warned them (and He warns us today) that this would happen…
When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest–when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage… Deuteronomy 8:10-14
We Have an Advantage
Today, we have Israel’s example recorded for us in God’s word. Back in the day, Israel relied on their own oral tradition. Not an excuse mind you, but nevertheless, they did not have the Bible to refer to. I only mention that fact as a reminder—the Christian has God’s Word and His Holy Spirit living inside of us. It does make you wonder why we make the same brainless errors though.
And the children of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. Judges 10:15-16
The Good News
Like I said earlier, nothing much has changed through the years—God’s formula is still the same: confess, submit, and repent. Confess our sin, submit to the consequences (and there are always consequences), turn away from sin and turn towards Jesus Christ with an obedient heart. Ladies and gentlemen, we serve the God of second, and third, and fourth, and…chances. A horrible experience is the best teacher, but it does not have to be your experience.