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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 11/21/2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Wed, 11/21/2012

Judges 2:20-3:11
LOSERS, LAYMEN AND LEADERS, Lesson 2d

Lessons From The Lives Of The Judges Of Israel

v. 9-11 ISRAEL’S CHAMPION
When Israel came to themselves, they called on God and He heard them. When they turned back to Him in their hearts, He reached out to them in deliverance. He raised up their first judge, a man by the name of Othniel! Othniel is called “a deliverer”. The word means “a savior”, and that’s just what Othniel was.

Othniel’s Credentials – We are told that Othniel is “Caleb’s younger brother.” We are also told that he is the son of “Kenaz”. Caleb’s father was a man named “Jephunneh”, ( Num. 13:6). This is not a contradiction. Kenaz was probably Caleb’s brother, and Othniel was probably his son. That would have made him Caleb’s nephew. And, if Kenaz was dead, Othniel would have been elevated to a place of leadership in the family. Thus, he would have been recognized as Caleb’s brother.

As any rate, Othniel was a man of courage and bravery. In Judges 1:12-13, Othniel defeated a Canaanite city to win Caleb’s daughter as his wife. So, Othniel was a man of great courage with strong ties to a former generation of leaders in Israel. He was an older man, some believe around the age of 75. He was battle tested. He was available and God chose him.

Othniel reminds us that God can use anyone. Regardless of how old we might be, regardless of our past. Regardless of who we are or what we have for us or against us, God can use us for His glory if we will make ourselves available to Him. Othniel did that and the Lord used him in a mighty way. It has been said, and it is true, that “the greatest ability is availability.”

Othniel’s Companion – Othniel was useful to the Lord because “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.” Othniel did not possess the power to deliver Israel within himself. But, when the Spirit of God took control of his life, God was able to use him in great ways. Othniel did not really deliver Israel. God delivered Israel through Othniel!
The truth is, left to ourselves, we are incapable of serving God as He deserves to be served. The only way we will ever be useful to, and usable by, the Lord is when we are controlled by the Spirit of God like Othniel was, (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 5:18).

The Spirit of God will enable us to stand against the enemies around us. The Spirit of God will make us powerful for the glory of the Lord. The Spirit of God will use us in ways that we can hardly imagine, but we must yield to Him and His power in and over our lives. That is the secret to power with God, (Acts 1:8).

Othniel’s Conquest – God enabled Othniel to defeat old “Doubly wicked and black”. God allowed Othniel to deliver Israel from the bondage of that pagan king. God empowered Othniel to judge the nation of Israel for the rest of his life, some 40 years. God gave Othniel victory in his life because Othniel gave himself to the Lord!

Do you want the Lord to use your life for His glory? Do you want to see Him do great things through you? Do you want to be free from the yoke of paganism? Do you want to see your family delivered from the bondage of sin and the world? Do you want victory in your life? If you do, yield to the Lord like Othniel did. Allow the Lord to lead you and control you and He will use you for His glory.

Conc: I wonder, are you concerned about where you are spiritually with the Lord today. Are you concerned about where your family is headed? Are you concerned about some around you who have gone off in search of the things of this world? If any of these things are true, why don’t you come before Him today and deal with these issues.
Would you like to be used of the Lord in a greater way? Would you like to be more dedicated to Him? Has God been dealing with you about your walk with Him? If so, you come to Him and get the help you need. If He has touched your heart on any level, you come and let Him do in you what He wants to do. If He is calling, you need to obey His voice. That is the first step toward victory.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Have Thine Own Way” By: Adelaide Pollard (1902)

Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Thou are the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
After Thy will
While I am waiting
Yielded and still

Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Search me and try me
Master today
Whiter than snow, Lord
Wash me just now
As in Thy presence
Humbly I bow

Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Hold o’er my being
Absolute sway
Fill with Thy Spirit
Till all shall see
Christ only, always, Living in me.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Glorious and Loving God. Jesus is our King! He is King of our hearts and lives. He was not born of royalty, but to an obscured couple; He had not a golden crown but wore a crown of thorns for us; He had no thick robe draped with golden chains, but one seamless garment for which his murderers gambled; He had no influential cabinet, but a small group of rough guys from various walks of life; He rode no white horse, but rode on the colt of a donkey; He carried no physical sword, but the Sword of the Spirit; He had no physical throne but the throne of our hearts. He has made us to be the spiritual kingdom of God. Come into your throne, O Lord, and drive out all darkness, fear, and hopelessness, and fill it with Your presence and love. This we pray in Jesus Glorious name. Amen!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEMISLIM 11/21/2012 11:01PM

    His mercies are great

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ANHELIC 11/21/2012 6:32PM

    I pray that God will use me as He chooses and in what area I would be needed. I am blessed to know that God uses ordinary people for the work of His Kingdom. Thank you God and I open my heart to you. God bless you Vic for sharing this lesson with us. I love the hymn and your prayer as well.

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BUFFEDSTUFF-- 11/21/2012 2:04PM

  Pray that I will become a mighty disciple, led by his Spirit, redeemed by his blood living for his purpose. With the ability to forsake all.

Peace

BuffedStuff

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TONYVAND1 11/21/2012 11:54AM

  Have thine own way Lord You are the potter I am the clay. This is my prayer.

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NARROWPATH2011 11/21/2012 10:30AM

    emoticon blog especially your prayer today Vic.

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SPARKLISE 11/21/2012 8:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUNSET09 11/21/2012 7:20AM

  Use me, Lord! Happy Thanksgiving and remember the reason for the season! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/21/2012 7:25:58 AM

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JSTETSER 11/21/2012 7:07AM

    Congratulations, and happy Thanksgiving to you! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 11/20/2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Tue, 11/20/2012

Judges 2:20-3:11
LOSERS, LAYMEN AND LEADERS, Lesson 2c

Lessons From The Lives Of The Judges Of Israel

v. 8 ISRAEL’S CHASTISEMENT
In their sins is where Israel was, but that is not where God would leave them. Charles Spurgeon used to say, “God never allows His people to sin successfully.” That is, you might do it, but you won’t get away with it forever! There is always a price to pay for disobedience and rebellion against God.

The Focus Of God’s Wrath – The word “anger” refers to “a flaring of the nostrils”. It is the image of face filled with wrath. The word “hot” means “to be furious”. God was not angry with the Canaanites. Oh, He hated their sin, but they were lost people. They did not have His Law. They had not been redeemed and separated and commanded to be different. No, God was angry, but His anger was directed at His people. They were about to be punished for their sins against God.

If you are saved and you choose to walk away from the Lord, you might as well know that there will be a price to pay. God will bring His chastisement into your life, Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12. God does this, not to hurt us, but to help us to get back to where we are supposed to be, (1 Cor. 11:32.)

The Fierceness Of God’s Wrath – We are told that God “sold” Israel into the hands of a pagan king. It has the idea of “giving up, or giving over into one’s control or power.” In other words, Israel gave themselves to paganism and God punished them by giving what they wanted. They did not want to follow His ruled in their lives, so He allowed them to be ruled by a harsh, pagan king. The name of this king is “Chushan-rishathaim”. This name means “Doubly Wicked Cushan”, literally “Doubly wicked and black”. All this means is that Israel reaped what they had sowed. They wanted paganism. They wanted their sin, they wanted their false gods; and God gave them everything they asked for and more.

The same danger faces people today. There are people here today who are not as close to the Lord as they once were. You are not attending church like you used to. You are not as committed as you used to be. You are no longer faithful to the Lord like you once were. You just don’t serve Him like you used to. Other things have taken His place in your life. Other gods if you will. Little things like your pleasure, your desires, your toys; you know what I am talking about.

Well. Don’t be surprised when you reap what you have sowed. Those things that are so important to you can become tyrants in your life. They can become “doubly wicked and black” to you. You might reap your harvest in the lives of your children, when they walk away from the Lord. You might reap your harvest in God selling you to the things you run after. But, you will reap your harvest!

The fact is, Spurgeon was right. “God never allows His people to sin successfully!” you will reap what you sow, (Gal. 6:7-8). If you fear the crop you might reap, the time to change is now, before any more damage is done! Come home today!

The Fullness Of God’s Wrath – God sold them into slavery and left them there for “eight years”. He allowed them to experience the full measure of what their sin cost them. When they dwelt among the Canaanites, married their sons and daughters and bowed down to their gods, they never thought it would come to this, but it did! They paid a terrible price for their folly!

What kind of price will you pay for your sin? When you are sold under your sins, you lack the power to free yourself. You lack the power to help others around you. You lack the power to pray as you should. You lack the power to read and understand the Word of God as you could. You lack the power to be who God saved you to be. Someone said, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; keep you longer than you want to stay; and cost you more than you want to pay.” That’s the truth, and if I were you, I would listen to what the Lord is saying to you today!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“On Bended Knee” By: Robert Gay (1988)

Verse 1
On bended knee I come, With a humble heart I come;

Bowing down before Your holy throne.

Lifting holy hands to You, As I pledge my love a - new, -

I worship You in spir - it, - I worship you in truth;

Make my life a holy praise unto You.


Verse 2

On bended knee I come, With a humble heart I come;

Bowing down before Your holy throne.

As I look upon Your face. Show Your mercy and Your grace.

Change my life, O Holy Spi - rit make me fresh and ever new;

Make my life a holy sac - ri - fice to You.

Make my life a holy sac - ri - fice to You.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Father of Grace, God of Love! We know that now is the accepted time, the day of salvation. Forgive us for making excuses, for taking today for granted. Help us to see the value of NOW rather than later. Help us to overcome intentions by doing what we know to do now. Give us the strength and courage to serve You today. Enable us to take no thought for tomorrow, for sufficient are the challenges of today. Fill our lips with Your Word and our life with Your Work. This we ask and pray in the glorious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/20/2012 11:54PM

    Thank you for an awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. How could we walk away from God knowing we will be punished for our sins. I know you run, but you can't hide from God. I bow down and worship Him and follow his commandments. I have so much to be thankful for and the blessings He gives me. God bless you for teaching us God's word. Happy Thanksgiving Vic. May you and your family have a blessed day.

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NARROWPATH2011 11/20/2012 3:38PM

    Good blog and lesson today Vic. Thanks.

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TONYVAND1 11/20/2012 10:09AM

  I bowed on my knees and cried Holy. How often we turn away from God even in lttle things of life. We need to turn back to Him and repent daily. Thanks Vic for sharing this with us.


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DARE2LIVE2011 11/20/2012 8:20AM

    God grant us repentance in every area of our lives, let there be nothing we hold back from You! Thanks Vic, sobering but much-needed words today. Blessings to you! emoticon

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EDITOR 11/20/2012 7:04AM

    Who dare walk away from Him? Not those on bended knee with a humble heart. Happy Thanksgiving Day, Vic to you and yours.

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CSDAYS 11/20/2012 6:47AM

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/20/2012 6:34AM

    Asking God to be with me today! Togive me strength!

amen!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 11/19/2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 11/19/2012
Judges 2:20-3:11
LOSERS, LAYMEN AND LEADERS, Lesson 2b
Lessons From The Lives Of The Judges Of Israel
Judges 3:1-11
OTHNIEL: THE LION OF GOD
Because Israel refused to walk with the Lord like He commanded them to, He refused to drive out all their enemies in the land of Canaan. Thus, Israel was forced to live alongside the very people they had been sent to destroy.
We are told in verses 1-4 exactly why God left the people in the land. Look at His reasons.
v. 1 He left them there to prove Israel – The word “prove” means “to put to the test”. God allowed the pagans to live around His people to test Israel.
His people were tested to see how they would live when surrounded by the wicked. His people were tested to see if they would keep His commandments or not, v. 4. They failed this test!
v. 2 He left them there to teach new generations about spiritual warfare. God wanted them to learn the lessons of battle their fathers had known. God wanted them to be strong and to know how to fight the enemy when he came around. They failed this test too!
It wasn’t long until this caused some serious problems among the people of Israel. Israel proved that they could not be trusted to stand up against the enemy. They proved that they would rather join the enemy than fight them.
Let’s notice how God delivered Israel from a time of cruel bondage by raising up Othniel: The Lion Of God.
v. 5-7 ISRAEL’S COMPROMISE
These verses give us the ugly details of Israel’s first great failure. What Israel did then is what we see people doing all around us today. Notice how they compromised the Word of God and the will of God to do the things they wanted to do.
v. 5 Interaction With The Canaanites – The Bible says that the children of Israel “dwelt among” the various tribes of Canaan. The word “dwelt” has the idea “of settling down; of setting up housekeeping”.
When Israel arrived in Canaan. They were commanded to destroy these people without mercy, and not to live among them. It took a very short time for their former enemies to become their new neighbors.
Here’s the problem, Israel was to be separate from the world around them. They were unique among all the peoples of the world. They had been chosen, redeemed and set apart to serve the Lord God Almighty, and He expected them to remain separate, (Deut. 7:6-11). Because they didn’t, they opened a floodgate of sin that would end with them facing the terrible chastisement of God.
Do I need to remind you that God’s redeemed ones are to be a separate people as well,( 2 Cor. 6:17)? Need I remind you that we are a “peculiar people”, (Titus 2:14)? That does not mean we are weird, it means that we are “His special possession”. He loved us, He chose us, He send His Son to die for us; He redeemed us and bought us, (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
When we refuse to walk in His will and honor His Word in our lives, we also open the floodgates of sin that eventually overwhelm us and drown us in its turbulent currents. It is a dangerous thing for a child of God to live like the world around him!
v. 6a Intermarriage With The Canaanites – After a while, the people of Israel got so used to living among the Canaanites that they began to intermarry with them. This was expressly forbidden by the Lord. It was pure disobedience on their part.
Maybe they said, “These Canaanites are not as bad as we were told. They are actually very nice people. They’re not monsters at all. Their girls make good devoted wives. There is no reason why we can’t marry them. After all, we might just be able to change them.” Israel soon found out that it was them and not the Canaanites that changed.
As they married into the tribes around them, the Israelites began to lose their national identity. The very integrity of their families began to break down. They soon lost the very thing that made them unique.
The same danger confronts us today. When we get too close to the world around us, we will soon find ourselves entangled with them in their sins. The company you keep will determine how close you walk to the Lord, (1 Cor. 15:33). That is why God has ever commanded His people to keep their distance from the lost world around them ( Cor. 2:14).
We must interact with the world so that we can be a light to them and give them the Gospel, ( Matt. 5;16; Acts 1:8). But, we must keep our spiritual distance. It is but a short step from walking with the world to living like the world.
v. 6b, 7b Idolatry With The Canaanites – it was a very short step from living among them, to marrying them to worshiping with them. You can imagine how they rationalized this. Perhaps they said, “Well, you marry a Canaanite girl and you just have to understand how they are. They were brought up differently than we were. You have to allow them to bring their gods. After all, it’s just part of her culture.” This sounds more like politics than religion.
So, these people, the children of Israel, who had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, and who had been delivered from Egypt by God’s mighty power, who has been the beneficiaries of God’s power and work time and again, find themselves bowing before the idol God’s of the Canaanites. Verse 7b says they “served Baalim and the groves”. This refers to the various gods and goddesses of the Canaanites.
Many of their gods were associated with fertility rituals and their worship involved disgusting sexual acts and the actual prostitution of their daughters in the groves. The groves were tall poles set up on hills. People would have intercourse between these poles in an effort to convince their gods to bless the crops and the ground with a good harvest.
What you have here is a group of people who have gone, in one generation, from worshiping God and fighting evil, to abandoning God while they sleep with the enemy! Worst of all, they took their precious sons and their precious daughters and handed them over to the very people they had been commanded to utterly destroy. Are we guilty of doing the same?
The same danger confronts wayward saints in our day! When we refuse to maintain our spiritual distance from the world around us; when we continually yoke ourselves to the people and things of the world; when we bow down at their altars, we are sacrificing a generation to the gods of this world. We are teaching our children that they are free to treat God and His Word as they please. We are telling them that it is alright to disregard God, His Word, His House, His worship and His will. We are telling that they are free to chart their own course through this world. Are we guilty of teaching our children the wrong teachings?
v. 7a Indifference With The Canaanites – Each step they took led them farther away from God. Each step they took away from Him led them down a pathway toward totally abandoning Him and His ways. Verse 7a tells us that they “forgat the Lord their God.” The word “forgat” means “to ignore, or to cease to care”. The people of Israel reached a place where they simply ignored God and ceased to care about Him or what He had to say about anything. They reached a place of total indifference toward the Lord.
That is where many in our day have come to! Most folk know the Lord is there. They know that His Word has something to say to them about their lives and how they live them. They know God as a claim on their lives, but they choose to ignore Him. He is there, but they aren’t listening. He calls, but they don’t come. They harden their hearts against God, His Word and the call of the Spirit of God. They turn a deaf ear to Him and His call on their lives. As far as they are concerned, God doesn’t matter, and He might as well not even exist! That is a dangerous place to be!
TODAY’S HYMN!
“Each Step I Take” By: Elmo Mercer (1953)
EACH STEP I TAKE MY SAVIOUR GOES BEFORE ME
AND WITH HIS LOVING HAND HE LEADS THE WAY
AND WITH EACH BREATH I WHISPER: "I ADORE THEE"
OH WHAT JOY TO WALK WITH HIM EACH DAY
CHORUS:
EACH STEP I TAKE I KNOW THAT HE WILL GUIDE ME
TO HIGHER GROUND HE EVER LEADS ME ON
UNTIL SOMEDAY THE LAST STEP WILL BE TAKEN
EACH STEP I TAKE JUST LEADS ME CLOSER HOME
AT TIME I FEEL MY FAITH BEGIN TO WAVER
WHEN UP AHEAD I SEE A CHASM WIDE
IT'S THEN I TURN AND LOOK UP TO MY SAVIOUR
I AM STRONG WHEN HE IS BY MY SIDE
(CHORUS)
I TRUST IN GOD NO MATTER COME WHAT MAY
FOR LIFE ETERNAL IS IN HIS HAND
HE HOLDS THE KEY THAT OPENS UP THE WAY
THAT WILL LEAD ME TO THE PROMISED LAND
(CHORUS)

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy and Loving Father, Creator and God Almighty! We live by every word that comes from Your mouth; otherwise, we put our soul at risk of being lost. When the sword-thrust of temptation from the devil threatens our soul, help us to counter every attack with Your Word in scripture. Enable us to be prepared and ready to defend ourselves and Your Life-Giving Word. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Thank You, Lord, for feeding us so abundantly and generously with Your Word and Spirit. Forgive us when we neglect the life-giving food you have provided for our souls. These things we pray in the blessed name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYCHARLENE 11/20/2012 12:20AM

    emoticon I really enjoyed this blog. Indeed we cannot compromise our standards by embracing even one of the world's ways of doing things. Our resolve most assuredly will be tested and God does allow temptation to be all around us. I intend to pass the test.

We are so blessed that we have an open book test perse. All we have to do is open the book (scriptures) and then pray for the grace we need to follow the written word.

God bless you in your indeavours to follow Christ and His word.

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KIMPY225 11/19/2012 4:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PINKSPARKLE1965 11/19/2012 11:48AM

    beautiful thanks I have to get back into my readings too.. emoticon

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TONYVAND1 11/19/2012 9:17AM

  May the Word of God dwell richly within us. May we rely on the Spirits power to keep us from sin.

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ANHELIC 11/19/2012 7:29AM

    Thank you for another great lesson. Yes, we must put God first in our lives and follow His wonderful word. Without Him we will never become victors and join in the celebrations in heaven. God bless you for sharing God's word with us.

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DIANER2014 11/19/2012 6:50AM

    Amen! Thanks Vic! emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/19/2012 6:33AM

    HP (Higher Power) and I are headed out of town to Amish country to celebrate DH birthday! praying I have a safe trip!
linda

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NARROWPATH2011 11/19/2012 6:22AM

    Hi Vic. Yes may we always put the lord first in everything that we do. May we listen to and follow Gods messages for us in our lives.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 11/18/2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 11/18/2012

Judges 2:20-3:11
LOSERS, LAYMEN AND LEADERS, Lesson 2a

Lessons From The Lives Of The Judges Of Israel

The period addressed in the book of Judges is a period of time defined by lawlessness, rebellion and moral failure among the people of Israel. The whole attitude of Israel during the time of the judges can be summed up in the words of Judges 17:6; 21:25, where the Bible says, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” That’s a pretty good description of our world as well!
God had redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage. He led them for forty years through a wilderness. He brought them safely into the land of Canaan and promised to defeat all their enemies, if only they would walk with Him in holiness.

God commanded them to enter Canaan and to conquer it, (Deut. 7:1-6). The commandments given in those verses are crystal clear. They were to:
v. 1 Possess the land
v. 2 Utterly destroy all the nations of Canaan
v. 2 Make no peace treaties with them
v. 2 Show them no mercy
v. 3 Refuse to intermarry with them
v. 5 Completely destroy every trace of their pagan religions

The reason they were commanded to do this was because Israel was to be different from all the people around them,( Deut 7:6). They, among all the people of the earth, had been chosen by God. He had saved them, blessed them and promised them victory, if they would walk with Him.

God demanded total separation among His people. He knew that if Israel allowed themselves to be entangled with the Canaanites, they would become corrupt spiritually and be drawn away from God, (Deut. 7:4). When that happened, God promised that He would visit them suddenly, in His wrath, (Deut. 7:4).

Israel had their instructions, but they failed to fully carry out the Lord’s command. The record of their failure is chronicled in Judges 1:19-34.

• Judah failed – 1:19-20
• Benjamin failed – 1:21
• Joseph failed – 1:22-26
• Manasseh failed – 1:27-28
• Ephraim failed – 1:29
• Zebulon failed – 1:30
• Asher failed – 1:31-32
• Naphtali failed – 1:33
• Dan failed – 1:34
• The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh even refused to enter Canaan, choosing to remain on the other side of Jordan.

Israel’s failure to defeat their enemies resulted in them living among their enemies. After a while, they became like their enemies, adopting the wicked ways of the various Canaanite tribes around them. Eventually, Israel began to worship the false gods of the Canaanites. When they followed this downward path, God allowed them to know His displeasure and His judgment.

When judgment came, eventually the people would realize that they were to blame. They would repent and seek the Lord. When they did, God forgave them and raised up a deliverer, called a Judge. These men and women helped Israel throw off the yoke of their oppressors. They also helped them to live for God.

Israel would follow a Judge until that Judge died, then they would revert to their wicked ways and the cycle would begin again. This continued in Israel for about 400 years, until they got their first king.

The book of Judges is profitable for us today. Because in its pages, we see that Israel faced many of the same problems that we face in our world today. They faced physical enemies; so do we. They faced problems from the world, the flesh and the devil; so do we.

I want to take the next few lessons and bring a series of messages I am entitling “Losers, Laymen and Leaders”. I want to share with you some Lessons “From The Lives Of Israel’s Judges”.

As we look at these men and women God used to deliver His people in those days, I want you to see that He is still looking for men and women He can use in our day. God is no longer looking for judges, but He is looking for leaders. He is looking for men and women He can use to stem the tide of evil that threatens to overtake the church in these dark days. He is looking for people who will rise up, taking their stand with God and the Bible. He is looking for people He can use to change the world for the glory of God.

Some of the people He is looking for might just be reading this message today! In that age, God used common, ordinary men and women to accomplish His purpose in Israel, and that is the kind of people He will use in this day as well.

With that introduction in mind, let’s turn our attention to Judges 3:1-11 and meet the first Judge in Israel. I want to introduce you to a man named Othniel. His name means “The Lion Of God”. He was a man who lived up to his name.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Turn My Heart” By: Lynn DeShazo (1992)

Turn my heart, O Lord
Like rivers of wa – ter
Turn my heart, O Lord
By Your – hand
Till my whole life flows
In the ri – ver of
Your spir – it
And my name brings hon – or
To the lamb

Verse:
Lord, I sur – ren – der
To Your work in me
I rest my life
Within your lov – ing hands
(Repeat Chorus 3 times)
‘Til my name brings hon – or
‘Til my name brings hon – or
To the lamb

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, the God of Life! You are the giver of victories. Let us not be intimidated by the odds against us for we have A God who is victorious and has overcome the world. Help us not to doubt Your promises and Your word. You, O God, are the Keeper of Your Word. We are winners if we are on the Lord’s side. The battle is already won and the victory is assured. Hallelujah! Thank You for making our calling and election sure in Jesus Christ our Lord. Glory is Yours forever. This we pray in His name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 11/18/2012 10:32PM

    Thanks for the lesson Vic. We are living in some very dark days; closer than ever to Jesus coming back again.

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NARROWPATH2011 11/18/2012 8:12PM

    Great blog Vic.

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TONYVAND1 11/18/2012 5:37PM

  I n God I trust He is my strength and salvation. We need to keep His commandments and place our trust solely on Him Thanks for sharing Vic.

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ANHELIC 11/18/2012 12:35PM

    Thank you for another awesome lesson Vic. Yes, we are living in a day like that. If we don't follow God's word, we will perish like the rest. Just as I saw on the news the battle between Palestine and Isreal going on presently. Isreal is God's chosen people and I know Isreal will come out the victors. God bless you for sharing God's wonderful word.

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WENDYSPARKS 11/18/2012 8:41AM

    emoticon

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SANDRALEET 11/18/2012 8:25AM

    When God ruled they were better put they demanded a king and nothing but trouble Power went to there head and then corruption

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/18/2012 7:37AM

    To believe in God is to believe in me!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 11/17/2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 11/17/2012

Judges 1:1-2; 2:1-4; 16,
V. 2:3-4 A NATION MAIMED BY GRIM CONSEQUENCES, Lesson 1c

Because of their sin, Israel faced the Lord’s judgment. Notice what happened to Israel, what may await America, if we do not repent.

2:3 They Endured A Divine Sentence – God vowed to remove His protecting hand from Israel. He would allow the Canaanites they had compromised with to be a thorn in the side of Israel. He would allow the false gods of Canaan to be a snare to them.
America can expect no better treatment. Even now, we can see that our nation is under a sentence of divine judgment.

Militarily we are weak and stretched to the limit. We are vulnerable to military attack. All the while our enemies grow stronger and bolder every day.

Economically we are in serious trouble. People are struggling as they lose their jobs to China, Mexico and Vietnam. It was said recently that China could bring America to its knees without ever firing a shot, through economic means.

Culturally, we are fighting a losing battle. The divorce rates have quadrupled in the past 30 years. Teen suicide has doubled and violent crime has risen 500%. One out of every three children is born to a single mother. In some cities the illegitimacy rates are as high as 80%!

Morally we are totally bankrupt. Our government spends nearly 200 million dollars per year teaching kids how to use condoms. They use that same money to attack abstinence based sex education. 56 million Americans are suffering from a venereal disease of one form or the other.

Spiritually we are in a deplorable condition. The Bible and prayer have been removed from our schools. The Ten Commandments continue to be attacked and relegated to the dust bin of history. Not too long ago, the Supreme Court came down against a display of the Ten Commandments in a court house. Some people fear the Ten Commandments. They say they might be dangerous to some child who might read them. I don’t know about you, but I would rather take my chances with someone who had been exposed to the bible, prayer and the Ten Commandments; than someone who had been taught that there is no such thing as right and wrong.

We are under attack in the natural realm as well. Look at the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the floods, the tornadoes, the fires and fierce storms that are afflicting every part of our country.

These are but a few of the signs that we are facing impending judgment from God. The fact is, our Protector has removed His hand of protection. But, it is not God’s fault. We have no one to blame but ourselves, (Jer. 2:19)! We are reaping the crop that we have been sowing for the last 100 years, (Gal. 6:7)! We have sown to the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind!

2:4-5 They Expressed Deep Sorrow – Their generation called on the Lord because of their sins. My Christian friends, “repentance” is the only hope this nation has! I am firmly convinced that the only thing holding this country up today is the prayers of a remnant of godly people. I challenge you to seek the face of the Lord for this nation!
2:6-15 They Evidenced Deepening Sin – The day came when Israel totally walked away from God, (2:11-15). Their compromise was transformed into wholesale sin and total disregard for the Word or will of Almighty God. For this, Israel paid a terrible price. Judgment came and they suffered the awesome wrath of a holy God.

Look around America today and you will see a nation that has forsaken God; rejected His Bible and thumbs its nose in defiance of the God Who formed her. God is given mere lip service in the public arena, while the same people who declare His Name in vain deny Him by their works and their walk. This trend is only going to get worse as the end times draw closer. Judgment is coming and America is going to pay a terrible price for her transgressions unless she repents.

Conc: I realize that this has been a hard message. I love this nation and I want to see America spared the judgment that I think has already begun. I do not want to end on a down note. I want you to look at verse 16. I like the word “Nevertheless.” In spite of their failures, God still sent them men to lead them and to speak to them. Sometimes they listened, sometimes they did not. But, it still suggests that God was patient, loving and was giving them every chance to set things right.

Today, I want to challenge you to do a few things for me as we prepare to close. First, I wonder who might feel led to come and pray for our nation, our President and for God to send a revival one more time. Who will align themselves with God and seek to confront a national disaster?

Second, there may be some people here who have never trusted Jesus as their Savior. Friend, He loves you and died for you. If you would like to be saved and He is calling you to come to Him, you can come right now.

Third, Some of God’s precious saints have been guilty of walking in compromise with the world and you need to get that matter straightened out with the Lord today.
If He is speaking to your heart today, I invite you to come to Him and get what you need.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Must Tell Jesus” By: E. A. Hoffman (1894)

Verse 1:
I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
in my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.
Chorus:
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

Verse 2:
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
if I but ask Him, He will deliver,
make of my troubles quickly an end.
Chorus

Verse 3:
Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.
Chorus
Verse 4:
O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
over the world the victory to win.
Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Holy and Gracious Father, Loving and Wonderful God! Help us to stop “on the way” to offer an affirmation of our Christian faith, so You may bestow on us a blessing of peace and freedom in the midst of a pressing crowd. May it be a life-changing experience that takes place while everyone else is waiting for “on the way” to be over. May we trust You with our time and give attention to our part on the journey of life. Help us to remember that there is no space we are in, that God is not already occupying with His purpose and His glory. Thank You for Jesus and all the “BLESSINGS ON THE WAY”. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/17/2012 7:04PM

    Wow, what an awesome lesson today. I have been praying for Canada and United States as well. Our countries are both in line for distruction. I pray they will turn things around and God will forgive us for all our faults if we pray and obey His commandments. As children we followed them and we didn't turn out bad. I pray for the young adults that don't have time to spend with their children and take them to church and read the Bible with them. Thank you for your great teaching Vic. God bless you.

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TONYVAND1 11/17/2012 8:54AM

  Praying for our countries. Repentance is needed and it begins with us leading the way. May we all turn from our sins and humble ourselves before a holy and just God.

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