Read Judges 1
Judah chosen to lead the wars against the Canaanites; angel rebukes Israel; death of Joshua; Israel's apostasy; their failure to drive out the Canaanites.
And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. . . . there arose another generation . . . which knew not the Lord (Judg. 1:19; 2:10).
Following the death of Joshua, the tribe of Judah had been chosen to lead the war, but they did not have the faith of Caleb, who wholly followed the Lord God of Israel (Josh. 14:14).
The Lord said, Judah shall go up, but Judah said to Simeon, Come up with me (Judg. 1:2-3). Then it appears that Simeon took the leadership, for we read: Judah went with Simeon (1:17). This revealed Judah's lack of faith in God alone, and he certainly did not trust the Lord later when they were confronted by an army with iron chariots.
This was not the first time the tribe of Judah was faced with horses and iron chariots. Under Joshua's leadership at the waters of Merom, they had defeated their enemies, who were as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many (Josh. 11:4).
It seems strange then that when Judah saw the iron chariots, they would not trust the Lord, for God had said: When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Deut. 20:1).
There is no record of the tribe of Judah ever having been defeated by an army of iron chariots. The reason for their failure was unbelief. They simply refused to trust God.
The tribe of Judah was the first to go to battle against the Canaanites; and for a while, they conquered them. But from this time on, they never gained any more of their allotted territory.
What a revelation of the cause for powerless Christians who know so little of the Bible! Faith grows as we read the Word of God, enabling us to claim His promises.
Doubting the ability of God to answer prayer and His willingness to keep His Word is a dishonor to Him. Our faith is weakened when we dishonor the Lord by trusting in something or someone other than God Himself.
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
Thought for Today:
Faith's food is the Word of God.
As the Angel of the Lord who is understood to be Jesus Himself, for He speaks as God Himself (I made you . . . and have brought you . . . I sware . . . I said, I will never break My Covenant) (Judg. 2:1-4). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
1:7 meat under my table, leftover food; requited, repaid; 1:20 expelled thence, drove out, defeated; 1:23 descry, spy out; 1:27 would dwell, determined to remain; 1:30 tributaries, forced laborers; 2:12 bowed themselves unto, worshiped; 2:16 spoiled, plundered; 2:17 went a whoring after other gods, were unfaithful to the One True God; 2:18 repented, grieved, showed compassion; 2:19 corrupted themselves, became more sinful; 2:22 prove, test.
Pray for Staff: Jennifer Palafox • Government Officials: Rep. Pete Sessions (TX) and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (UT) • Country: Uruguay (3 million) on the southeastern coast of South America • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 60% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 2% Jewish; .7% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those in authority over you (I Tim. 2:1-2).
Optional Reading: John 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:15