Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Good morning friends,
This is week 2 of the New Beginnings small groups. One group met after church on Sunday, another group meets at Pete and Laura Braggins' house at noon today, and two groups meet Wednesday, one at 5:30 at the church and one at 7 at Susan Orr's condo. I hope you can make one of them; it's good and important conversation.

Today's reading gives us the brief summary of the Book of Judges. Israel followed Joshua like they had followed Moses, and under his leadership they took possession of the promised land. After his death and the death of others in that generation, the problems God warned Israel about started to take place. The people became complacent, forgot God and worshiped other Gods. Throughout Judges the pattern repeats itself over and over: the people turn away to other gods, God allows them to be oppressed by other nations, God hears their cry and sends a "judge" to save them, the people follow God and the judge during his (or her) lifetime, but then abandon God again. How can we return to God today? How can we pass our faith down to our children?

God bless,


Judges 2:7, 10-19
7The people worshiped the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. …10Moreover, that whole generation was gathered to their ancestors, and another generation grew up after them, who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.

11Then the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and worshiped the Baals; 12and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. 13They abandoned the Lord, and worshipped Baal and the Astartes.

14So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the power of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring misfortune, as the Lord had warned them and sworn to them; and they were in great distress. 

16Then the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the power of those who plundered them. 17Yet they did not listen even to their judges; for they lusted after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord; they did not follow their example. 18Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord would be moved to pity by their groaning because of those who persecuted and oppressed them. 19But whenever the judge died, they would relapse and behave worse than their ancestors, following other gods, worshiping them and bowing down to them. They would not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.

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