"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Bible Study: America Has Breached Her Grace Threshold
Judges 2:1-5 (NIV)
2 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’”
4 When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim.[a] There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
We see here in the scriptures that God has brought judgment upon His people already. It only took the death of their leadership for them to begin to spiral out of control. It is clear that God is well aware that the Israelites are headed down a bad road. His hopes are to scorn the Israelites in hopes they will repent, however just as prophesied they turn their backs on God. Instead they turn to idols and foreign Gods.
I. The Israel Then Is Clearly Similar to America Today
A. America Has Now Turned Their Backs On God
After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres[b] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
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.
B. Like Israel During Judges We Suffer From Generational Failure
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. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
C. We Continually Slip Further Into Moral Decay
20 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.” 23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.
D. Our Faith Just as Israel‘s Will Be Tested
1. The U.S. has arrived to a moment of testing
2. How we do will determine our destiny
3. It starts with the people, not the leadership (we need spiritual revival)
4. God has left the corruption in our midst to bond us and drive us into labor
5. There is a way out, but it will certainly take work
Judges 2:16-19 NIV
16 Then the Lord raised up judges,[c] who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
II. There Is Still Hope To Turn This All Around
A. Our God Is a Great and Merciful God
III. We Must Not Fail Him Again
We see in Judges 3:1-6 where God had given Israel chances and tested their faith. Unfortunately, they failed miserably and tested God’s patience with His chosen people. There are two lessons in this story. One being that even God faces failure by his creation in man and second, we should strive to pass the tests of life God brings our way.
Judges 3:1-6New International Version (NIV)
3 These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
A.The Israelites Failed God Miserably