Read Judges 1 -- 2
In Today's Reading:
Compromise and Apostasy!! God had commanded the nation of Israel to drive out its enemies. What would God do now, since Judah . . . could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley . . . Benjamin did not drive out. . . . Neither did Manassah. . . . Neither did Ephraim. . . . Neither did Zebulun. . . . Neither did Asher. . . . Neither did Naphtali . . . Dan . . . Joseph (Judges 1:19-36)? Next, Israel served other gods: Baal and Ashtaroth (2:13). Finally, they pray to the One True God.
Verse for Today:
The Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron (Judges 1:19).
Judah chosen to lead the territorial wars against the Canaanites; Israel fails to drive out the Canaanites; the Angel of the Lord rebukes the Israelites; the death of Joshua; Israel's apostasy.
Following the death of Joshua, the Lord chose the tribe of Judah to lead the nation against the Canaanites. But their loyalty to God was not as great as Joshua's had been.
God had said: When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, be not afraid of them: for the Lord your God is with you, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt (see Deuteronomy 20:1).
Under Joshua's leadership, the Israelites had defeated enemies that had many horses and chariots (Joshua 11:4). But, now, when the people of Judah were faced with horses and iron chariots, they failed to believe God's Word. It is even more disappointing to read: There arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord. . . . And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, and followed other gods. . . . they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and . . . they could no longer stand before their enemies (Judges 2:10-14). From that point on, they continued to decline spiritually.
Powerlessness in Christians is often the result of their knowing so little of the Bible! To them, much of it remains unpossessed, unexplored territory. But faith grows as we read, and then act upon, God's Word which teaches us how to live to please the Lord and claim His many precious promises.
The Israelites chose what they thought was a more "humanitarian" way, one that would create peaceful coexistence with the enemies of God. Perhaps they argued, as some would today: "How could a God of love destroy 'innocent' people? We need to 'live and let live,' be tolerant and broad-minded, never offend anyone, and enjoy life with those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ and worship false gods." This, of course, is human reasoning with a sinful fallen mind. The concept of innocence disappears when we see sin for what it really is and false gods depriving people of heaven as well as robbing God of His rightful love and worship that only He deserves. Deceived people are eternally lost. Instead of questioning the judgment of God against unrepentant sinners, we should stand amazed at His mercy in dying on the cross to save all who, in repentance and faith, receive Him as Savior and Lord. As Jesus forewarned, the destiny of all who reject Him as their Savior is eternal hell (John 14:6; Matthew 5:29-30; 10:28). Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12).
Therefore, let us fear, lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it (see Hebrews 4:1).
A Thought from Psalms: At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous judgments (119:62).
By the Angel of the Lord (Judges 2:1). The Angel speaks for the Lord in the first person (I made, I swore, I said, I will, My voice), which a mere messenger angel would never do, this is the Pre-Incarnate Christ appearing to all the Children of Israel as He had earlier to Abraham, Moses, and Jacob (Judges 2:1). Jesus said: Before Abraham was I am (John 8:58).
1:15 nether = lower; 1:23 descry = spy out; keep a watch; 2:5 Bochim = weeping.
Government Officials: Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) and Rep. Pete Sessions (TX) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Yemen (17 million) in southwestern Arabia · Major language: Arabic · Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed · 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for courage to praise the Lord before unbelievers (Psalms 96:3-5).
Optional Reading: John 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:15