Disobedience That Voids the Covenant

The book of Judges has a number of exciting accounts of how the Lord used yielded servants to deliver His people from bondage.  But at the very start of the book, God reminds us why He had to send individuals to deliver His people.  The Israelites were God’s chosen people, yet they habitually disobeyed God’s commands and in doing so they voided the covenant that God offered to them.  It wasn’t as if they were unaware of what God commanded. Judges 2:1-2 make that clear when the angel of the Lord says, “I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?”  The Lord here asks a soul-searching question – Why have you done this?  They had literally ignored God’s command and made leagues with the very enemies they were to drive out of the land.  So the Lord makes it clear that He will not complete the covenant because of their disobedience. (See Judges 2:3).  The rest of the book is an account of the pattern of how these enemies’ gods were a snare to the people of God.

How many times does this same situation happen in our lives?  God gives us a clear command, we just don’t follow through only to find ourselves in a similar situation to the Israelites – a seeming never-ending cycle of disobedience, judgment, captivity, cry for deliverance, and deliverance from our faithful God.  What a waste of time in our lives that could be used to bring glory to Him if we would only obey! We could avoid so much struggle and heartache in the Christian life if we would just obey from the beginning! God wants us to live in victory, not in defeat and discouragement, but we must do our part.

Hymn writer John Henry Sammis put it this way:

“When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

“But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

“Trust and obey,

For there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus,

But to trust and obey.”