|This morning, I started reading in Judges. Here Joshua is off the scene, but still a generation after him follow the LORD, and now come the period of time ruled by Judges. They become the deliverers of Israel. The people fall into idolatry after a time and then as they cry out to God, God gives them a judge to deliver them. Usually the judge is from one of the tribes and delivers not the whole of Israel, but a tribe or a section of Israel. Here are some thoughts:|
1) TO PROVE- Judges 3:1 says: "Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;" Then in verse 5 we see the peoples God left: "And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:" They were left to prove IF Israel would follow God or not... they did not. So judgment came from God and a deliverer would be needed. The test was given, and the test was failed. I hope we are passing some of our test in life.
2) SING PRAISE TO THE LORD- This is what Deborah does in chapter 5. Deborah is a woman judge and brings about a great victory with God's help, and the help of another woman who killed the king of Israel's enemy. The woman is Jael, and she took a tired enemy named Sisera, gave him milk to put him to sleep, and then drove a tent nail through his temples and nailed his head to the ground. He died and she took out their leader. Well, chapter five is the song that recounts all of this. In verse 3 it says: "Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel." We too should sing praises to the LORD. Each morning before I get out of bed, I try to sing one chorus or hymn to the LORD. I am trying even to make up a song when I can, but the idea is to sing unto the LORD. Come before His presence with singing. God loves singing, and here Deborah, knowing that.... sings a song of praise to the LORD!! Let us do likewise!
3) THE SWORD OF THE LORD, AND OF GIDEON- This phrase is found in Judges 7:18 and 20. It is what Gideon told the men to shout (the 300 men) and what they later shouted in verse 20. God used that shout to scare the Midianites into fighting with each other and striking each other down with their swords. Gideon's men did not even have a sword, they had a trumpet, a lamp, and a vase over the lamp. Now, let us look at what they said again. The sword of the LORD. That we understand, for the battle is the LORD's. But, "and of Gideon"? Gideon was scared, doubtful, and a normal man with normal fears, but when you team up with God, you get God's victories put to your account. God shares His victory with this man. God will share His victories with us as well. We just need to be on His team, on His side, having trusted Christ as our Savior, let us decide to let our lives count for Christ, and then God will work out some victories and showcase our name some times as well. Not that we need the limelight, but that God just chooses to do that with his servants. When we humble ourselves, God chooses to exalt us.
Well, I have a Men's prayer breakfast this morning and then our outreach! I am looking forward to a great day! Have a blessed day yourself. Pastor Mike Mutchler