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Don’t Forget

Weekly Devotionals

Don’t Forget

10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

Judges 2:10-15

The Book of Judges is one of the most entertaining books of the Bible.  It contains many heroes that we grow up hearing about in Sunday School…Deborah, the only woman to righteously lead the Israelites; Gideon, and the story of the fleece and his army of 300; and of course, the mighty Samson, the strongest man who ever lived.  The book almost reads like the anthologies of the Greek gods.  However there is a recurring theme that runs through the course of every story, namely a cycle of 1) Israel’s sin/rebellion → 2) enemy oppression → 3) Israel’s cry for help → 4) God’s judge/hero/deliverer to save.

But there is one crucial step that comes before this cycle of sin → salvation.  Judges 2:10 reads, After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.  Because they didn’t know the Lord and they didn’t know what He had done for Israel, they forgot Him and began to follow the other nations’ gods around them.

If you’ve been around the church long enough, you likely have heard people talk about the importance of reading the Bible…that we need to know the Word of God, or that there is a lack of biblical literacy.  I agree with this.  As a general whole, we in the church these days don’t know our Bibles very well.  We definitely need to read the Word, the entire Word of God.  Whether we get on a reading plan and go through the Word every year or read it more slowly over the course of years, we need to read the Word.

But it’s not enough to merely read the Word.  Israel, in that day and age, was an oral culture.  Most people didn’t read and write.  They heard and spoke.  It is highly doubtful that the people never heard the stories of the Exodus, the Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the 10 plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, etc.  The question is, did they know the stories and did they know the God of those stories…the same God of their present?

As we read the Word of God we must immerse ourselves into it’s world and the reality of our God who is the same yesterday, today and forever.  As we read the Word, don’t just know what it says, seek to know the One who is behind it all, to know His heart, to know His values.  This, then, is how we can effectively live in our present.  As many different gods of this world are trying to lure us away from the One and Only God and His values, what else will cause you not to forget?