What does it say? In the generations of Israel that followed Joshua, there was a gradual deterioration of loyalty to God. God, therefore, used the remaining Canaanites to punish the Israelites.
What does it mean? Fifty times in the Old Testament, God reminds Israel that He delivered them from slavery in Egypt and therefore expected them to be loyal and worship only Him. Yet in today’s passage, we see a gradual turning away from the Lord. He made a promise to the earlier generations to be their God. However, now that the later generations had received the blessings of this promise, they began to turn their backs on the Lord and worship the gods of the Canaanites. Ironically, God then allowed the Canaanites to overthrow the Israelites and send them back into slavery.
How should I respond? When we are faithful to God, He blesses us in many ways—not just as individuals but as His people in general. But what about the next generation? How can we help them continue to understand God’s ways and respond correctly in their lives? Here are three suggestions. First, read the Bible together. It is the very Word of God and will always bring results in our lives (Isaiah 55:10-11). Second, pray together. Talking to God with others puts your hearts and minds on the same page. Third, go to church together. Worshiping God together and connecting with others in a local church will help build a lasting legacy of faith.