1. WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.
Judges 1:6,7 - "Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, 'Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.'"
Those who live by the sword will die by it. The law of sowing and reaping is well established. As the apostle Paul wrote - "Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (Gal. 6:7,8; cf. Jud. 9:56,57).
2. WE MUST TEACH THE NEXT GENERATION ABOUT THE LORD.
Judges 2:10 - "When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel."
If we do not properly teach our children and instill in their hearts the ways of the Lord, they will not know God or obey His will. God has done amazing things; are we instructing our youth in these matters (cf. I Sam. 12:24)? Our personal influence can only go so far, but if we teach the next generation to teach the generation after them, etc., the influence for good will continue until the chain of teaching is broken.
3. WHEN WE WORSHIP FALSE GODS, WE PROVOKE THE LORD TO ANGER.
Judges 2:11,12 - "Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger."
God is well aware of our activities here below, including what we esteem and worship (cf. I John 3:20). God has always despised the worship of false gods. The very first of the Ten Commandments stated: "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exo. 20:3). God's hand is against the disobedient; they will not prosper indefinitely (as the next lesson illustrates).
4. SIN LEADS TO SERVITUDE, BUT THE WISE WILL SORROW OVER THEIR SINS & SEEK GOD'S SALVATION.
"They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do so. And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them."These verses are so sad. Moses and Joshua had led the nation faithfully and pointed them toward faithfulness. But the people wandered from the way of truth. Sin always leads to servitude, though the sinner does not always realize his enslavement. Eventually the people woke up and wisely cry out to the Lord. God had pity on the truly penitent, as He still does today.