“And the Sons of Israel again did The Evil in the eyes of Yahweh. They served the Ba’als and the Ashtoroth, the gods of Aram and the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab and the gods of the Sons of Ammon, and also the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook Yahweh and they did not serve Him.”
After twenty-three years of Tola working to get people back on the “straight and narrow” path and then another twenty-two years of peace under Jair, the people again rebel. And this rebellion seems to be worse than all of the rest that have taken place before this one. It is like, in rejecting God, the people are just looking for anything and everything novel to worship. And so they seek after the gods of all of the surrounding lands. As their sin multiplies, now truly pluralism reigns supreme.
I find it interesting, as I look at my own American context, that I see much the same thing taking place. Today in America, people worship anything under the sun, from Buddha to the Virgin Mary, from the sun and moon to “Mother Earth,” from ancient religions like Hinduism or Islam to modern religions like atheism and neo-paganism. We have people running around who proclaim themselves to be witches and druids on one hand and others who make their lusts their own god. And all of it is done in the name of rejecting Yahweh.
There is a correlation, friends, between purity in the land and our submission to the God of creation and filth in the land and our rejection of the God who created all things. We often justify our sins by thinking they are not such a big deal, but we neglect to realize that our sins not only affect our own spiritual life, but they also affect our families, our churches, our communities, our nation, and our culture. And when we fail to stand against the sin and evils of the world around us, those things breed like cock-roaches and infest our communities, often leading our covenant children astray and into sin. And so goes ancient Israel and so goes modern America; sin is sin and it has the same kinds of effects across the ages. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we will settle for it.