Reading through the Bible together
There is a seemingly endless cycle in Judges: forsaking God, enemy plunder, a cry to God for help, a God-provided deliverance, and a return to stubborn ways. How often this cycle of returning to old selfish ways has repeated itself in my life, I’m ashamed to admit. Far too often when today’s “Baal” worship entice me to serve self, I haven’t taken the time to stop and actively recount God’s faithfulness to me. The temptation is to only consider the immediate needs of the moment and to forget what God has done in my life. Israel didn’t stop to recount God’s faithfulness in bringing them out of Egypt, His manna every day through the desert, His power in overthrowing Jericho. To a new generation, those were simply stories of an era long ago. Moses and Joshua were dead. That was then, this is now.
The reality this new generation faced was life in a land of great opportunity, relative ease, a land flowing with milk and honey. Why should they continue to fight? Likewise, when we allow into our lives that which God has commanded us to utterly destroy, to completely eradicate, it serves as the thorn in our sides which He promised it would become (2:3). Allowing the enemy of selfishness and self-centeredness to grow in strength will eventually destroy us. What is the “Baal” in your life that you are tempted to worship?
Brennon Kirstein, Chaplain
Southern Adventist University