Israel Serves Baals
11 Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and [e]served the Baals, 12 and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. 13 So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.
16 Then the Lord raised up judges [f]who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers. 18 When the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them from 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 and afflicted them. 19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways. 20 So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice, 21 I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, 22 in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it as their fathers [g]did, or not.” 23 So the Lord allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not give them into the hand of Joshua.
Not only is it important for us to train our children what is right and good, is important that they own it for themselves. Simply hearing about the miracles their ancestors saw was not enough for the Israelites, and they turned away from God to their own ways all too quickly.
If finding God truly is about a relationship, it needs to be treated as such. Following God isn’t about obeying a bunch of rules, it’s about spending time with Him, choosing daily to seek God. Anything less is just religion, the very thing Jesus came to destroy.