4/19 Judges 2:17

17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.

After Joshua and the elders of his generation had died, the next generation that did not see all that God had done for them turned to idols. God raised up leaders called judges. They were men or women who were respected for their discernment and wisdom. They judged between people when there were disputes and led the armies into battle.

The language God uses for their backsliding is instructive, "whored." They had promised to love God with their all. He was like a husband to the nation. He provided and protected them if they were faithful to Him by keeping His good laws. God sees unfaithfulness to Him as adultery, a lust for another lover. That is why Joshua had warned the people that God is a jealous God.

Even though God had pity on them by raising up anointed judges that would deliver them from their enemies for a time, the Israelites would not listen to the judges. We will see this problem of not listening to God repeated throughout the nation's history. The prophets will tell them over and over that they refused to listen, and that is the reason for their defeat.

This was written to instruct us. What does your heart desire? Is it something other than God that you think will bring satisfaction to your soul? Are you listening to God's Word, obeying it, and being faithful in your love relationship with Him?

Prayer: LORD, temptations surround me. I know in my mind that You are the only true source of eternal satisfaction. Help me to see unfaithfulness to You the way You see it. Increase my love for You and help me to always listen and obey.