Joshua died, and the sons of Israel settled into the land. Little by little, they continued conquering it. Some inhabitants were allowed to remain and served the tribes. But eventually they also ensnared them.
The nation of Israel neglected two key areas in those years after Joshua died.
“Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'” ~ Judges 2:1-3 (NASB)
They disobeyed God’s command to tear down the altars. The Canaanites practiced animal and human sacrifices, as well as prostitution, in their worship of false gods and goddesses. God knew that His people would be tempted to join in the worship of those false gods.
“And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD which He had done for Israel…
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals, and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger.” ~ Judges 2:7, 10-12 (NASB)
They didn’t teach their children about the LORD. The next generation didn’t know firsthand the mighty works God had done for them! Their parents should have told them about God’s awesomeness and taught them God’s commandments.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (KJV)
It is our responsibility as parents, and as elders, to “tear down” the things in our lives that could lead us, and our children, away from serving and following God. And it is also our responsibility to teach these next generations about the amazing things God has done for us. Read the Bible. Share how God has worked in your life. Don’t neglect this!
Talk about God and His faithfulness, promises, and holiness. He is the Creator of all things- we did not create ourselves and evolve! Talk about Jesus and how He came to save us and restore our relationship with the holy, awesome and loving Creator God. Share the good news!