Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. They served the images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. They abandoned the Lord and no longer served him at all. – Judges 10:6
Israel had been ruled under several judges by this point, including Gideon. It wasn’t all that many years after Gideon that Israel went back to its old ways of abandoning God to serve the baals. They turned to the gods of the Canaanites and roused the Lord’s anger against them. In fact in this 10th chapter, the author tells us that Israel not only abandoned God but no longer served him at all!
It’s a dangerous thing to turn one’s back on God and live life as one sees fit. The Bible teaches us that there is a way that seems right to man, but its path lead to destruction. One of the key phrases from this book that identifies the heart of Israel at that time is that every man did what he thought was right in his heart. The people really didn’t listen to God or keep his word. They lived in sin and practically dared God to do something about it. Accordingly, how many people still live that same way in this day and age? I would gather that most people do. People are naturally rebellious creatures who don’t want to be told what to do or how to do it or when to do it or where to do it or with whom to do things. People like being independent and self-reliant. The sad part is that God made us to be reliant upon him to provide for us. Well, in our being made in his image, he gave us intelligence and self-will, a deadly combination. We must be sure to always trust in God, serve him and only him, and never to turn our backs on him. He loved us enough to die for us and come back from the dead in order to redeem us. Why wouldn’t we want to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Living life without God is tantamount to death!
Father, never let me become so hard in my heart that I turn away from you and live life independent of you. You are the source of all life, so I would be extremely foolish to abandon you for personal pleasure or pursuits. May I always find my strength and source of provision in you. You have my love and devotion. I am forever yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.