Summary: Apostasy, which basically refers to a backsliding or turning away from God, is unfortunately, something that is all too commonplace. This sermon deals with some ways in which apostasy can be averted.

Averting An Apostasy

Text: Judges 2:7-10

Intro: The word “apostasy” sounds a little ominous, doesn’t it? In very fact, the word definitely has a negative connotation. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word as, “an abandoning of what one has believed in, as a faith, cause, principles, etc.”1 Parsons Bible Dictionary says this word means “to draw back…in matters of religion…The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.”2 In layman’s terms, we might define this word as “to backslide,” or “turn away.”3

Apostasy was certainly no stranger to Israel. Israel’s history is replete with example after miserable example of their turning away from God to serve heathen gods, and their own lustful practices. Each time apostasy reared it ugly head among the Israelites, the moral climate of the nation hit rock bottom.

We can see this awful tragedy in our own nation today. On the whole, America has turned away from God. Her gutter morals are telltale signs of her disdain for God, as well her defiance of His commands. One doesn’t have to listen to too many news reports to know that our nation is in deep moral and spiritual trouble.

However, apostasy can be averted; and the second chapter of Judges gives us the guidelines for doing so. This message is not deep theologically. It simply gives some basic principles that if followed, can avert a nation or an individual from departing from God.

Theme: God’s plan for averting an apostasy is:


A. The Faithfulness Of God Rehearsed.

Judges 2:1 “And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.”

NOTE: [1] A number of theological scholars believe that the words “…an angel of the Lord…” should be rendered “…the angel of the Lord,” which would be indicative of the pre-incarnate Christ (Keil & Delitzsch; Albert Barnes). The message given in verse one is in the first person, perhaps further indicating that this was the pre-incarnate Christ speaking to Israel.

[2] The angel of the Lord begins His message by rehearsing the faithfulness of God, in spite of Israel’s unfaithfulness. This message is reminiscent of the final words of Moses, just before his death.

Josh. 23:14 “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.”

The fact is folks, if God has promised it, God will perform it. He never fails to keep His promises.

He Never Fails

He never fails the soul that trusts in Him;

Tho’ disappointments come and hope burns dim,

He never fails.

Tho’ trials surge like stormy seas around,

Tho’ testings fierce like ambushed foes abound,

Yet this my soul, with millions more has found,

He never fails; He never fails.

He never fails the soul that trusts in Him;

Tho’ angry skies with thunder-clouds grow grim,

He never fails.

Tho’ icy blasts life’s fairest flow’rs lay low,

Tho’ earthly springs of joy all cease to flow,

Yet still ‘tis true, with millions more I know,

He never fails; He never fails.

He never fails the soul that trusts in Him;

Tho’ sorrow’s cup should overflow the brim,

He never fails.

Tho’ oft the pilgrim way seems rough and long,

I yet shall stand amid yon white-robed throng,

And there I’ll sing, with millions more, this song—He never fails; He never fails.4

B. The Focus Of God’s Requirements.

Judges 2:2a “And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars…”

NOTE: [1] The thrust of what God required of His people was that they remain spiritually pure. The Lord knew that “…evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33b).

[2] God had commanded His people to rout the heathen from the Promised Land, being careful not to make treaties with them that would come back to haunt them later (Ex. 34:12). Spiritually speaking, what we don’t overcome in our life, will sooner or later, overcome us. God Himself said as much.

Num. 33:55 “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”

I Kings 11:2 “Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.”

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