Serving a Holy God
Chapter two starts with the Lord's response to Israel's decision to follow their own way and to abandon the Lord. The Lord is only able to use His righteous justice to discipline the Israelites due to their sin and rebellion against Him. Today it is very sad to hear ministers and Christian Leaders say that it is all about grace and that the Lord does not discipline due to Yeshua taking our sin and dying for us. If that is correct, the Lord God Almighty has changed and then the Bible cannot be true. In other words we can sin, get involved in idolatry do what we like and we will not reap any consequences or discipline due to God's grace. This is NOT correct and you will not find this in the Tenach (Old Testament) or in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) Even if we are redeemed by what Yeshua did for you and for me it does not mean we can sin and get away with it.
This is what the Israelites did during the time of the Judges and put on airs that they were God's chosen and had been given their own land and that God would bless them. How wrong they were, God is Holy and if He did not administer His justice He would not be Holy. A Holy Father who loves His children will discipline and therefore we need to be following His ways and not man's ways.
Angel of the Lord
If you do a search on “malach” you will find that it means messenger. In certain contexts it can mean that the Messenger is an angel. Many Rabbi's and Hebrew scholars say that this messenger is a Human messenger or a prophet that is being referred to. This is one way of getting around the words. This still does not tell us who the messenger of the Lord is as the messenger speaks in the 1st person. If this was a prophet or an ordinary angel we would find that scripture would say, “This is a message from the Lord “or “Thus says the Lord”.
As Believers we know that we have a Trinity of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which gives us three choices of Who “The Angel of the Lord” is. I would suggest reading a book called “Who ate lunch with Abraham” by Asher Intrater, a Hebrew Scholar and Believer in Yeshua who unpacks the meaning of the words “The Angel of the Lord”. The Messenger then speaks to the Israelites at a place called Bochim (weepers). It is not known for sure where this place is but it could be near Shiloh. The Messenger we are told has come up from Gilgal and it was at Gilgal that the Israelites had dedicated themselves to the Lord. The Messenger reminds the Israelites that he had brought them up out of Egypt and given them the land that he had promised to their forefathers. He then goes on to say that he will never and I say take note, will NEVER break his covenant with the Israelites. NOWHERE does it say if you break my covenant I will break my covenant.
Verses 6 - 9 remind us about Joshua and this one can read about in Joshua 24. We are reminded that as long as Joshua was alive, the people had served the Lord. Joshua (Yehoshua) had served the Lord faithfully and had died at the age of 110 and was buried on his own property. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim.
What I find fascinating that in Judges 2:9 we read that Joshua was buried near the boundary of his property in Timnat - Here in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Ga'ash.
In Joshua 19:50 and 24:30 we have a difference in the name and spelling Timnath – Serah. Could this be a simple metathesis or it could be that Timnath – Heres is the ancient place name. If you look Serah is the reverse of Heres. I know you are going to say that Serah has an “a” in it but remember Hebrew has no vowels.
Verse 10 tells us that a new generation of Israelites had grown up who did not know what the Lord had done for Israel. It is very sad that the Lord's great works had faded and that the people had been drawn into idolatry and paganism. If the earlier generation had obeyed the Lord and cleared the land of idols and pagan places of worship this would not have happened. I believe that they knew about the Lord and what he had done but they felt it was irrelevant to their lives. There was no gratitude or thanks for what the people had done before. They knew all about Baal and Ashtoreth and how to worship them. I ask the question are we any different to this generation of Israelites? Do we give thanks to our ancestors for fighting two world wars to try to make the world a better place? Do we remember how many of our ancestors had to fight so that we could read the bible?
Verse 12 & 13 are one of the saddest verses in the bible. By worshipping other gods the Israelites had abandoned the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. As we carry on reading we can see that God was angry and everything that he had warned the Israelites would happen happened. Carry on reading and you will see that the Israelites did not think that they had abandoned the Lord God Almighty. They had felt that it was acceptable to have mixture. The Lord has standards and do we measure up to His standards. The Lords standards are not our standards. His ways are not our ways.
There is always a hope and we see that the Lord appoints Judges who He was with and would use them to bring the Israelites back to him. We now have Yeshua who is there for anybody who is willing to repent and ask Yeshua into their life.