Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1st: Judges 3-5 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Judges 3-5

"They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses." Judges 3:4

The Lord tested the Israelite's faith and obedience, just as He tests ours.  In this case, God allowed the Canaanites to live among the Israelites to teach them to take a stand.  Unfortunately, they chose to intermarry with the Canaanites and to serve their heathen gods.  

These Hebrews invited themselves to be in a situation of compromise.  Pleasing their neighbours seemed more important to them than pleasing God, just like many Christians today.  It is always disheartening when I hear of a church or individual compromising their standard or belief, so that it does not offend anyone.  I pray that I will not allow my faith to be compromised, but remain faithful to our God.

Israels' acts of disobedience lead them to fall into bondage of Cushan-Rishathaim, the king, for eight years.  When the Israelites cried out to God, He sends Othniel to the rescue.  The Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel (vs 10), and he was able to overpower Cushan-Rishathaim, and the land had peace for forty years.

All good things come to an end, and eventually Othniel dies, and the Israelites fall back to their evil ways.  Now they are under the dominion of king Eglon for eighteen years.  What's interesting is that in verse 12 it says that, "the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel."  This would reason to say that God is using the Moabites to chastise Israel for their disobedience. 

Once again, the Israelites cry out to God for help and along comes Ehud.  After the somewhat comical story of Ehud taking Eglon's life, the Israelites are fortunate to have peace in the land for eighty years.  Ehud dies, the Israelites fall back to that idolatry thing again, and the Israelites are subject to king Jabon for over twenty years. 

Todays passage directed my attention to some basic truths about us and God:
- The tendency to turn our backs on the Lord and choose gods of our own making is as much a danger to us as it was for the Israelites.  In doing so, we only make more problems for ourselves.
- We cannot expect the Lord to bless us if we reject Him and His will.
- God is faithful to His promises.  Regardless of how badly we mess up, if we truly confess our sins and set our lives in the direction of living for Him, He will forgive us.
- When God gives us His grace and strength, nothing can stand in the way of victory.  The more we depend on Him, the stronger we become.                   

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Judges 6-7


Nathan Reimer said...

Good point about how the Israelites tried to please their neighbours instead of God, just like we still do today at times. A good reminder that we need to live for God, no matter who it offends. In the long run we'll be glad we did.

TammyIsBlessed said...

It's interesting that the Israelites could only maintain at least a semblance of obedience while a strong leader lived. We, particularly I. Groups, have a tended fancy to follow. The question is - who are we following?

Emma Reimer said...

I liked hearing how God worked through the women in this passage; Deborah and Jael.