My pastor preaches verse by verse through one book of the Bible at a time, and last week he began the Old Testament book of Judges. Being an eager beaver type I like to read ahead, so this morning I was pondering Chapter 2. Yesterday I had penciled in the margin of Chapter 1, “Why couldn’t they [the Israelites] manage to drive out all the other people? Surely, God could manage.” And then today I read 2:23–“That’s why God let those nations remain. He didn’t drive them out or let Joshua get rid of them.”
Okay, you have to read back a little further to get the “that’s why.” You see, Chapter 2 tells us that after all of Joshua’s generation died out, there was no one left who knew anything about God or who followed Him. (What? How did that happen?!)
Well, anyway, that ignorant generation started worshiping other gods and so God left all those other nations there in His Promised Land in order to test Israel and see whether they would stay on His path or not.
Whew! That is so sad on so many levels.
First, how did a whole generation not know about God? Didn’t their parents teach them? What happened to cause them to forget? Is that same thing happening today?
Second, I can’t help wondering what God is leaving in my life to keep me on track–you know, to test me and keep me honest. Ugh. I wrote out a little list and stuck it in my Bible right there on that page so it will be there when Pastor Jim preaches these words. I hope to hear more that day.
Maybe then I’ll be able to say, “Oh, so that’s why!”