Devotion – Judges 18

Before I can apply this chapter of Judges, I need to help you understand what is happening.  The writer of Judges wants us to understand some of the historical events that happened during this time period.  On a greater level, he wants us to understand what happened to God’s people when they lacked spiritual leadership.

The Danites (tribe of Dan) were one of the twelve tribes of Israel.  God had led His people from Egypt into the Promised Land, and each tribe was given an “inheritance” which was a section of land that would be theirs.  The tribe of Dan was sent to the southwest end of Israel when they conquered the land in the book of Joshua.  But in this location, they were under constant pressure from the Philistines and other nations.  God’s desire was for them to trust Him and live in the land He had given them.  But these people decided they had a better plan.  They learned of a rich area that was inhabited by people who couldn’t defend themselves in the northern section of Israel, so they decided to leave the land God had given them and go secure a land for themselves.

On the way, they learned about the idolatrous priest and Micah’s idols (from chapter 17).  They stole the idols and forced the priest to go with them. They then went to this new city, conquered it, and moved in to the new city.  And they did all this with “God’s blessing” (not really).  In the end, the city of Dan became a problem for all of Israel because it became a mecca of idol worship in the land.  God would eventually judge the entire nation for this sort of idolatry.  Although they were victorious, the Danites had disobeyed many of God’s direct commandments to them.  God was not blessing them.  In fact, they were setting themselves up for judgement which would eventually be devastating.

For all of human history people have been doing their own thing and trying to say that God showed them that is alright.  People are pretty ingenious as they come up with ways to have God affirm their sinful behaviors.  Several Christian denominations have endorsed and ordained homosexual priests and pastors, declaring that God affirms their lifestyle.  Married couples declaring that God led them away from their marriage to the “right person.”  People with incessant greed arguing that God wants them to be rich so they can give a tithe back, all the while they are stepping on the poor to gain riches.  The problem with these statements are that they directly contradict the direct teachings of Scripture.  Instead of seeking God and listening to what He says, people tend to decide what they want to do and then find a way to say that God is blessing their efforts.

God loves you!  He wants the best for you.  But the best is always on God’s terms.  He demands obedience to his commandments.  We cannot do whatever we want and expect God to bless us.  God’s blessings in life come when we trust Him and obey Him.

What area of your life needs adjustment to God.  Is there an activity or attitude in your life that is against God’s commands?  Adjust yourself to God and He will bless you.  But be assured, God will not adjust Himself to your behavior.

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