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Verses 6-10

1. Review of Joshua’s era 2:6-10

This paragraph is almost identical to the one in Joshua 24:28-31. Its purpose is to resume the history of Israel at this point, where the Book of Joshua ended, and to contrast the era of Joshua with the era of the judges (cf. 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1-3). The key issue was whom the Israelites "served" (or "worshiped" NRSV). The Hebrew verb so translated (’abad) forms an envelope structure around this passage (Judges 2:7; Judges 3:6), as well as appearing in its middle (Judges 2:11; Judges 2:13; Judges 2:19).

"After a chapter that summarizes the incomplete wars of occupation, the reader is introduced to the threatening wars of liberation that characterize the period of the judges. To explain how Israel fell prey to powerful oppressors, the author reviews events since the death of Joshua." [Note: Wolf, p. 393.]

"Here [Judges 2:10] we come to the heart of the second-generation syndrome. It is a lukewarmness, a complacency, an apathy about amazing biblical truths that we have heard from our childhood, or from our teachers. . . . It is a pattern which challenges churches and even nations, and nowhere does it work with more devastating effect than in Bible colleges and theological seminaries where, day after day, we come in contact with God’s truth. . . . History tells us that not even the most vivid display of the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit will prevent this problem.

"But why? Why did it happen then, and why does it happen to us? . . . We must realize two things about this kind of complacency. The first is something Erich Fromm once pointed out when he said, ’Hate is not the opposite of love. Apathy is.’ To be complacent in the face of Calvary is the greatest possible rejection of God. The second is that complacency grows like a cancer. . . . Maybe part of the problem lay with the first [Joshua’s] generation. Interestingly, however, the book of Judges puts none of the blame there. The second generation was held responsible for their failure, and God would not allow them to shift the blame." [Note: Inrig, pp. 26-27.]

"People cannot thrive on the spiritual power of their parents; each generation must personally experience the reality of God." [Note: Wolf, p. 393.]

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