Bible Pathways - Mar. 22, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Joshua and the elders of the second generation have gone to be with the Lord. They were obedient to seek the Lord's direction. The Israelites had victory over the Canaanites except in the valley! Why? Do you think God would allow them to be defeated by the chariots of iron? As the Israelites become friendly with the Canaanites, they no longer remain faithful to God and drift into idolatry (2:10-11).
The Book of Judges gives the history of the Israelites for about 300 to 450 years after the death of Joshua. The name of JUDGES comes from the 12 men and one woman whom God raised up to deliver (judge and govern) Israel. Canaanite is a general name given to all the kingdoms that existed in the promised land. The Israelites fail to fully possess the whole land as they could have done because they proved unfaithful to God. In addition, they often lost what they had won and were enslaved by the heathen nations round about.
The book illustrates what happens to many Christians, as well as the Church with its loss of holiness. It is also an illustration for each Christian of how vital it is to hold fast the profession of faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23).
It seems strange that at the sight of the iron chariots the tribe of Judah would not trust the Lord to fight the Canaanites. 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 (Deuteronomy 20:1).
Under Joshua's leadership at the waters of Merom,the Israelites had defeated their enemies who were as the sand upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many (Joshua 11:4). Yet, there arose another generation . . . which knew not the Lord. . . . and served Baalim: and they forsook the Lord (Judges 2:10-12).
The reason for every failure is lack of obedience to the Word of God. The tribe of Judah was the first to go up against the Canaanites and for a time, the men of Judah walked by faith and conquered.
What a lesson this is to the Christian! When they forsook the Lord, they gave up their faith. Note the failures in the other tribes that followed the example of Judah and forsook the One True God. They are a reminder of how easy it is to get excited over our personal interests that occupy the time that should be given to the Lord. Without realizing it, some today have created another god and often use the Lord's Day and His tithe to enjoy their new god of leisure or entertainment. Let us remember Israel's failure as a warning: The children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites . . . and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. . . . and forgot the Lord (Judges 3:5-7).
Thought for Today:
The Lord said not to be afraid of the horses and chariots of the Canaanites because He is with Israel. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear (I John 4:18). Neither should Christians fear for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).
As the Angel of the Lord (Judges 2:1-4). The Angel of the Lord is understood to be Jesus Himself, for He speaks as God Himself (I made you . . . I sware . . . I said, I will). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
1:15 nether =b> lower; 1:23 descry =b> spy out, keep a watch; 2:5 Bochim =b> Weepers.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bruce Rutherford's birthday • Government Officials: Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY) • Country: Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Unite with others in prayer; God will bring your request to pass (Matthew 18:19-20).
Optional Reading: John 13
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:16