As I was reading the Bible this morning, I came again to the book of Judges. Early in the book, we are told that Joshua has died. It is always difficult for folks to lose a leader. For so long, they have followed Joshua’s leadership that they could hardly imagine what life would be like without Joshua around. It is easy to depend on familiar people to give us a sense of comfort and create boundaries for our lives. Now we are told that Joshua is gone: “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.”
We think we will never forget the good things that happened. How could the people forget the exodus from Egypt? It was so life-changing. Not only that, but it would be the singular defining moment for the people of God. If we do not tell the stories of our faith, rehearse, and memorize them, not only do they fade from our memories, but our children will have no idea about the story of God!
As a matter of fact, the verses immediately following Judges 2:10 show how rapidly the decline can take place: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.
What are the lessons from this tragic passage:
- Our memories are rather short. Someone may be excited about a blessing, and in a little while, complaining about their difficulties.
- Someone is always influencing someone. Judges’ writer says, ” they followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them.” We are to be an influence for God and yet if we are not diligent we will be influenced by people who do not rely upon or believe in God.
- Forsaking God happens where you would least expect to discover it. How do we safeguard against forgetting the Lord? Spend time with Him! Our love grows cold in any relationship when we begin to ignore and neglect the one we love. There is no substitute for spending time with our beloved. This would involve listening, speaking, studying, meditating to name just a few, we grow in all love relationships in proportion to the time spent together.
When you love someone, time spent is not akin to being incarcerated; in reality, spending time with someone you are falling in love with is to live as if time was flying.’
One thing for believers to keep in mind is that if the people could see God’s miracles and then desire to become like the neighbors who do not worship God, how much more do I need to be careful!
Have you taken time today to Praise Him? Have you set aside time today to remember How He has brought you through so many tough places and situations? He is a God who is to be praised! He is God who needs to be remembered! Then we need to pass the word along to our family and friends and give testimony to the God who leads, guides, and keeps. Time does not just happen, and we need to take the time to bask in His Presence.