The people of God, Israel, finally came into the land of milk and honey, the Promised Land. During the life of Joshua and while the elders of his time were alive all was well; Israel served God. When all those who had witnessed everything the Lord had done for Israel before they entered the Promised Land were dead, things began to change.
The people became comfortable with where they were and began to mingle with the foreigners and strangers. They were obedient and followed God’s Law when, and if, it was convenient and to their liking. Israel was on a downward spiral; falling farther and farther away from God.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.
Because Israel had no king, they had no leader; no one to look to for direction and guidance, no one to focus their energies. They looked around at the cultures of other people and other gods and like sheep without a shepherd they were led astray. The other gods were seductive and made life enticing. The followers of these gods seemed, and many were, prosperous and happy, living “the good life.” What they did not know and what Israel did not see is that unlike the true God these other gods could not give them a future and a hope.
In straying from God and being only partially obedient, God’s chosen people became like the pagans. Life was not really prosperous and happy, it was anything but good. Life was one of violence, idolatry, sexual abuse, lawlessness, and even civil war. A king was needed.
Moving away from God and what is true brought the destruction of their families and nation. Disobedience and rebellion have consequences. God would not be disrespected and disobeyed forever. He would act and there would be judgment.
The same is true today. We will pay the consequences for our actions. The time will come when God will act and disobedience and rebellion will be judged.
Rejoice, oh young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
I wonder how much time is left before God acts?