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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

If

you can resist peer pressure.

Judges 2:11–15 (ESV)

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for harm, as the LORD had warned, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.

How is this even possible? They should believe, right?

Even if the Israelites deny all the miracles, they have to know that they’re immigrants. All the local graveyards are full of Canaanites. The locals can easily talk in long terms of time. The Israelites can’t without talking about Egypt.

So they have to believe something about what their parents are saying. What they don’t believe is the supernatural part. But it’s not like modern skepticism, where all supernatural things are denied. Rather, they start worshipping other gods. That seems impossibly stupid. What would cause them to do that?

We already saw the answer.

“So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” — Judges 2:3 (ESV)

The religion of the locals has sucked them in.


The challenge for us is to fully grasp that they were actually this weak and that we’re no better. Those words are easy to memorize, but they need to make sense or we won’t really believe them.

Peer pressure can do incredible things. The pressures are different nowadays, but we still “go along to get along” all too often. Parents know, and fear, the incredible influence of the crowd their kids run with. Nothing we do can make them immune.

Who among us can hold their ground when their friends are mocking them for their faith?

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, …
— Rudyard Kipling

https://poets.org/poem/if


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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