Tuesday, September 12, 2017
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).
Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)
The fourth cycle starts after Deborah’s demise. Israel does evil in the sight of the LORD again, so He causes the Midianites to dominate her seven years. Israel cries for help, and JEHOVAH God sends a prophet to them: “ Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;  And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;  And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice” (Judges chapter 6).
God pities Israel. Raising up a prophet and judge, Gideon, He gives them an amazing military victory over the Midianites. Israel’s land rests 40 years. (Judges 6:1–8:32) Nevertheless….
Chapter 8 reports: “ And Gideon made an ephod [image/idol] thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house….  And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.  And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:….”
Surprisingly, dear friends, Israel will grow even worse….