Bad Relationships of Israel

Bad Relationships of Israel – The People of God Enter Into Bad Relationships

Bible Study Lesson — Judges 3:1-6

Israel and bad relationshipsIn Judges, we continue to find a pattern of Israel disobeying God, then finding deliverance from a judge who comes into their path as leader. They seem to enter into bad relationships with their enemies over and over again.

Judges shows how the Israelites moved into the land of their enemies and married into their culture; adapting to customs and worshiping the gods of their new families.

Israel Intermarries and Accepts Idols

Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly).

These nations are: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.

They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses.

The sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and they took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.. – Judges 3:1-6 NASB

Patterns of Loyalty and …

As we are just moving into the beginning of the Book of Judges (it gets more interesting later) we will see certain patterns of evil, a deliverer, and then the people coming back to God with a lesson learned – until the next time.

Before we totally condemn the nation of Israel, let’s take a look at ourselves. How much do we succumb to peer pressure, especially when the influence is coming from someone we truly love?

For instance, if our spouse decides to get out of the habit of attending church on Sundays, we could eventually find ourselves missing a week here and there – or dropping out with them.

It’s really that easy so we have to be careful of our behavior and help our loved ones gently to stay on the right track.

This is what the judges did. They nudged Israel back to God (with His direction) all through this book.

Faith and Relationships

Let’s keep in mind that the Philistines and Canaanites were good looking people. And, they lived a carefree lifestyle without the commandments of God to direct their way.

The pagan rituals and worship services looked very attractive to someone from the outside.
Israel fell into the trap and before they knew it, they were basically no different from the people they once despised.

Our “Idols”

The worship of Baal (strength and fertility god) and Asherah ( mother goddess of the sea) was common among these foreign people and Israel found itself caught up in the rituals. Even though it’s hard to believe, used them to replace God.

If we are not careful, we can let our other interests interfere or take precedence over our quality time with God.

These include hobbies, sports, and other activities. I know these things are important for relaxation and good mental health but how much time do we spend thinking about them in relation to the time we spend with God? A question to ponder.

Friendship

With that said, I am not trying to discourage developing friendships with people who do not believe the same as us.

As Christians, we are obligated to not judge other people for their shortcomings but that does not mean we should deem the behavior as acceptable.

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Finally, we have to be careful not to let these friends or family members engage us in practices we know to be against God’s commandments.

Just politely say “no.”. You don’t have to give an explanation.

Love in Christ

– Bob

If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.

 

Read Today’s Passage Here:

New American Standard Bible

New King James Version

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