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[ ] 6/3/2012 #987

THE CONSEQUENCE OF FORSAKING GOD


Judges 2:11-23

INTRODUCTION: Our founding fathers were mostly Christians. Our laws and government were established
on Christian principals. Belief in God was woven into Americas culture. America rose to greatness because
of Gods blessings. Today, her future is in great jeopardy of become like a third world country. This is of
immense concern for many people. The moral and spiritual fabric of America seems to be unraveling. Have
we as a nation disregarded the eternal God and His rules of right and wrong? Have we long been chipping
away at our own countrys foundation by living immoral lifestyles? We can learn from Israels history and
avoid repeating her mistakes.

What caused Israel to forsake God? What were the consequences for their departure from God? How can
a nation or an individual return to God?

I. CHOSEN PEOPLE
A. PRIVILEGES OF ISRAEL. (Deut. 7:6-8)

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special
people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love
upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all
people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto
your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of
bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deut. 7:6-8

B. PROMISE TO ISRAEL.
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the
land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Joshua 1:2

II. CARELESS PEOPLE


A. WARNING TO ISRAEL. (Deut. 6:4-25)
Moses taught the people of Israel the things God expected of them and what would happen if they failed
to obey His Word.

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye
should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom
and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this
great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh
unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so
great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only
take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen,
and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me,
Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all
the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and
stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness,
clouds, and thick darkness. Deut. 4:5-11
B. WAYWARDNESS OF ISRAEL.
The problem of Israels waywardness was a heart problem as it is with every human being.
In later years, Jeremiah the prophet said of Israel: But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart;
they are revolted and gone. (Jeremiah 5:23) God said that: The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) Jesus described the heart of every person in Mark 7:21-23. A wicked
heart will do perverse things.

1. They compromised with the enemy. (Judges 1:28)


And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy
them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make
marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto
thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the
anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye
shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven
images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to
be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. Deut. 7:2-6

2. They rebelled against God. (Judges 2:2-3)

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may
keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Deut. 4:2

3. They failed to teach their children.


The Israelites failed to teach their children the will and way of God. They even gave their children in
marriage to Canaanite families which was strictly forbidden by God. (Judges 3:6)

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. And thou shalt bind them for a
sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon
the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deut. 6:6-9

We are suffering from a terrible deficit of men taking up their responsibility in fulfilling their destiny that
God has for them to lead their families, their churches and their country.
C. WICKEDNESS OF ISRAEL. (v. 11-13)
God called Israels behavior evil. They turned from the true God to worship the gods of the nations around
them.

Baal was a male deity and Ashtaroth was a female deity worshipped in the Canaanite religion. Baal was
perhaps the most degraded and degrading form of worship ever practiced on earth. The Canaanites
engaged in temple prostitution, fertility rites, drunken sexual orgies of the most debased variety, idolatry,
snake worship, homosexuality and even human sacrifices.

Everything about Baal worship was opposite to the moral standards and values God had revealed to His
people.

The Canaanite religion was more appealing and attractive to their lustful hearts. The people could indulge
in their sensual, fleshly desires in the name of the gods. They could do almost anything they wished and
still be obeying at least one of the many Canaanite gods.
III. CHASTISED PEOPLE
A. GODS METHOD OF CHASTISEMENT. (v. 14-15)
B. GODS MERCY IN THE CHASTISEMENT.
1. Deliverers for Israel. (v. 16) LORD raised up judges, who delivered them
2. Disobedience of Israel. (v. 17) would not hearken unto their judges
3. Degrading of Israel. (Judges 3:7-8)

Our current political and economic hardships that we are experiencing in our nation may be directly
associated to our moral and spiritual condition.

General Douglas MacArthur: History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral
decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to
overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration to ultimate national disaster.

George Washington: During his inaugural address, Washington clearly communicated which foundation
the United States would be built upon, saying, The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the
pure and immutable principles of private morality.

John Adams, our second president, stated, Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

If President Adams is correct in his statement and Gallup is correct in their poll numbers, then have we
become a nation of people who are simply not moral enough to live in a self-governing society like the
United States?

The moral and spiritual decline of America goes back to 1962 when the United States court system began
to take prayer and Bible reading out of our public schools.

The practice of morality was taught to American children using the Ten Commandments and other
Scripture as its guide. People with other religious beliefs respected these teachings and understood that
biblical morality was essential for the foundation of our form of government and for the good for every
citizen.

Today, it is politically incorrect to suggest the Bible is to be used in giving moral direction for America.

Today, we are seeing the moral consequences in this generation of those who did not the privilege of
being brought up with moral instruction and the knowledge of God.

Will we continue to practice our sinning ways which will eventually bring destruction to our nation and all
other future generations? Will we continue to worship the gods of our own making?

LESSONS FOR LIFE:


We are witnessing the results from the lack of moral upbringing of children in our generations. We
determine our own standards of right and wrong according to our personal views and opinions rather than
the Word of God. The Lord has given us a warning. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that
put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
People in America must turn to God in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we refuse to return
to God, every American will suffer the consequences.