Stories from the book of Judges show the numerous negative consequences of Israel not following the Lord’s will. Soon after Israel entered into Canaan, people began to pattern their spiritual lives on the false religions of the Canaanites surrounding them-exactly what they were told not to do! Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only problem they were facing either.
Talk about a recipe for division and disunity among God’s people. The unity of the nation was to be found in their loyal obedience to the Lord of the covenant, the covenant that they had entered into with God. By doing, however, what was right in their own eyes-especially as they were being influenced by the surrounding nations-they were on the sure road to disaster. We are all fallen beings, and if left to our own devices, if left to follow the inclinations of our hearts, we’ll surely wander from the path that God calls us to walk on.
What do the following passages tell us about the spiritual and social conditions of Israel during the time of the judges?
“The Lord had through Moses set before His people the result of unfaithfulness. By refusing to keep His covenant, they would cut themselves off from the life of God, and His blessing could not come upon them. At times these warnings were heeded, and rich blessings were bestowed upon the Jewish nation and through them upon surrounding peoples. But more often in their history they forgot God and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. They robbed Him of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. They desired to appropriate to themselves the fruits of the vineyard over which they had been made stewards. Their covetousness and greed caused them to be despised even by the heathen. Thus the Gentile world was given occasion to misinterpret the character of God and the laws of His kingdom.” – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pages 20, 21.
|How do our own actions as a church impact those around us? What do they see in Seventh-day Adventists that would impress them in a positive manner?|