Tag Archives: the book of Judges

“These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): The five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.  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 3:1-4, NIV)

In the life of a disciple of Jesus, even one’s enemies are a part of God’s plan.
In today’s scripture reading from the book of Judges, enemies existed to teach the descendants of the Exodus how to defend themselves, and to test their devotion to God. (Please see Judges 2:20-22.)

Today, our biggest threat is not the sword (although physical threats do, indeed, exist); it is, instead, all of the influences and agents that oppose the Spirit of God within us.  Even here we must pray for our enemies as we utilize the weapons of the Spirit, which are: Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God.

So, do not curse your enemies.  Pray for them.  Resist them with the weapons of the Spirit, which alone are adequate for spiritual warfare.  – Luther

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“The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors.  I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’  Yet you have disobeyed me.  Why have you done this?”  (Judges 2:1-2, NIV)

Resonant in this scripture — which recounts the disobedience of the Children of Israel when they did not utterly subdue the inhabitants of the Promised Land, but allowed them to coexist with them in the land, albeit as “servants” or “slaves” — is the peril of allowing anything that is ungodly to inhabit our lives.

The problem with allowing any ungodly thought or deed to persist in one’s life — even in a small, seemingly insignificant way — is that after a while the “slave” becomes the master; and the “servant” becomes the one that is served.

In the case of the ancient Israelites, it wasn’t too very long before they were worshiping at the pagan altars and incorporating forbidden practices into their lives.  I am sure that their chosen course of action seemed enlightened at the time, but the outcome of disobedience to God is always the same: Our own eventual destruction.

Today, choose life.  Choose God.  None of us ever succeeds in riding the “tiger” that is ungodliness.  – Luther

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“These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): The five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.  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 3:1-4, NIV)

In the life of a disciple of Jesus, even one’s enemies are a part of God’s plan.
In today’s scripture reading from the book of Judges, enemies existed to teach the descendants of the Exodus how to defend themselves, and to test their devotion to God. (Please see Judges 2:20-22.)

Today, our biggest threat is not the sword (although physical threats do, indeed, exist); it is, instead, all of the influences and agents that oppose the Spirit of God within us.  Even here we must pray for our enemies as we utilize the weapons of the Spirit, which are: Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God.

So, do not curse your enemies.  Pray for them.  Resist them with the weapons of the Spirit, which alone are adequate for spiritual warfare.  – Luther

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