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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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