Reading the book of Judges can just be maddening. Same story, second verse. We’ve illustrated the sin cycle previously. But why? Why did God allow this to happen?
I can just see it now. One of the “new atheists” claiming that God was some kind of egoist that if his people didn’t serve him, they were cast into oppression. This is often the claim of the new atheists. Angry that he brings justice and angry if he doesn’t.
What was happening?
Of course we read over and over that the people worshipped the gods of the lands, in particular the Baals and the Ashteroths. They were both gods of sexual immorality and encouraged the people into sexual depravity. And there was more. They required the sacrifice of babies. Listen to the Psalmist:
“They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them
but mingled with the nations
and adopted their ways.
They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons
and daughters to demons.
They shed innocent blood–
the blood of their sons and daughters
whom they sacrificed to the idols
so the land became polluted
They defiled themselves
by their actions
and prostituted themselves
by their deeds.”
– Ps 107:34-39
The Israelites “mingled with the nations and adopted their ways.” We know from the incident of Baal of Peor of their sexual immorality, and then here we read that they did not value the life of the babies.
Perhaps I should say it again. They “mingled with the nations and adopted their ways.”
The book of Judges is actually quite irritating to read as the things happen and again in the book of Judges. But maybe it’s also because it’s irritating to see that it is happening yet again, even now.