Something that I found interesting in Judges 1:6 was that after the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites into the hands of the Israelites, the Israelites chased down and cut off Adoni-Bezek's thumbs and big toes. Well, after doing some research, I found out that this was a common practice during that era to prevent kings from being warriors ever again. Without thumbs for grasping, or big toes for balance, warrior-like activity is nearly impossible.
The Israelites continued on attacking other cities claiming victory after victory. Or could they claim victory? They failed to drive out the idol-worshipping Canaanites from their land, and by doing so plagued the Israelites for generations. We see in our reading that they ruled over these Canaanites, but they did not drive them out. While they could claim a victory in battle, they could not claim a victory in their God-given assignment - establishing an all Hebrew environment.
In chapter 2, an angel of the Lord expressed his displeasure with them, and reminded the Israelites their part of the covenant:
Sometimes our adversity comes as the result of partial obedience to the Lord. We have been called to obey God. Not partially, but fully. Unfortunately, many times our consequences affect more than just ourselves. In this case, their descendants suffered from their lack of obedience too. "
These heathen nations that Israel failed to drive out caused Israel to compromise their convictions and zeal for God in the beginning, followed by a full embracing of their God-forsaking ways in the next generation. What one generation tolerates, the next embraces.
I pray that I will be very careful concerning the things that I tolerate.
In chapter 3 God leaves the Canaanites among the Israelites to test them and to teach them to take a stand. Did it work? Nope. They intermarried with them and served their heathen gods. Pleasing their neighbors just seemed more important to them than pleasing God.
Is that where my faith is? Am I a people pleaser, or a God pleaser? It is like that for us Christians today. We are saturated with non-believers in our lives that we need to make a stand and be firm to not compromise our beliefs and lifestyle.
In our NT passage, Jesus performs a miracle - water into wine. Jesus knew where His disciples were at and recognized that this was necessary. "
Seeing is believing, but let us not lose sight on what God has done for us in the past!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Judges 4-6; John 3:1-18