SDA Sabbath School Lessons
April 13, 1996

#2 Ups and Downs

Read for this week's study: Judges 2:6-3:6.

Memory text: Judges 2:16, 17

Key thought:

During the period of the "judges," God's people fell into a repeated pattern of apostasy, suffering at the hands of their enemies, deliverance through a "judge" sent by their merciful Lord, followed by worse apostasy.

Roller-Coaster Religion.

The beginning of a roller-coaster ride isn't bad. There's a gentle clickety-clack as the mechanism pulls you smoothly up. The view becomes better. Soon you can see the whole park, and then the whole surrounding countryside. You can see just about everything--everything, that is except the track. Where's the track? Oh no! There it is . . . wayyyyy down there! Before you can decide whether to have a cardiac arrest or to sink into a deep coma, down you go. You won't remember any thoughts after that, because there aren't any; just a long, horrifying feeling as you go down, up, down, up, down.

"Roller-coaster religion" has a lot of ups and downs, but it always ends on the down side. A roller-coaster ride takes only a few minutes, but "roller-coaster religion" lasts a lot longer. The Israelites had a chronic case of it for hundreds of years. (See Judges 2:6-23.)



The Israelites had an up-and-down experience because they failed to maintain a steady relationship with God, to learn from their mistakes, and to learn from God's leading in the past. In spite of their failures, God mercifully delivered them from the distresses that they had brought upon themselves. We can learn from their story and have a steady experience by maintaining our faith connection with Christ each day.

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Last updated on April 21, 1996.