Bible: Judges 2:11-23

A Monotonous Cycle

2:11 The Israelites did evil before 1  the Lord by worshiping 2  the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors 3  who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped 4  them and made the Lord angry. 2:13 They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars. 5 

2:14 The Lord was furious with Israel 6  and handed them over to robbers who plundered them. 7  He turned them over to 8  their enemies who lived around them. They could not withstand their enemiesattacks. 9  2:15 Whenever they went out to fight, 10  the Lord did them harm, 11  just as he had warned and solemnly vowed he would do. 12  They suffered greatly. 13 

2:16 The Lord raised up leaders 14  who delivered them from these robbers. 15  2:17 But they did not obey 16  their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 17  them. They quickly turned aside from the path 18  their ancestors 19  had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not. 20  2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people 21  from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 22  when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 23  2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 24  would again 25  act more wickedly than the previous one. 26  They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 27  and bowing down to them. They did not give up 28  their practices or their stubborn ways.

A Divine Decision

2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel. 29  He said, “This nation 30  has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors 31  by disobeying me. 32  2:21 So I will no longer remove before them any of the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. 2:22 Joshua left those nations 33  to test 34  Israel. I wanted to see 35  whether or not the people 36  would carefully walk in the path 37  marked out by 38  the Lord, as their ancestors 39  were careful to do.” 2:23 This is why 40  the Lord permitted these nations to remain and did not conquer them immediately; 41  he did not hand them over to Joshua.

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