I can’t seem to make it too far in the book of Judges before I’m under conviction and or in a state of frustration. At the end of Chapter two we read the words of God frustration with Israel:
20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
23 Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
Israel had again and again turned back to following the false gods of the people dwelling in their land. So in frustration God decided that He would “prove” their loyalty to Him by allowing the troubling parties to stay in their country, thus giving Israel the choice to choose the God of all creation or the created gods. God would send leaders in like, Joshua, Caleb, and Othniel and judges to govern and guide, and yet each time they either ignored or waited until the leader was gone and then went back to following the ways of the world. History would repeat itself again when Israel would cry out, God would deliver, and they’d follow for a while and then fall away. Such has been the case with Israel, America and the church.
I watch in sadness as the American church goes two directions. Those who stand on the ground they’ve been given refusing to look at any other method of worship as even a possibility, and those who take their worship far, far into a worldly perspective and turn godly worship into a worldly celebration without the holiness of God anywhere in the equation. And then there are those of us in the middle, watching and wondering when Jesus will come and take us out of this mess. But all the while there is a need for the gospel to go forth, but those willing to take it are fewer and fewer.
It hit too close home when I read that as soon as Johua, Caleb and and Othniel passed away, Israel went into disarray. Why wasn’t there a strong enough leader in their stead? I can say the same about the church, collectively and personally5sq. I’ve watched as strong leaders pass away or move onto other ministries and those in the balance are not ready and have no desire to be ready.
Was it the previous administrations fault?
Did Joshua, Caleb and Othniel drop the ball in training others to be in their place?
Possibly but I doubt it, and that excuse only flies so far. At some point people see the need and choose to either step up or step back. If everyone steps back, succeeding that is usually the ruination of a body of believers. They begin getting lethargic in their service to the Lord, their personal walk with God goes by the way side and slowly but surely a community is in captivity of Satan because the saints of God failed to step up in the position of leader.
I wish I had the answer. Following last week’s election there should have been people lining the altar on Sunday and proclaiming that they were to ready to step into the places God had opened. I didn’t see it at my church, did you see it at yours?
What’s it going to take for people to realize that God may call us home soon and there’s a world in need of Jesus that we were supposed to tell. Or… He may not call us home for a while and He’ll tire of us as He did Israel and say… you wanted the world… there ya go. Welcome to captivity.
My prayer is that one by one we’ll declare our loyalty to God and our churches and our country will turn back to God. But it has to start with us singly looking at God’s desire for our life.
P.S. ~ He doesn’t call pew sitters. Get busy!