Main Verse: Judges 2:4
by Brian Phillips
Joshua was charged with getting the Israelites across the Jordan. It was left up to him to lead millions of people to the “land of milk and honey.”
But, it wasn’t going to be easy. The people who already occupied that land weren’t going to just step aside and let them take it. They would put up a fight.
Even though, Joshua led the Israelites into victory after victory. It was no wonder the people trusted him so much. He was a great leader. And they didn’t fear their enemies while he was in charge. But, they began to place all their trust in him, and slowly quit putting their trust in God.
Oh, sure, at first they sought God’s direction when Joshua died. But, it was half-hearted. They were so unsure of victory, that they recruited other armies to help them. As a result, they had limited success defeating their enemies. And, even when they did, they didn’t finish the job. They let many of the people live, even though God made it very clear they were to leave no survivors.
Now that may sound harsh, but these people were God-haters. And He knew as long as they lived, their hatred for Him would poison the Israelites. He knew that instead of influencing their captors, their captors would influence them. And that’s exactly what happened. Over time, the Israelites started worshiping the idols of their enemies.
Eventually, their faith in God was so watered down, they neglected to tell their children about Him.
Food for Thought
We are told the Israelites wept loudly when the angel of the Lord points out their disobedience. It would seem they were sincerely remorseful. Yet, the next generation of Israelites grew up without any knowledge of the Lord or what He had done for them. How could that be? If they had really repented for what they did, why didn’t they tell their children how great He was?
Remember sitting in the back seat of the car on a long road trip with your brother or sister? After a while, tensions start to mount and you end up making him or her cry. What did your parents do? Why, naturally they yelled at you and told you to “say you’re sorry!” And, from behind your tears, you squeak out a pitiful, “I’m sorry.” How long did it take before you were hitting your sibling again? You weren’t really sorry after all.
So What Now?
Insincere repentance is no repentance at all. If we make a habit of pathetic apologies—to God, or to other people—those relationships might someday be strained, or worse, cease to exist.
Lord, show me when I’m wrong. And if I am insincere when I say I’m sorry, show me that. Amen.