Getting into trouble is no fun at all, is it? This is exactly what we find happening to the children of Israel; they have been disobedient to the Lord and He is about to chasten them – to take them to the woodshed, if you will. Let’s take a look at Israel’s circumstances and mistakes so that we might learn from them.
First, an entire generation of the children of Israel had not been a first hand witness of God’s power in conquering and defeating their enemies. The impact of their ignorance resulted in a slackness in obeying God’s commands to drive out their enemies. In fact they went as far as to forsake the Lord and serve the other gods of the people in the land. In order to test, prove, and rebuke His people and give them an opportunity to exercise faith in the Lord and obey Him, God allowed Israel’s enemies to remain in the land. In so doing, He has taken them to His woodshed to chasten them.
Judges 3:2 says, so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war. The Lord also knew His people were getting soft, and they needed to learn how to fight. Also God used the Canaanites, Philistines, Sidonians, and other enemies to prove or test the obedience of God’s people (vs.3). God inflicted His disobedient nation with these enemies to see who would have the honor of resisting the Canaanite allurement to idolatry and immortality and to reveal that which was fake, false, and insincere.
The Lord may leave obstacles in your life for the purpose of developing faith and trust in Him, as well as to develop obedience and maturity in your life. These obstacles may involve hostile people, difficult situations at work, school, or in a marriage, baffling problems, heath or financial troubles. Paul challenged us in 2 Tim 2:3 “To endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” As a soldier you need to identify these obstacles and seek the Lord for guidance and wisdom as to how He would have you deal with each obstacle.