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Friday, November 16, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 11/16/2012

Judges 1:1-2; 2:1-4; 16,

All did not remain well in Israel. Notice Judges 2:7, 10. These verses tell us that the old generation that had seen God move in power and glory died out. A new generation came of age that forgot their heritage and denied the God that had made them what they were. Israel began a slow, steady descent down the slope of compromise.

When they entered the land, they had been commanded to utterly destroy the people of Canaan, (Num. 33:51-56). They are warned in those verses that if they fail to drive out the nations, they themselves will be afflicted and that God Himself will turn against them. This became a reality in Israel.

V. 1:19 The Canaanites They Feared – After some initial success,( 1:4-19a), Judah came up against some people that they feared. They did not drive these people out due to fear.

V. 1:27-30 The Canaanites They Favored – We are told here that many of the tribes did not drive out the people of the land, but merely put them to tribute. That is, they enslaved the Canaanites and forced them to work for Israel.

V. 1:32-33 The Canaanites They Frequented – It gets worse! In these verses we are told that some of the Israelites “dwelt among the Canaanites.” They became accustomed to the vile and wicked ways of the Canaanites and accepted them for who they were.

Of course, this same trend can be seen here in America! We have already taken many of the same steps down that slippery slope that Israel took all those years ago. Remember, the key verse of this book is Judges 17:6 which says, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” That means that there was no fixed standard of right and wrong. People did as they pleased. They did what they wanted to, without regard for God or what He had to say about the matter. That is where we are in this nation today!

In 1960 a poll was taken that showed that 65% of Americans believed that the Bible was the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Another poll was taken in 1992 and by then only 32% still believed the Bible was the perfect Word of God. In other words, less than one-third of Americans believe that there is a perfect standard for judging what is right and wrong. Judges 2:10 is being lived out before our eyes!

Another poll taken in 1992 asked this simple question: Do you believe that there are moral absolutes? Do you believe that there are some things that are absolutely wrong and some things that are absolutely right? 70% of those who answered that poll said that they did not believe in moral absolutes! That is scary! Our children are being taught that there are no absolutes. There are no wrong answers. Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. That is frightening if you follow it to its logical end. It means that abortion, murder, drugs use, alcohol use, pre-marital and extra-marital sex, etc, is all right if you want to do it.

Well, thank God that we still have the church right? Not so fast! A recent survey found that only 57% of professing Christians believed in moral absolutes. We are in a mess in America! With no clear standard for right and wrong, the door is open for people do as they please; just as they did in the days when Israel was sliding into the chaos of compromise. Isa. 5:20 is a passage that speaks to our day very well.

Well, as they did in Israel, America is busy compromising with the Canaanites of our day. There are some that we cannot seem to overcome. They have “chariots of iron.” We cannot seem to deal with drugs, crime, abortion, immorality, sexual perversion and moral decay. When we face these Canaanites that we fear, we simply adjust to them and accept them as “being part of life.”

Then there are the Canaanites that we favor. Things like legalized gambling, lotteries and alcohol are accepted by society because they are supposed bring revenue into the hands of the community and the government. But what about their enormous cost? What about broken homes? What about shattered innocence? What about a system that preys on the poorest among us? Look at the price America is paying economically for turning away from God and walking off into compromise! Look at our world! People are playing with vices that are destroying our young! Still we tolerate these Canaanites because they are supposedly working for us!

We fear some Canaanites; we favor others; but there are some that we frequent. That is, we live around sin so much that we begin to get desensitized to it. Instead of maintaining our spiritual purity, we begin to adopt the ways of the world. We talk like them; we walk like them; we do what they do; go where they go; watch what they watch; like what they like; smoke what they smoke; drink what they drink. We have adopted the attitude that sin is not all that bad anymore. We have allowed the walls of separation that existed between the church and the world to erode to the place that it is hard to tell the difference between the two any longer. Friend, don’t be fooled, you cannot play around with sin and not get burned, (Pro. 6:27). Things have a way of getting out of hand quicker than you can imagine.

We have become a nation of compromisers. We are afraid to take a stand against sin for fear of being labeled “intolerant.” We are so politically correct that we are afraid we might offend someone with our “religion.” We are already paying a high price for our disobedience; but I am afraid that we are slated for far harsher judgment as a nation.

“Be Still and Know” By: Based on Ps 46:10 and Ex 15:26

Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God.

I am the Lord that healeth thee. I am the Lord that healeth thee.
I am the Lord that healeth thee. I am the Lord that healeth thee.

In thee, O Lord I put my trust. In thee, O Lord I put my trust.
In thee, O Lord I put my trust. In thee, O Lord I put my trust.

Loving Father, God of the Universe! We know that life is not easy, but that it can be rewarding with your blessings, and we can keep perfect peace when our minds are steadfast because we trust in YOU. Reassure us O Lord during difficult seasons, with Your broad shoulders and supportive embrace. Enable us to gratefully accept Your gift of peace. Calm our storms of life that we might know and appreciate your peace and comfort. Shelter us in Your loving arms, and help us to remember all the promises we receive in Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes! Help us to be still and know! In His Mighty name we pray. Amen!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Just stopping back to say "Be still and Know" helped me get through a very rough day yesterday! I read this lesson early in the morning and started my day! Oh what a great reminder that is when challenges came my way yesterday! emoticon Vic!
    2011 days ago
  • HAGIN2010
    I spent most of my life "living among the Cannintes" Vic May i never forget the turmoil and sorrow for doing so. I have found a much better life living in Christ our Lord.
    2012 days ago
    Oh that my people would humble themselves repent and pray. We do need to be still and know that God is God of the entire universe. Pray that our nations will repent and turn back to God.
    2012 days ago
    God speaks to us if only we will listen!
    2012 days ago
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