February 21, 2021


February 21, 2021

Pastor Jonathan Falwell


Were you a model child? What was the harshest punishment you ever received, and what had you done?

After the death of Joshua, Israel continued to serve the Lord during the lifetime of the elders who had outlived him, men “who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:7). Then the people began to drift away from God until they were in such a sinful state that God was forced to remove His hand of protection from them, leaving them vulnerable to the domination of enemies. When they cried out to God, He delivered them, and peace would reign again for a period of time. They would again become immersed in idolatry, need to be punished, cried out to God for deliverance, and the pattern would begin over. It was a never-ending cycle of people whose lives were no longer sold out to God. Judges ends with the sorrowful verse, “In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Are there lessons to be learned when the most blessed people in all the earth cannot be faithful to the Lord God of the universe? Definitely. Let’s see how we can make sure no cycle of rebellion can get a stronghold in our lives, requiring God to punish us.

Focal Passage: Judges 2

Forgetting the goodness of God yesterday is the first step toward our disobedience of

            God tomorrow

  • Read Judges 2:10. Why were the parents in Israel not passing on a reality of God in their lives? Read Deut. 6:4-9. What did God desire them to do?
  • Why was it so hard for the children of Israel to remember the miracles God had done for them? How did that cause them do start worshiping idols?
  • Read Judges 2:11-12. Why does it seem they could not make the connection between idol worship, going into slavery, and God restoring them to their home?
  • What was considered a “good life” by these people? How is it possible for people to attribute qualities of beneficence to a man-made idol?
  • How could that mentality cause them to forget the goodness of God?

Disobedience requires punishment

  • Read Judges 2:14-15. What was the biggest reason that Israel continued again and again to turn to idolatry? Why did God have to punish them? Read Eph. 6:23. What does God say about sin?
  • Why can God not tolerate sin?
  • Does every sin have a consequence? Why or why not?

Punishment doesn’t mean God stops loving us

  • Read Judges 2:16-18. What are some of the most encouraging phrases in these verses? How do you know that these are as applicable today as they were to the children of Israel?
  • Did you read in these verses where God said He would stop loving Israel? Why or why not? Why was His action always to forgive and restore?

So, stop the cycle!

  • Read verse 19. Why was it so much harder for them to return to God with each successive period of sin? Why can that be a lesson for us?
  • What is the surest way to stop the cycle of rebellion?
  • Thinking back to the lack of teaching in the homes in question 1, what are you doing with your children or grandchildren, to teach them dependence on God?


Reading through the Old Testament can be overwhelming as we wonder if there were many who truly loved God and remained faithful to Him. The people did their ritualistic sacrifices, chose to worship idols, were punished by God, became slaves to their enemies, cried out to God, restored, and then the cycle was replayed over and over again! Why did they not “connect the dots”? Each time we read the next segment of their history we have to ask, will they be faithful this time?

We need to pray that the lessons we see in the lives of the children of Israel will help us avoid the pitfalls of life, as we hold tightly to the hand of our Father.

There are those who are now teaching sinless perfection (i.e., a person truly saved does not sin again) which is causing great grief to some of the body of Christ. This section of Judges gives us a beautiful statement of security in Judges 2:18b: “For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.” Most of our enemies are the invisible demonic forces that we sometimes overlook, yet we are “oppressed and harassed” by them. Keeping your prayer life as an active, constant discipline is your priority. No relationship can grow if there is no communication. Bible study—not just reading—is also imperative. This is also a discipline you need to keep strongholds away, as you are taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in righteousness through God’s word. Follow these diligently and you will stop the cycle as you keep God as the focus of your life. Remember—and talk to your children about—His presence and power in your life, and know at all times you are as dependent on Him as a newborn babe is on their parent.