a culture of compromise
Judges 3:5-13 (JDV)
Judges 3:5 But they settled among the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
Judges 3:6 The Israelites took their daughters as wives for themselves, gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshiped their gods.
Judges 3:7 The Israelites did what was evil in Yahveh’s eyes; they forgot Yahveh their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs.
Judges 3:8 Yahveh’s anger burned against Israel, and he sold them to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim, and the Israelites served him eight years.
Judges 3:9 The Israelites cried out to Yahveh. So Yahveh raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, as a deliverer to save the Israelites.
Judges 3:10 The Breath of Yahveh came on him, and he judged Israel. Othniel went out to battle, and Yahveh handed over King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram to him, so that Othniel overpowered him.
Judges 3:11 Then the land had peace for forty years, and Othniel son of Kenaz died.
Judges 3:12 The Israelites again did what was evil in Yahveh’s eyes. He gave King Eglon of Moab power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in Yahveh’s eyes.
Judges 3:13 After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and struck Israel down and took possession of the City of Palms.
a culture of compromise
Othniel’s rescue of the Israelites established a pattern that the other Judges followed. The fact that the Israelites were rescued by God’s power is encouraging, but the fact that they went back to forgetting God as soon as Othniel died showed a chronic weakness.
Note that the “Israelites cried out to Yahveh” (9). They prayed for deliverance from the oppression of King Cushan-rishathaim. They did not pray for deliverance from the real enemy. The reason King Cushan-rishathaim was a problem was that the Israelites themselves were weak and lacked the courage to stay true to God. They wanted to blend in with the culture around them.
Christians, before we cry out to God for deliverance, we had better be prepared to cry out to him in repentance. Often trouble comes to us for the same reason it came to the Israelites here. Our failure to stay committed to God and his covenant through Christ is often the cause behind the suffering. We can pray for deliverance, and God in his compassion will often send Othniels to rescue us. But if we do not deal with the underlying cause, the pattern will repeat.
LORD, give us wisdom to stand for you and stay true to your covenant in the midst of a culture of compromise.