Beware of the Wandering Eye

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Judges 10:6-8 (NIV)
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites.

Judges 10:6-8 (MSG)
And then the People of Israel went back to doing evil in God’s sight. They worshiped the Baal gods and Ashtoreth goddesses: gods of Aram, Sidon, and Moab; gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They just walked off and left God, quit worshiping him. And God exploded in hot anger at Israel and sold them off to the Philistines and Ammonites, who, beginning that year, bullied and battered the People of Israel mercilessly. For eighteen years they had them under their thumb, all the People of Israel who lived east of the Jordan in the Amorite country of Gilead.
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“Then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; they served the Baals, the Ashtaroth (female deities), the gods of Aram (Syria), the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. They abandoned the Lord and did not serve Him. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, and they oppressed and crushed Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.” -AMPLIFIED

As was mentioned yesterday, the Israelites had 45 years of peace. Tola and Jair had been good leaders/judges; for there is no mention of the people doing evil in the sight of the Lord during their tenure. Once they were both passed though we see immediately the Scriptures saying that the people did evil in the sight of the Lord.

In fact, we have a very poignant,disheartening remark made about the people, “They abandoned the Lord and did not serve Him.” How very sad and heart-breaking; once again they had turned away from the God who was their Great “I AM”. Their wandering eyes sought out instead the false gods of the nations around them. The very nations that they were supposed to have driven out of the land so that they were not inclined to turn to those false gods and away from the One True God.

As was mentioned yesterday, this temptation to serve these other gods appears to have become an obsession with the people of Israel. And this fascination with these false gods now seems to come with more and more frequency within the Scripture.

God had warned them way back in Exodus to beware of following false gods and idols, but they did not heed His warning. Now they are spiraling out of control. They did not turn to one idol, but many. Scripture tells us of the many gods that they sought out, “They worshiped the Baals and Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram and Sidon, of Moab and Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines.” -(VOICE)

“These gods would include Ashtoreth (of Zidon – 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:33), Baal-peor and Chemosh (of Moab – Numbers 21:29; Numbers 25:3; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 11:33), Melek (Molech, Milcom – of Ammon – Leviticus 18:21; 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 11:33), and Dagon and Baalzebub (of the Philistines – Judges 16:23; 1 Samuel 5:2-7; 2 Kings 1:2-3). Molech was particularly known as a god requiring human sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35).
From this it is apparent that a large part of the people were now seeking different gods in different parts of the country. This was to ‘forsake’ Yahweh. They no doubt kept up some formal observance of His requirements but they found the other gods more exciting and stimulating, and less demanding, and they could see them and be awed. It may also be that in some cases, such as the Philistines, Ammon and Moab, they were required to worship these gods because of the pressure from their oppressors.” -Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible

This blatant behavior of disregard to God’s laws and God’s desires was a declaration of their spiritual state at this point in time. They had no regard for what God wanted for them or from them. And we see, rightly so, God’s anger burned against them. God allowed the surrounding nations to oppress and crush them for 18 long years. Not because He hated them, and not because He wanted to wipe them out, but to drive them back to Him.

There are always consequences to sin; ALWAYS! We may not see them immediately, but the fruit of sin will be evident eventually. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.” -Galatians 6:7 (AMP)

Beware of the wandering eye and stay true to the One, True God.

“We are at our most foolish when we imagine that sin has our best interests at heart.” -Precept Austin

My Prayer:
Father, my desire is to stay true to you. I know though that this World holds many things that entice and tantalize me. It is actually quite easy to take me focus off of you, in order to focus on those other things. Forgive me when I have allowed this to happen and help me to remember that I belong to you. My first allegiance is to you, God, and I want my focus to remain wholly on you. Give me the strength and fortitude to forcefully say “NO” to those temptations and traps that the Enemy has set for me. I am your, Lord!

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