By now, in our journey this Lent, I think we’ve gotten a pretty good sense of the austere nature of God’s promises.
We’ve looked at promises of blessing that positively set our hearts to frolicking.
But there are those . . . those promises of woe.
“The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim
and said, “I brought you up out of
and led you Egypt
into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said,
‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not
make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall
break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me.
Why have you done this? And I have also said, ‘I will not drive
them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their
gods will become snares to you.’” [Jg 2:1-3]
Covenant disobedience would reap the promise for bad…for their own good.
Had He not warned it would come to pass? That dwelling in the presence of God’s enemy would be their undoing? They broke covenant with God with an unfinished conquest, idolatry, and apostasy—common spiritual enemies of our day. God’s protection was rejected in that disobedience and oppression would quickly follow.
As He promised.
And judgment would, too, follow.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors,
another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what
he had done for
. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of Israel
the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God
of their ancestors, who had brought them out of
They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around
them. They aroused the LORD’s anger because they forsook him
and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against
LORD gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them.
He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they
were no longer able to resist. Whenever
went out to fight, Israel
the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them,
just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
[Jg 2:10-15 emph mine]
We have received our promises of woe from the Lord. He has warned of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in the last days.
There will be a “Bokim” . . . a place of misery and great weeping.
Who can bear it?
One that lives divided in two camps cannot stand in peace and good conscience before our holy Lord. The enticements of a hostile enemy do bring about destruction.
As He promised: “A house divided cannot stand.”
We must be as serious about eradicating everything opposed to God in our lives…as serious as He is of the promise.
Show us, Omniscient One, the threats that lie within. And by Your power drive them all out, that we may live in holy peace.