Day 23

Dan’s Invasion and Idolatry

from the Judges reading plan


Judges 18:1-31, Deuteronomy 17:18-20, Psalm 78:56-66

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Judges 18:1-31, Deuteronomy 17:18-20, Psalm 78:56-66

“Just look away, look away. There’s nothing but horror and inconvenience on the way.”

This theme song plays grimly at the start of each episode of the television show, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Despite the warning, I kept watching and hoping the show’s main characters, three orphans, would eventually find relief. Each episode ended in dismay as the orphans’ lives spiraled further out of control. The story became more tragic at every turn. As I read Judges 18, the same theme song crept into the back of my mind: “Just look away, look away… ”

Israel’s story took dark turn after dark turn, as the people made bad choice after bad choice. Redeemed out of slavery, all their needs were taken care of by the Lord, yet they forgot their God and lost their way. Quickly they fell into sin and idolatry. We’re talking idol worship, murder, absolute lawlessness. How could God’s chosen people fall so far so fast?

From the outside looking in, the Israelites’ missteps are plain to see. But in our own lives, it’s much easier to lose perspective. The Israelites thought they could run their lives better than God could. For example, we saw in today’s reading that God provided land for the tribe of the Danites, but they found a quiet town to conquer instead. Veering from God’s provision, they left behind a wake of physical and spiritual destruction. The Lord also asked the Israelites for their sole devotion, but the Danites opted for idol worship in instead (Judges 18:27–31).  

The Danites, a tribe of Israel, thought they could make a better, happier, more abundant future for themselves than the one the Lord had laid out for them. Sometimes I wonder, Am I guilty of this sort of arrogance too? Do I ever believe my plan is superior to the Lord’s? When I forget the goodness and wisdom of God, I’m likely to fall into the same trap of disobedience, foolishly thinking I can create a brighter future for myself than the one God has planned.

We choose our own plans because we don’t trust God’s plan is actually good for us. Or maybe, like the Danites, we forget that our God has the power to move mountains. Perhaps God calls us to give our money or time or energy, but we hold back. Or maybe He lays it on our hearts to repair a relationship, but we decide it’s better to sweep the issue under the rug. In the short term, we think our plan is less painful, more effective. But if we look at what happened with Israel when they forgot God’s instruction, it’s clear that a life of disobedience only brings pain and suffering.

May the Danites’ story remind us that we are all utterly lost without God’s guidance. We have access to God’s wisdom in Word and Spirit. Our Father in heaven knows what is best for us and works for our good. Placing our trust in the Lord and obeying Him will not always be easy, but we have a powerful promise of true life, flourishing, and full of purpose when we look to Jesus and walk in His ways.

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "Dan’s Invasion and Idolatry"

  1. KC Derond says:

    I’ve been learning more and more to really trust that God has a much better plan for my life than I do and that it’s all in His perfect timing. It’s so hard! I tend to think that my way in my timing will be better, but it’s foolish thinking.
    Praying that my trust and hope remains in Him and for everlasting faithfulness!

    1. Jennifer Martin says:

      Amen!

  2. Dorothy says:

    I, like the Danites, too many times want to go my way and not the Lord’s way. When I go my way eventually it ends up terrible and I wished I had gone God’s way to begin with. Lord help me to go Your way first instead of mine.

  3. Barbara Thompson says:

    When God’s people forget Him, serious consequences follow.The people who say they belong to God in America are following their own ways. God is just,merciful, faithful,but God will not ignore continuing,wilful sin.

    1. Kelly Chataine says:

      True and frightening.

  4. Lynn Johnson says:

    How many times am I guilty of thinking my plan/way/idea is better than God’s plan. Grateful for this mornings devotion to remind me of His great love and plan for me. My job is to Listen and Follow! ❤️

    1. Dorothy says:

      I find myself in the same way. I too need to Listen and Follow

  5. ME Wires says:

    Maybe there is a word missing in the last sentence of the devotional. Sorry, but I do a some proof reading in my home based business, and this caught my eye when it didn’t read right. Love the devotionals. Enjoyed the series on the hymns and love finding other’s thoughts on what the Scriptures mean to them.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We appreciate your feedback and that particular error has now been corrected. We’re so glad that you’re here reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

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