OceanSide church of Christ
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THE ISRAELITES’ APOSTASY
TEXT: Judges 2:1-5
THESIS: To not fall into apostasy because of disobedience.
· The Lord was with Judah and drove the inhabitants from the land (Jos. 1:13-15).
· The verses through the close of chapter one are recounted from Joshua 16-17.
· They did not drive out the inhabitants of the land, nor did they “utterly destroy them” (Deut. 20:16-17).
· This would be the downfall of Israel as the story unfolds over a period of 400 - 500 years.
· The Israelites would have a messenger from the Lord reminding them of their covenant with God concerning the land of Canaan.
· They were reminded:
o What God had provided for them
o What God had promised them
o How God would punish them
· Let’s notice together lessons from the early period of the Judges.
A. A brief picture is given of the provision of the Israelites (Judges 2:1)
1. I made you go up out of Egypt (v. 1).
a. “For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:” (Josh.24:17).
b. This is the acknowledgement of the children of Israel in response to Joshua’s call to service to the Lord.
2. I brought you unto a land (v. 1).
a. They also acknowledge the land unto which they are brought.
b. “And the Lord drave out form before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God” (Josh. 24:18).
c. Their response then in front of Joshua was great; however, now they are rebuked by the angel of the Lord.
B. Though they chose to serve the Lord, their actions show that they were not following the Lord’s commands.
1. Evidently, as each tribe went to their inheritance (Josh. 24:28), they had different ideas of what was meant by serving the Lord.
a. Judah began strong taking their inheritance with Simeon (Judges 1:17-19).
b. Benjamin would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 21).
c. Manasseh would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 27).
d. Ephraim would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 29).
e. Zebulun would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 30).
f. Asher would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 31).
g. Naphtali would fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land (v. 33).
h. Dan would not take their inheritance and would be driven northward (v. 34).
i. The Israelites charged the Canaanites a tax and allowed them to live in the land (v. 28).
2. Possibly, they had not fully put away the idols from them (Josh. 24:20).
3. The idols likely came from the inhabitants that now dwelt among them.
4. They had not fully driven out the inhabitants and utterly destroyed them; therefore, they were guilty of disobedience.
A. This land was a land of promise (Gen. 17:8-9).
1. The land of Canaan was theirs for the taking.
2. God was fighting for them (Deut. 3:22), just as He had promised.
3. The inhabitants of the land were given into their hand (Deut. 2:24).
B. The angel of the Lord reminded the Israelites that God had “brought you unto the land which I sware unto your father; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you” (Judges 2:1).
1. God had promised this land to them.
2. He swore with an oath to give it to them.
C. There were two sides to the covenant and God said He would not break His.
1. God rewards those who serve him.
2. They were to “make no league with the inhabitants” (v. 2).
3. They were to “throw down their altars” (v. 2).
4. But, they had not obeyed God.
5. God asked, “Why have ye done this?”
a. God certainly knows the answer, but wants them to acknowledge their sin against Him.
b. This is the sign of a Just and Holy God.
A. Because of their disobedience, the Israelites would suffer punishment.
1. God would not drive out the inhabitants of the land.
2. They would continue to be a thorn in the side of the Israelites.
B. In the cycle of apostasy continued in the history of the period of the Judges, the inhabitants of the land would continue to influence the Israelites to do evil in the sight of the Lord (2:11-13).
1. “and their gods shall be a snare unto you” (2:3)
2. Lessons should have been learned by the Israelites not to forsake God, but the influence of those around them will have a terrible impact upon them.
1. God has promised us great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4).
2. These promises are not given without condition.
3. There is a plan of salvation to obey, a plan of worship to approach God, and a plan for living that we might serve him acceptably in the Christian life.
4. Let us learn from the Israelites that punishment comes to those who reject God’s promised provisions.