When Everyone Does As They See Fit (Week 12)
After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, saw the walls of Jericho tumble down, and then experienced victory after victory as they possessed much of the land of Canaan, one would think their lives would be blessed and all would go well with them. However, they failed to possess all of the land given to them and did not wipe out the pagan worship there as God had instructed.
God saw this failure as rebellion on their part and declared that their remaining enemies and pagan gods would become a snare and a thorn in the side of the Israelites. The book of Judges tells how over some 300 years, they fell into a cycle of sin—idolatry would lead to apostasy and result in oppression by their enemies, and then, after they repented, God would raise up a leader to defeat their enemies and usher in a period of peace—only for the cycle to begin again. The very last verse of Judges sums up that period in this way: “Everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25b NIV).
The lesson of this period of Israelite history—when we depart from the ways of God, life breaks down and disintegrates on every level—is painful. It is a lesson, however, that every generation of believers must learn. We need to keep our lives pure and free of sin so that we will be pleasing to the Lord and can walk fully in His blessings. Yes, as Christians, we walk in the grace of the Lord who has forgiven our sins through Christ Jesus. But unchecked sin still affects us and leads to bondage and oppression. Jesus paid the price not so that we can continue living in sin but so that we would use His power to overcome sin and break its hold on us.
To better understand God’s dealings with His people, join me for this Out of Zion podcast episode, “When Everyone Does As They See Fit.” Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!
Dr. Susan Michael is host of the Out of Zion podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
About this episode:
This week we read the entire book of Judges covering a period of over 300 years when the children of Israel went through cycles of sin, resulting in oppression by enemies, then after their repentance God would raise up a leader to defeat their enemies and usher in a period of peace, only to have the cycle begin again. The highlight from this period is the beautiful story of love and grace found in the book of Ruth. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for April 19-25, covering Judges and Ruth.
Going Deeper in Week 12: The Tabernacle at Shiloh
Susan interviews Dr. Scott Stripling, Director of Excavations at ancient Shiloh. He describes the exciting archaeological evidence he has uncovered pointing to a sacrificial system at Shiloh and verifying the history of the city found in the Bible.