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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 11/23/2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 11/23/2012

Judges 3:12-30
HOW LEFTY KILLED HEFTY, Lesson 3a

All during the 400 years covered in the book of Judges, the nation of Israel followed a predictable pattern. They would serve God faithfully while they followed the strong leadership of their judges. When a judge died, they had no leader, and they would desert God, and began to live in disobedience to His Law, giving themselves to the worship of the pagan gods of the Canaanites. When they rebelled against the Lord, He would sent His judgment upon them by allowing Israel to be oppressed by their enemies. After a time, Israel would repent of their sins and God would raise up a deliverer. God would use this person to defeat Israel’s enemies and set them free.

That is exactly the pattern we see at work in the verses before us today. Israel sinned against God and the Lord caused Eglon, the king of Moab, to become strong. Eglon invaded Israel, with the help of the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and together they oppressed Israel for 18 years. When they repented, God raised up a man named Ehud to be their deliverer. Ehud assassinated Eglon and led Israel to victory and freedom.
This story has much to teach us, if we will allow it to. Like Israel, we often follow the same pattern of disobedience, chastisement and restoration. Our problem is not the Moabites, the Ammonites or the Amalekites. Our problem is the flesh.

As this text unfolds, we will see that Israel’s enemies are a clear type of our own enemy. Eglon is the perfect picture of the flesh. He is out of control. He is self-indulgent. He is fat, lazy and evil. He is full of pride.

In Israel’s defeat of Eglon, I see a picture of the battle we are supposed to be fighting every day. Every one of us has problems with our flesh. Sometimes we win our battles with the flesh; sometimes we lose our battles with the flesh; sometimes we don’t fight against the desires of the flesh at all. We are literally in a fight for our very spiritual lives every day. It is a fight we must win, every time we enter the arena. This passage gives us the help we need to fight and win the battle with the flesh.

I want to teach about Ehud and Israel and their battle with Eglon. I want you to see that they won their battle with those who oppressed them and you can too. You do not have to be a slave to your fleshly passions. You can be free from the grip of sin. You can walk in victory if you will fight the battle and fight it God’s way.

I want to teach on How Lefty Killed Hefty. As we consider the truths revealed in this passage, we will be given the tools we need to fight and win the daily battle we face with the flesh. I want to point out Israel’s Dilemma; Israel’s Deliverer; and Israel’s Deliverance. Let’s notice these truths as we look at “How Lefty Killed Hefty”.

v. 12-14 ISRAEL’S DILEMMA
These verses describe the horrible oppression Israel suffered because of her rebellion against the Lord. Their problems stand as a warning to all those who would walk away from the God Who redeemed them. Let’s look at these verses and learn from them.
v. 12-13a Their Foes – Israel faced three nations because of their rebellion against God. They faced the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Amalekites. All three of these nations were continual problems for Israel, and all three were connected to Israel by blood.
The Amalekites were descended from Esau, Jacob’s twin brother. The Moabites and the Ammonite were descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. After Lot and his daughters were delivered from Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughter got him drunk, had sexual intercourse with their father and conceived Moab and Ammon, from whom descended these two nations.

All three of these nations worshipped false gods. The Moabites served a god called Chemosh. The Ammonites worshiped a god called Moloch. Both of these gods were worshipped through vile, sexual practices as well as child sacrifice. The Amalekites were a nomadic, warlike people that worshipped a variety of pagan gods.

All three of these nations were a continual thorn in the side of Israel. They were constantly attacking, hindering and seeking to enslave the people of Israel.
These three nations are a picture of our old, fleshly natures. Moab represents the power of the flesh. Ammon represents the passion of the flesh. Amalek represents the persistence of the flesh.

Just like Israel was repeatedly attacked by these nations, the believer is continually attacked by the flesh. Our flesh has its own desires. It does not like the way of holiness and the way of righteousness. The flesh likes the way of evil and the way of Satan, (Eph. 2:1-3; John 8:44).

The flesh that you and I carry around will do everything in its power to enslave us and prevent us from reaching our fullest potential in Jesus Christ. Don’t be deceived, your flesh hates God and everything God stands for. Your flesh will never submit to the Word of God. It must be forced into submission by a strong show of force. Here is how Paul described the enemy – (Rom. 7:14-25).

v. 13b Their Fights – These three nations joined forces and came against Israel. We are told that they “smote Israel”. The word “smote” means “to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, and kill”. These pagan armies did not come by for a friendly picnic; they came to destroy Israel. Israel was in a fight for its very existence.

The battle we wake up to every day is just as serious! We are in a fight for our very spiritual lives every day we live. Paul describes this battle for us in (Gal. 5:16-18).
We all have different areas in which we fight, but if you are saved, you are involved in warfare every day you live. Sometimes you win the battles; sometimes you lose the battles, which is determined by who we yield to as we fight, (Rom. 6:16). If we yield to God, we are slaves to righteousness. If we yield to sin, we are slaves to sin.

We are in a war! The Christian life is not a playground, it is a battle-ground! We need to suit up for war every day by putting on the whole armor of God, (Eph. 6:10-18); by praying and reading the Word, and by taking a stand that refuses to yield to sin in any form! It isn’t easy, but it is His command for us!

v. 13c Their Failures – Eglon established his headquarters in “the city of palm trees”. This is another name for the city of Jericho, (Deut. 34:3). Jericho was the first city conquered by Israel when they entered the Promised Land, (Josh. 6). Jericho represented all the victories that God would give them in the future. To see their oppressors set up their headquarters in the very place where they once had enjoyed great military and spiritual victory must have been hard for Israel to swallow.

Such is the power of the flesh! Just when you think you have achieved victory in an area of your life, and just when you think that problem with that sin is settled forever, here comes the flesh. It will do everything in its power to undermine your victories and take back any ground you have won.

The flesh is relentless. Unfortunately the spiritual desire within us in not. We let our guard down, and when we do, we lose the battle. We fail to pray. We fail to read the Word. We fail to avoid exposure to the things that tempt us. We fail to take a stand against the flesh. We fail to do what Paul said he did, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” (1 Cor. 9:27). The phrase “keep under” means “to beat black and blue”. When the flesh rises up, we must put it back in its place. Beat it, punch it, assault it, deny it, and make it toe-the-line for the glory of God! It isn’t easy, but if we fail to do it, we will lose the battle every time! This is why we need Jesus living in us.

v. 14 Their Foolishness – Because Israel failed to honor the will of God in their walk day by day, they became the servants of Eglon. The word “served” means “to work; to labor; to become a slave to”. Israel had been redeemed to be the servants of Jehovah God. Now, because of their sins, they have become the servants of pagan kings. This condition lasted for 18 years!

Again, this shows the power of the flesh. It has the power to enslave us and lead us away from the Lord. It has the power to enslave us and to cause us to work for the world and the devil. It has the power to make us labor for self every day, while we ignore the will of God for our lives. It is not what God saved us for. He did not save us so that we might remain the slaves of sin. He saved us to be free. He saved to serve Him and Him alone!

But, if you allow the flesh to have its way in your life, you will become its slave. It will draw you into its trap and hold you there, squeezing the very spiritual life right out of you. I have no doubt that I am speaking to some people right now who are a mere spiritual shell of what you used to be: Your prayer life, your devotional life, your church life, your life of service and devotion to God have all fallen into a state of disrepair. You have seen the places where you used to enjoy victory become the habitation of the flesh. You see yourself living a life you never imagined when the Lord saved your soul. Well, I want you to know that you do not have to stay in that condition. The Lord can and will set you free.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Shall Not Be Moved” By: Edward H. Boatner (1993)

Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved;
In His love and favor, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
Chorus
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

In my Christ abiding, I shall not be moved;
In His love I'm hiding, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
Chorus

If I trust Him ever, I shall not be moved;
He will fail me never, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
Chorus

On His word I'm feeding, I shall not be moved;
He's the One that's leading, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.
Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, God who is Holy, righteous and just! We know that we have broken your laws and our sins have separated us from you. We are truly sorry, and now we want to turn away from our past sinful life toward you. Please forgive us, and help us avoid sinning again. We believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears our prayer. We invite Jesus to become the Lord of our life, to rule and reign in our heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help us obey Him, and to do Your will for the rest of our life. In Jesus' glorious name we pray. Amen!”

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/23/2012 10:48PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. I love this hymn. It says it all for us. We do fight our flesh each day and only to succeed when we wait for God's still small voice to guide us. We have accepted Jesus into our heart and lives and He will help us to be victors. God bless you for sharing God's word.

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LOOKINGUP2012 11/23/2012 6:55PM

    emoticon Vic. I hadn't heard that song in a long time. God is able and willing!

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HAGIN2010 11/23/2012 1:43PM

    Thanks Vic May we all continue to have victory over the flesh with gods help and grace.

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CAVEPRINCESS65 11/23/2012 10:52AM

    Amen and Thank you Vic!
May we all never forget that we need to call upon him daily and we shall be at a place of peace!

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TONYVAND1 11/23/2012 8:50AM

  Amen Vic: Fighting the old nature is a daily battle but the victory can be ours because of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit We need to call upon Him every day.

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DIANER2014 11/23/2012 8:25AM

    That's one of my favorite hymns! Thanks Vic! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 11/22/2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I am grateful for each and every one of my Spark Friends, for your love, friendship and support!

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS; HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING!

We will continue our lessons tomorrow. In His Love and Grace! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 11/23/2012 10:49AM

    Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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ANHELIC 11/22/2012 10:51PM

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family Vic. Sending you God's richest blessings.

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TONYVAND1 11/22/2012 8:55AM

  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Vic. Its been a joy to get to know you through your blog and your comments and spark goodies. Enjoy your long weeekend with family and friends. Here in Canada we have had our Thanksgiving in October so its just another work day here.

Tony

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JSTETSER 11/22/2012 7:25AM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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DIANER2014 11/22/2012 7:11AM

    Happy Thanksgiving! Looking forward to tomorrow. emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 11/22/2012 7:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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HAGIN2010 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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HAGIN2010 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!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  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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HAGIN2010 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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