Signs of Moral Decay

We have had an enjoyable day with Christian and Bridget and Riley, Caedmon and Eliana. They did make it down to the pool for some time in the water. Eliana joined me and Andy (the dog) for a nap. She also helped me with my morning IV antibiotic infusion.

Last night we did make it for our outing with the grandkids to the McDonald’s playground and then to Sonic for milkshakes. Their parents beat us home before we returned. I was surprised they were up as early as they were this morning after the late night for them. But they were up and at ’em and ready for waffles. In all it made for a good time with grandpa and grandma. Now they have to return to the regular home routine.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…  “….And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”  Judges 2:10  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”   Judges 21:25

These two verses above, one from the early chapters and one from the last chapter of Judges summarize the moral and spiritual decline of God’s people one generation after crossing the Jordan River and entering the promised land. They stand before us today as an epitaph for any family, people or nation that has roots in a commitment to God’s ways.

The generation that was in Egypt saw the miracles, crossed the Red Sea, but rebelled after the spies brought back the report from the promised land are dead. The generation that renewed the covenant before the death of Moses and followed Joshua and crossed the Jordan in another miraculous display of God’s power and had seen God defeat enemies stronger and larger than they were are gone.

The next generation was to be the promised land conquering and occupying generation, but something happened. The children of Israel were unsuccessful in complete victory over the people in the land of Canaan. They began to oppress but not conquer, they began to accommodate but not separate themselves from the customs and gods of the people of the land. As a result, a generation arose that did not know the power of God or the ways of God as had previous generations.

Such is the fragile nature of spiritual allegiance and the critical value of the faith being passed on from one generation to the next. This is a challenge that Moses said rests with parents and then the community as a whole. Unlike Elisha (who succeeded Elijah as prophet) who cried out “where is the God of Elijah?” This generation did not know enough about the wonders of God to cry out for Him to “do the same again in their midst” as had been done in the past.

The next verse is as telling, “No King…everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” They had rejected or did not know they were to follow the Lord’s leadership in their life. There was also the absence of a King or a consistent governmental authority to maintain law and order and moral judgment, so everyone did what they thought was right. This condition is not only a consequence of the absence of leadership, but it is also the consequence of the failure of leadership and a culture that demands of its leaders, “we want to do our own thing, in our own way.”

This reminds me much of our culture today. One of the key roles of government is to protect its citizens not only from outside forces, but from themselves. That is why we establish laws and punish those who break those laws. At the core of all human laws are God’s laws. We need to understand that it can make all the difference even in a “secular society.” Someone once observed that our country was based on biblical law and ethics not because of a desire to force a certain belief system as much as an understanding that this foundation would permit the greatest order, freedom and blessing for all people.

In my life we have seen media reflect the idealized family in “Father Knows Best” to the other extreme of modern shows that portray  “Father as a Jerk.”  We find ourselves searching too few and too far between for any positive reflection of family life in the midst of the all the negative and dysfunctional models as “everyone does what is right in their own eyes.”

One thing that you can count on whether you were living in the times of the Judges or today is that our “Heavenly Father does know what is best.”