About Jesus Steve Sweetman
3 (ch. 3:1 – 6)
learn a few things in the first 6 verses of chapter three.
First of all, the generation of Israelis that Yahweh is speaking
to were not alive, or, were too young, when Joshua led
test was specifically to "test Israelis in battle".
was expected to fight their way to success; get rid of the enemies of
their souls. The same
applies to Christians today. When
we give our lives to Jesus, we suddenly enter a conflict between flesh
and Spirit. The Lord expects
us to enter the battle as Christians.
It's just part of the Christian experience.
It seems to me that many Christians do not have such battles in
their lives which tells me that they have given into their sinful flesh,
or, sinful nature. When we
don't destroy these sins, they were eventually do us in.
idea that God uses the enemies of the people of God to test them is an
important Biblical principle. He
did this with Israel
of old, and I'm convinced He does the same with Christians today.
God does test our faith and He often uses the enemies of God to
we are tested with trials, we should therefore consider the source.
The test may come from the Lord, or, it might be a result of our
own bad choices or
stupidity. And, if you
believe the test comes from the devil, you must also believe that the
test from the devil was allowed by God, and was actually a tool of the
Lord. In reality, trials for
God's people come from two sources, us and the Lord.
(ch. 3:7 - 11)
this section we see Israel
not serving the Lord, but serving Baal and Ashera instead.
Because of this the "Lord anger burned", something many
modern day people don't think God is capable of.
are a few things to learn here. One
is that even when God's people forsake their God, He will raise up
someone to bring them back, if that's what they wanted to do.
In these days the judge, more of a savior type person, not a
legal judge as we may think, was that man.
God always has a remnant of people that are his, even if the
remnant is small.
see a parallel here in Judges with the age in which we live.
The church is not really all that much different than
in verse 8 that God "sold" Israel
into the hands of her enemies. This is one very important Biblical principle for both the
individual and the nation. If
we continue to disobey the Lord, at some point, He will sell us into the
hands of our enemies. It's
the principle that the apostle Paul sets forth in Romans 1.
God will step back from us as He hands us over to our sins.
At that point, we become subject to our enemies.
in verse 9 that repentance precedes revival.
Over the years I've often heard people pray for revival, but they
fail to realize that before revival comes, people must repent.
We need to pray for a spirit of repentance.
Also, before one can repent, he needs to be aware of his sin.
He needs to know what to repent of.
In these days when preachers want people to leave their gathering
feeling good, the topic repenting and the pointing out sin is often laid
also in verse 10 that one of the jobs of the judge was to lead the
people into battle. Again,
Christians today need to know they are in a battle, both individually
and corporately. Christian
leaders, like these judges, should lead people, should help people, in
battle. As I said in the
last paragraph, many preachers who want their people to feel good, don't
teach that there is a battle to be fought.
This results in no battle. We
simply concede to our enemies.
(ch. 3:12 - 30)
cycle of sin and then a measure of repentance continues in verses 12 to
the end of this section. Israel
went back into their sin and God "gave" an enemy of
verse 15 Israel
repents and a judge name Ehud takes leadership.
verses 15 to 23 we see an "R" rated description of how
might be hard for many to swallow. Did
God authorize this murder? I
believe He did. We know that
from the very beginning God told Israel
to kill off all of their enemies, which when they left their God, they
didn't do. They only killed
their enemies when they repented and obeyed their God.
a personal level, not a national level, as we see here, Jesus introduced
the idea of loving your enemy. As
individuals, we are not to do anything close to what Ehud did here.
I believe that behind the nations of the world as seen in the Old
Testament are demons. When
we read the Old Testament we see
24 and 25 are a slight bit humorous in my thinking.
The kings servants waited and waited outside for the king to let
them in, but he didn't. They
thought that the king must
be going to the bathroom. "They
waited to the point of embarrassment".
They finally went in and found their king dead.
The Bible doesn't hide many facts, no matter how embarrassing
they might be.
people suggest that Ehud lied to the king when he told the king he had a
secret from God for him. They say that Ehud didn't tell any secret.
He just killed the king. These
scholars may have a point, but on the other hand, the secret might well
have been the kings death. We
don't know the whole story. Maybe
Ehud actually told the king the secret was his unexpected death.
After telling the secret, Ehud killed the king.
I would not be a big deal about Ehud possibly not telling the
truth in support of the
verse 30 we see that Israel
killed 10,000 Moabites and they made the rest their subjects. When Israel
is following and obeying her God, her enemies will be delivered into her
hands and she will rule them.
1948 a big step towards the restoration of
chapter ends in verse 31 with the mention of Shamgar, another judge. He
was the son of Anath. Both
Shamgar and Anath are not Jewish type of names.
As a matter of fact, many think that the name Anath is actually
the god of sex and war in those times.
If this is so, then it tells you how far Israelis fell from their
God. They were naming people
after pagan gods.
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