The cost of disobedience: Judges 2.6–19 (18 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: Judges 2

Judges is largely a story of disappointment and defeats, with some acts of terrible wrongdoing. The people have entered the Promised Land under Joshua, but things don't go smoothly. The conquest is, not surprisingly, resisted, and the gods of the land – the 'Baals' – were fatally attractive to the people, offering an already established presence and a far less demanding lifestyle: 'They stopped worshipping the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the God who had brought them out of Egypt, and they began to worship other gods, the gods of the peoples round them' (verse 12). So, the writer tells us, God raised up judges or 'leaders' for them, who called them to obedience and interpreted the Law and the will of God. However: 'But when the leader died, the people used to return to the old ways and behave worse than the previous generation' (verse 19).

One way of reading Judges is to reflect on the nature of temptation, and what it takes to live faithfully in a society that doesn't hold to God's ways. The Israelites were surrounded by people whose moral and ethical standards were much more relaxed then theirs. They could be called to obedience by a charismatic and powerful judge, but they weren't whole-hearted in their personal faith. Discipleship has always been hard; it's even harder when the alternatives are so easy and so tempting. So Judges is a lesson in the importance of strong communities that hold people together on their walk with God.



God, in a world where faith can be very hard, help me to remain faithful to you. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.

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