I. THE SCRIPTURE EMPHASIZES THE NECESSITY OF HAVING AN ONGOING REVELATION AND VISION CONCERNING GOD v.7,10
7. So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.
10. When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation [no vision], the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
Application: What have you challenged God to do in your life. What are you challenging Him to do right now. If you only live in what you can do for yourself, you are in danger of losing the revelation of who God is and of what He can do – you are also in danger of losing your spiritual edge. God’s desire is to give His children dreams and visions that are far greater than they are:
Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
II. THE SCRIPTURE IDENTIFIES THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCE OF SINNING AGAINST GOD v.11-15
Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; 12. and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. 13. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.
Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Hebrews 10:28-31 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30. For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
III. THE SCRIPTURE AMPLIFIES THE NEVER ENDING COMPASSION OF GOD TOWARD SINNERS WHO REPENT v.18
And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.
Psalm 103:8-17 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes 16. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
IV. THE SCRIPTURE ACCENTUATES THE NEED TO HAVE YOUR HEART MADE CLEAN BY THE POWER OF GOD v.16-19
Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17. Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do so. 18. And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. 19. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
Ezekiel 18:31-32 (NKJV) Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32. For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”
Ezekiel 36:25,26a,27 (NKJV) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26a. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; … 27. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.