Down the Road to Bokim
ˇ§The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?ˇ¨ (Judges 2:1-2)
ˇ§The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim.ˇ¨ The people of Israel wept aloud for the departure of the Lord in the place of Bokim. Why did the Lord leave His people? In short, it was because they broke the covenant with God and did not obey Godˇ¦s words completely. In a spiritual sense, they failed to demonstrate a victorious life of Gilgal. Let us examine the reasons why the people of Israel lost the presence of God, leading to the weeping of Bokim.
1. They didnˇ¦t have a strong and visionary leader that was suitable for the use of God. After the death of Joshua, there was no powerful spiritual leader who could influence that generation. Most judges lacked a spiritual vision and couldnˇ¦t bring a spiritual revival among the people. Samuel the prophet was the exceptional leader. We should pursue for the excellence of Godˇ¦s vessel. Do not be satisfied with a few moments of faithful experiences. Strive for spiritual growth and maturity. Keep a closer walk with God.
2. They didnˇ¦t obey God by wiping out all their enemies. God, through Moses, instructed the people of Israel that they should get rid of all the Canaanites from their land. However, many tribes did not obey the divine instruction. Consequently, their enemies caused them great trouble later. We should ask ourselves: do we have the determination to rid ourselves of our hidden sins? Are we willing to give up our bad habit that hinders our spiritual life and closer walk with God?
3. They didnˇ¦t fulfill the covenant of God, instead they made covenant with their enemies. The Most Holy God hated the rotten sins and cultures of the Canaanites. His will was to wipe out the sinful peoples by the hands of His people. But, his chosen people did not have His jealous heart towards sin. Not only they preserved the sinful people, but they also made covenants with them, provoking the anger of God. We should be determined to live a holy life and observe the words of God in all of our daily aspects. Ask God to grant you wisdom on how to deal with non-believers. We should discern the difference between loving people and hating their sinful behavior.
4. They didnˇ¦t teach their children to know God. When Joshua and his generation passed away, the next generation knew little about God and His mighty deeds because their fore-fathers failed to instruct them about Him. If the Christian parents fail to teach their children about God, the new generation wonˇ¦t know Him. Therefore, Christian parents have a great responsibility to instruct their children by the words of God so that they wonˇ¦t go astray.
5. They were unwilling to pay the cost because they were afraid of difficulties. Although the people of Israel had occupied a lot of lands in Canaan, they failed to pursue further new frontiers. They were satisfied with what they had. Besides, they were afraid of the iron chariots of the Canaanites who were living in the plains. They were lazy to cut down trees to expand their lots on the hills. If Christians indulge themselves in the things of this world, their spiritual life wonˇ¦t grow in the Lord. They will soon withdraw in their faith.
If we donˇ¦t want to lose the grace and peace of God, we should remember how God shows His presence and all the spiritual meanings in Gilgal. ˇ§Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you goˇK Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.ˇ¨ (Joshua 1:7,9)
By: Daniel To