When the Israelites had finally entered the Promised Land, after years of wandering in the wilderness, it wasn’t long before troubles began. All it took was for a new generation to arise, one that didn’t “know the Lord” (Judg. 2:10), and a spiritual crisis started that, in many ways, infected the nation all through its history. It’s a problem that, indeed, has infected the Christian church as well. Read Judges 2:1–15. What caused the crisis, and how was it made manifest?
Verse 11 says: “Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (NIV). Each generation, one after the other, moved one step farther from God until the nation was doing exactly what the Lord had told it not to do. Due to their sin, the Israelites faced one crisis after another, but even then the Lord had not given up on them. He sent them judges (Judg. 2:16) who delivered them from their immediate woes. After the era of the judges, the nation entered a time of relative peace and prosperity under what has been called “the United Monarchy,” the rule of Saul, David, and Solomon, which lasted about one hundred years. Under David, then Solomon, it grew into a regional power.
The “good” times, though, did not last. After the death of Solomon (about 931 b.c.), the nation split into two factions, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Much of the blame can be placed on the misguided rule of Solomon, who, for all his wisdom, made numerous mistakes. “The tribes had long suffered grievous wrongs under the oppressive measures of their former ruler. The extravagance of Solomon’s reign during his apostasy had led him to tax the people heavily and to require of them much menial service.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 88, 89. Things were never the same again for God’s chosen nation. Everything the Lord had warned them not to do, they did, and thus, they reaped the doleful consequences.
Think about the problem of the next generation not having the values and beliefs of the one before it. How have we, as a church, dealt with this issue? How can we learn to transmit our values to those who follow us?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 2 – The Crisis (Within and Without)