Review from last post…
Instead of defeating their enemies, Israel put them to “tribute”: a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection. Instead of obeying the Word of the LORD they felt like they had a better solution. Why defeat them if you can have them work for you and to help make your life easier?
I would submit that that is what we have done with sin. Instead of killing it as God has commanded we are putting it to “good use”. We make sin work for us. Next week we will see how that worked out for Israel and the implications for us.
In Judges 1:27-36, we see that Israel failed to complete the conquest of the Land. In Judges 2:1-3, God pronounces judgment for that disobedience:
Now the angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”
Israel’s unfaithfulness was in stark display for the whole Land to see in Judges 2:11-15:
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for harm, as the Lord had warned, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.
As you continue through that chapter God does send deliverer after deliverer only to see Israel rebel against Him. I am sure that they thought that they could “handle” the enemy nations by making them do their bidding, but instead it was Israel that was brought into slavery.
My contention is that is what happens to us and sin. Paul tells us in Romans 6:6-11 that we are no longer enslaved by sin it has no power over us:
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Yet, we continue to think that we can use sin for our own benefit. Let it not be so! Instead God has called us to be faithful in serving God in Romans 6:12-14:
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.