Tag: Book of Judges

Micah Desecrating True Worship

Micah—-Desecrating The Worship

Our Text Book of Judges 17-21

Our Focus Chapter 17:1-13; 18:18-20, 23-25, 30, 31

What is the theme of the Book of Judges?

Jdg 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel: [every man did that which was right in his own eyes].

AND, What does the Bible teach us?

Our righteousness is a filthy rags, SO it is impossible for man to rule himself in a righteous way!

The outcome is exactly what we see in our world today!

Mic 2:1  Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
Mic 2:2  And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

A right relationship with God is necessary for us to have the right relationship with each other and to the world we live in!

AND, it is only our Creator, who can determine what is right and what is wrong for us and it has to be this way!

We don’t have to agree, we just must accept this as the truth!

Failure to obey God will first bring failure to our selves, then to our home, then failure to our society, and then failure to our nation, unless we repent and turn to God.

Remember that on the day of “judgment” it is too late to repent!

As we wind up our short study in this Book of Judges today we can see what false worship can do to a lost people and also to a people who have the Word of God but do not obey it.

These last five chapters of Judges provide a direct insight into moral depravity, when apostasy rules in the peoples lives.

We should be aware that the Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh, which was also located near Mount Ephraim and was the place of worship for Israel and was only a very few miles from where our lesson takes place today.

Let’s begin:

*****Jdg 17:1  And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

It will very obvious as we study these last chapters that God does not hide anything from us. The Book of Judges is as much for an example for all of us to learn by as all the books of the Bible are.

Ephraim was the youngest of the two sons of Joseph and this land in Canaan was given to this son of Joseph by the casting of the lots we talked about earlier.

Micah lived in this area with his wife and son and it seems also with his mother. This was pretty normal for Israel at this time.

*****Jdg 17:2  And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.

We can see that this son was a thief and only returned the money he stole because of the curse his mother had spoken against the one who stole her money.

Even the act of thievery is idolatry:

Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, [which is idolatry]:
Col 3:6  For which things’ sake [the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience]:

Anything we place between us and the Word of God, and God Himself is “idolatry”!

Not obeying the Word of God is also a form of “Idolatry” because we put man’s word before God’s Word!

And a “curse” would normally be an “oath before God”.

*****Jdg 17:3  And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

Now we can see the confusion of this household.

If we look back in God’s Word we can see this happened every time Israel feels that they have no leader. They reject The LORD and worship some false thing that they make or they get someone else to make for them.

It happened in the time of Moses:

Exo 32:1  And when the people saw that Moses was a long time coming down from the mountain, [they all came to Aaron and said to him, Come, make us a god to go before us]: as for this Moses, who took us up out of the land of Egypt, we have no idea what has become of him.

It happened just before God appointed every new judge. Israel was in need of a leader but they did not then and have not now acknowledged the Word of God and His Messiah to be their leader.

We see several things here:

1.) This mother had dedicated 1100 shekels to the Lord. “LORD” here means Jehovah.

2.) This money she had intended to give to her son to make a graven image and a molten image.

Normally a graven image would be a carving of something such a wood and then covered with metal such a silver of gold to make an idol for worship.

Normally a molten image would be a metal such as silver of gold that was melted and poured into a mold to make an idol for worship.

*****Jdg 17:4  Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: [and they were in the house of Micah].

We can see that this family have completely ignored the Ten Commandments but this was not all:

God had given them written instructions of where to worship when they got to Canaan Land:

Deu 12:11  Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
Deu 12:12  And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, [and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you].

There was to be only one place of worship for all the Nation of Israel!

None of Israel were to have their own private shrines.

We can also see that when the parent is corrupt in their beliefs and worship then the children will be so also!

*****Jdg 17:5  And the man Micah [had an house of gods], and made an ephod, and teraphim, and [consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest].

Micah had his own house for his false gods.
Micah had clothes that were made for a priest.
Micah had teraphim which were idols in a human shape.
Micah had his own dedication ceremony and made one of his sons his own personal priest.

Surely Micah knew that the Lord had appointed the family of Aaron to be the only priests of Israel!

Any priests from any other family were to be killed in accordance to the Word of God:

Num 3:10  And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger that cometh nigh [shall be put to death].

We can see what happens when the world will not submit to the authority of God’s Holy Inspired Word!

The home of Micah was a place of religious and moral confusion.

The Bible still says that:

1Co 14:33  [For God is not the author of confusion], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

We can see this happen in most every home where money is a thing of worship or the things money can buy.

Luk 16:13  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

*****Jdg 17:6  In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

This verse gives us the thoughts of the nation of Israel and the theme of this Book of Judges.

They felt they needed a king. A leader who could lead them in the way of the Lord.

And Israel felt that they were unable to maintain their national integrity without a king, though they had witnessed the defeat of every king they had faced in battle, when their faith was in Jehovah.

Israel would one day soon get to see their true King, who they also rejected!

Mat 27:11  And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Unless Jesus is King in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul, you, your family, and your nation will suffer for it!

The tribe of Dan had to forfeit their inheritance because they did not have a leader that could unify their military and drive out the Philistines. Samson was given the opportunity but never tried to unify Dan nor Israel.

They rejected Theocracy and demanded a Monarchy.

Who do we blame for what is going on in America?

Well America has rejected the Word of God in favor of men who want to be king!

We can only blame ourselves!

These we put in office do what is right in their own eyes.

These that are placed as judges do what is right in their own eyes.

And even greater confusion is caused by many in the Body of Christ because too many preachers do what is right in their own eyes.

Homes fail, worship fails and nations fail, who reject the truth of the Word of God!

*****Jdg 17:7  And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.

Though this verse sounds strange it means that this young man had a mother of the tribe of Judah and a father who was a Levite.

We also know that there were at least two Bethlehems in the Bible, so Judah is added to the name to distinguish it from the other.

There was another Bethlehem assigned to the tribe of Zebulun:

Jos 19:15  And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
Jos 19:16  This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

This also happens in the prophesy concerning where Jesus would be born:

Mic 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Bethlehem Ephratah and BethlehemJudah are the same place and are not the same as the City of Bethlehem that was assigned to the tribe of Zebulun.

*****Jdg 17:8  And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.

We must remember a Levite could not be the owner of any land.

We can be sure that Israel had sunk into apostasy and the worship of God at the Tabernacle was being ignored so there would be no tithes or offerings to take care of the Levites.

This young Levite was seeking a way to just survive and he could not find it in Bethlehem Judah.

We can be sure the further we get from  the Lord the more the church will suffer and even today we see many a house of God shutting the doors because they cannot afford to maintain these houses of worship.

*****Jdg 17:9  And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.

This young Levite simply says, “I am seeking a place that I can live and make a living”.

What was the profession of the Levites?

Deu 18:1  The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance.

What we also see is that this young Levite has never sought the Will of God!

This young Levite never tried to bring Israel back to the true worship of Jehovah.

This young Levite simply tried to hide himself in the world that was around him.

He was not available to Jehovah so he made himself available to man.

How many preachers are out there today who do not make themselves available to God but do make themselves available to man.

The Bible says:

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

*****Jdg 17:10  And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.

This young Levite found exactly what he was seeking. He could have a priestly position and a livelihood in this house of Micah.

So the Levite went in thinking he was now somebody when he was actually worse off than he had been.

The Bible says:

1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, [they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows].
1Ti 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

*****Jdg 17:11  And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.

Micah was delighted with this arrangement and regarded this Levite as one of his sons. Micah considered himself most fortunate to have a true Levite as his priest and was sure that he would now see the goodness of Jehovah.

This young Levite gave up the true work of the Lord for the comfort and the security in the home of someone who worshipped idols as their god.

The New Testament describes this type of priests to us:

Joh 10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

***** Jdg 17:12  And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

Every true shepherd will receive his calling and his authority from Jehovah God.

Gal 1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Why is there so much turmoil in the so called Christian world?

When men reject Jesus Christ, then they cannot be called of God and they cannot know the truth of the Gospel.

Rom 2:16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men [by Jesus Christ] according to my gospel.

It is by the Gospel of Jesus Christ that this world will be judged!

This truth is also rejected by the world we live in today!

BUT, to be Christian is to stand by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and defend the Word of God who gives us His Promises.

Again the Apostle Paul

Php 1:17  But the other of love, [knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel].

1.)  It is Christ Who “begins” the good work in us!

2.) It is Christ Who “carries” who carries on His good work  in us!

3.)  It is Christ Who will ultimately “complete” that work by transforming us into His own likeness!

There can be no other Gospel and there is no other means of salvation!

*****Jdg 17:13  Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.

A Levite priest would be assigned some duty in the Tabernacle. There was no home duty except to be a parent and an example to the community where they lived.

Micah’s delusion is not unusual because he was lost and without God. BUT,  no priest, and no preacher can be the substitute for for the truth of the Word of God!

Micah was caught up in a false religion and he worshipped false gods which he tried to mix with the worship of Jehovah, which God will not allow.

God is a jealous God!

BUT, All the while Micah rested in in a false security for his soul and thought God was blessing him.

All false gods can be taken away, it is only the Lord Jesus Christ who will never leave us.

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, [that he may abide with you for ever];
Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; [whom the world cannot receive], because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

This is the truth from the true God of the Bible!

*****Jdg 18:18  And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?

Because they were cowards, this tribe of Dan had been unable to capture the land given to them by Jehovah. And really more than cowards, Dan had broken the covenant with the Lord.

Remember that covenant was not for them to own the land, it was given to them by the LORD. But they had to keep the covenant “to live on the land”.

God had placed every tribe on land “He” had chosen. Remember “the drawing of the lot”.

For the tribe of Dan to reject their assigned land was to reject God and it shows in these passages.

You know God has placed each of us in the exact place he wants us live and do a work for Him.

But our own  covetousness makes us to want what we see that others have that seems better than what we have.

The Bible tells us:

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power [hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness], through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

They sent out 5 spies to find a place where the enemy was weak and peaceful.

It was these spies who found this private house of false worship.

Remember Micah had been guilty of robbing his own mother and now he was about to be robbed.

Micah had a great collection of idols and since these men of Dan had rejected Jehovah, and still having a want to have a god, they chose these false idols to take with them.

Remember they had seen the Ark go before them in battle many times but the power had never been in the Ark. It is God who has all power!

When these 5 men returned to the gate of the city they were confronted by the young Levite, who is named Jonathon.

Jonathon was shocked to see what they had done.

*****Jdg 18:19  And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?
Jdg 18:20  And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

This Levite named Johnathan was alarmed at first but this now became a joyous occasion for him. He would not be priests in a private home but priest to the entire tribe of Dan.

These Danites had stolen Micah’s false gods and now had stolen his false priest!

Aren’t you glad no one can take away Jesus and the things He gives us?

We can now see how easily false worship can spread from one man and one house and then a false preacher or priest and then an entire nation.

*****Jdg 18:23  And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?
Jdg 18:24  And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?

This army of 600 of Dan had anticipated trouble so they placed their women and children in the front in order to defend themselves from an attack from the rear.

It is a sad thing to realize that when you put your faith in something that is false and that false thing is taken away, you are left with nothing “because you had nothing to begin with”.

My God is real!

Those that worship the idols of this world may be able to physically carry their gods with them but it is My God that carries me with Him!

Isa 46:1  Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.
Isa 46:2  They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
Isa 46:3  Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
Isa 46:4  And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

and again:

Psa 48:14  For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

This the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

If you do not Jesus Christ as your “personal Savior” you simply cannot know the truth, and it is the truth that “Makes” us free!

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall “make” you free.

Notice made free and not set free there is a big difference!

*****Jdg 18:25  And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household.

We can see that an idol is anything that has been put in place of the true God.

When we place our life, or our hope, or our comfort, or our joy, or our happiness in the trust of anything but The Lord Jesus Christ we have placed our trust in something that is an “Idol”!

We will be destroyed by this false security that comes from false worship!

Micah had to leave everything he had placed his “faith” in or lose his life.

He had to make a choice that brought him no nearer to eternal life!

*****Jdg 18:30  And the children of Dan set up the graven image: [and Jonathan, the son of Gershom], the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

Micah was of the tribe of Ephraim.

Johnathan the false priest was of the tribe of Levi and it appears that Jonathan was even a grandson of Moses.

Our verse adds also the son of Manasseh which can only mean Jonathon acted more like some one from the tribe of Manasseh which means (causing to forget) than from the family of Moses who was God’s man!

These others that remain are the tribe of Dan.

The tribe of Dan was the first tribe of Israel to officially adopt the idolatrous system of worship of Canaan land!

This religion now called Humanism, existed in Israel in the days of the judges and God later allowed Assyria to capture the land:

2Ki 18:11  And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes:
2Ki 18:12  Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
What we have seen is the hopelessness of any society without the God of the Bible.

We also know that this same king sent one of those priest back to Samaria to be their priest:

2Ki 17:27  Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

And Jesus had these words for that woman at the well:

Joh 4:22  [Ye worship ye know not what]: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

SO, What is religious humanism? Religious Humanism are those that do what they think is right in their own eyes.

In 1961 the United States Supreme Court declared Humanism to be a RELIGION.” If Humanism is a religion, such as Judaism, Christianity, etc., where are the Humanist churches, where is the headquarters, the Mother Church?”

This can best be described in this manner.

They use the schools, the colleges, and universities to spread their false doctrine. They infiltrate government on all levels to have their way.

It is in these places that they provide, mostly through deception, daily ‘preaching’ of their religious humanistic ideology.

They use taxpayer money to further their cause, “and they do so in violation of the Constitution of the United States”.

What do they say of them selves?

1.) Humanists regard the universe as self-existing and “not created.”

2.) Humanists preach that, “the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.”

3.) Humanism states, “The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.”

4.) Humanism considers ‘the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life.”

5.) “In place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer, the Humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life.”

6.) Humanists “consider the quest for [the good life] is still the central task for mankind.”

7.) Humanists preach, “there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes associated with belief in the supernatural.” {That means the One true God Our Creator}

8.) Humanists ‘believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, [is an unproved and out moded faith].”

9.) Humanists “discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species.” (We are all accidents of nature)

[In other words, man is hopelessly adrift without a Creator, without a purpose, without a soul, and without hope for life beyond this life, and must save himself]. It is no wonder that after a steady drumming of this depressing garbage, adolescents commit suicide!

10.) Humanists “reject all religious, ideological, or moral codes [this they see as suppressing their freedom] 

11.) Humanists “believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, [unduly repress sexual conduct.”]

Is it any wonder that government school sex education courses lead to promiscuity, experimentation and unbridled sex?

12.) Humanists believe “the many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered ‘evil’.”
[Why are you surprised that homosexuality, incest, child molestation, and other forms of ‘sexual exploration’ are rising at an unprecedented rate? “It is being encouraged”!]

13.) Humanism avows “The conditions of work, education, devotion, and play should be humanized.

[Alienating forces should be modified or eradicated.” (That means all Christians)]

14.) Humanists are deceitful when they say the State “should not favor any particular religious bodies through the use of public monies” [because they allow nothing else but Religious Humanism in the public schools].

Remember the Supreme Court has already said Humanism is a religion.

This happening not only in America but throughout our world!

*****Jdg 18:31  And they set them up Micah’s graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

The Tabernacle of Moses had been set up at Shiloh and was there all the time of the Judges.

The Tabernacle was the place Jehovah had setup for the place of worship for Israel.

When Israel abandoned the One True God, then there was no need for Shiloh:

What did God tell Jeremiah to preach:

Jer 26:4  And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
Jer 26:5  To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;
Jer 26:6  Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.

What happened to Shiloh?

Jer 7:12  But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

What is God going to do to every place that has abandoned or refuse true worship?

Jer 7:13  And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
Jer 7:14  Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

We can see the signs of this end time coming now if we just open our eyes!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Samson, Overcoming The Philistines

Samson, Overcoming The Philistines

Our Text: Book of Judges 13-16

Our Focus: Chapters 13:5,24-25; 15:14-15; 16:4-5,16-24, 28-30

As we look at Samson, we need to remember one main thing.

*****If God had chosen us for our works, or for our own goodness, we may fear that He would one day cast us away. BUT He chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, and for His Own names sake, HE CANNOT LOSE US!

1Sa 12:22  For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: ]because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people].

Samson was unpredictable and undependable because he was a double-minded man and the Bible teaches us that a double-minded man is unstable.

Jas 1:8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Samson was bold and mighty before men but we must be honest, Samson was a wimp when it came to women!

He could not keep any secret from the women he ran with!

Samson was to be a Judge of Israel and to begin the deliverance of them from the Philistines, yet he spent more time with the enemy than with his own people.

The name Samson means “Sunny” but in the end Samson was blinded by the enemy he was to conquer and he could no longer see the Sun.

There are 4 chapters in the Book of Judges devoted to Samson but we will see only a few of these verses.

So, let us begin:

*****Jdg 13:5  For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and [he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines].

Again we see that God has a plan for each of us even before we are born. Samson had not even been born and it would be many years before he would be of age enough to begin this work God had chosen for him.

We also see that the parents of Samson were to be involved in the life of Samson. When we are given children from the Lord, we are to see that they raised in a godly manner.

One of the most important verses in the Bible about children is this one:

Pro 22:6  Train up a child [in the way he should go]: and when he is old, [he will not depart from it].

We should also keep in mind that if we do not train them in the way they they should go, then whatever way they are taught they may not depart from that way either.

Samson was to have the vow of the Nazarite from his birth.

The Bible teaches us this vow:

Num 6:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
Num 6:3  He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
Num 6:4  All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
Num 6:5  All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
Num 6:8  All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

1.) He was not to touch strong drink or use grapes in any form.

**Wine is a “symbol” of earthly joy.

Do we ever see a commercial on our TV”s that show alcoholic beverages with people that are shown to be unhappy.

**Wine is a symbol of a merry heart. Sadly neither of these things are true!

Samson was to find his joy in the Lord:

Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

What is the fruit of God’s Spirit:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Those that say they are saved and do not show the fruit of the Holy Spirit need to be heavy in prayer to see what is wrong for they are still blind.

2.) The Nazarite of this day was not to cut his hair.

BUT, This is no an excuse to look like a hippie.

The Bible says:

1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, [that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him]?

IN other words Samson was to bear this as a shameful thing all the days of his life!

In other words Samson’s long hair was to be “the symbol” that he followed The Lord and all His commandments. When someone saw Samson, his long hair was the symbol that he belonged to God by a vow.

A Christian makes a vow when we pray the sinners prayer and the evidence of that vow is our noticeably changed life. We are to be like Christ! We are not to start allowing our hair to grow long.

3.) The Nazarite was not to approach any dead thing.

He was to put the Lord ahead of all things even his family and his loved ones:

Luk 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

We should see how we match up to these requirements!

*****Jdg 13:24  And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

Samson differed from all the other judges by the fact that he was to have the Nazarite vow but he also was born of a miracle birth. His mother had been barren until the time of Samson’s birth.

Again the name Samson means “Sunny”.

You know, Samson probably was not much bigger or stronger than the average man. The only thing that distinguished Samson from most other men was his hair.

Samson was only strong when the Holy Spirit came upon him and when the Holy Spirit moved him.

BUT, Samson was one of the weakest men in the Bible in his ways.

AND, Samson did not take the work of God seriously!

We are wrong when we do not take the “work” of God seriously, it means we do not take the “Word” of God seriously!

*****Jdg 13:25  [And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him] at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

As we go forward we will see that Samson used his strength as one would use a toy or a plaything. We will also see that Samson was a loner and never showed any signs of leadership. Samson never tried to unite Israel behind him.

Samson was never much of a Judge!

The Holy Spirit is not given to us for our enjoyment but only for our employment!

We cannot do anything for God without the Holy Spirit guiding our way!

To the Church we know that the Holy Spirit teaches us!

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Holy Spirit does not just come and go like He did with Samson but lives inside every believer and will never leave him.

This where our strength will be until we pass on to Heaven if we do not “grieve Him”.

It is through the Holy Spirit we can see our future and know the truth of God!

Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

There is no hope without the Holy Spirit!

*****Jdg 15:14  And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: [and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him], and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

Here again we see that Samson had no power until the Holy Spirit came mightily upon him!

And to the Church God says.

Rom 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, [through the power of the Holy Ghost].

The power of the Church comes through the Holy Spirit.

The Church is weak in America now because we have “grieved” the Holy Spirit and “lack” Holy Ghost Power.

Act_1:8  But ye shall receive power, ]after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:] and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

*****Jdg 15:15  And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

There were 3000 Jews that had delivered Samson to these Philistines. There is always a reason God does what He does!

Not only did Samson kill 1000 Philistines and witnessed by the Philistines, God also showed these 3000 of Israel what could happen if they placed their “faith in Him”.

These men of Israel had said to Samson “that it was the Philistine who ruled Israel” but God was showing Israel that it was He, Jehovah who ruled Israel and all the World and All His Creation.

God also showed everybody that Samson was just a man, when He had to provide him some water just to stay alive!

God answered Samson’s prayer, but we never read where Samson sought the guidance of Our Lord.

*****Jdg 15:20  And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

This verse is not part of our lesson but we can see that after this battle, Samson judged Israel for 20 years.

*****Jdg 16:1  Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

We see that for twenty years Samson and the Philistine stayed away from each other but now we see how Samson backslides all the way to his death and Israel will again be ruled by the Philistine.

Just like Eve, we see that Samson “saw with his eyes”.

In fact the Bible teaches us how we all fail:

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, [the lust of the flesh], and [the lust of the eyes], and [the pride of life], is not of the Father, [but is of the world].

We lust and we covet.

We look and we covet.

Then our covetous turns to pride for what we think is right in our own eyes and we fail and backslide.

Back to our lesson.

*****Jdg 16:4  And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Now it was not like Samson traveled deep into the land of the Philistines because this valley of Sorek was on the border between Judah and Philistia. Samson actually found a woman that was not too far from his home.

BUT as we shall see it is a dangerous thing to linger too close to the enemy. This will become the biggest failure in the life of Samson.

Samson had a weakness for women and most men have this same weakness.

This Delilah was not an ordinary woman. She could not only entice a man, she could maneuver a man to do her will.

The Bible teaches us:

Ecc 7:26  And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: [whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her]; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

The Bible also teaches us that Satan knows our every weakness:

2Ti 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of [the snare of the devil], who are taken captive by him at his will.

*****Jdg 16:5  And the [lords of the Philistines] came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

We also see that Satan knew the weakness of Delilah.

Once the Philistines knew Samson had eyes again for their women they made a new plan.

Notice the this plan was put in place by the ruling government of the Philistines. There were five divisions of the Philistines and each one ruled from a different city and each one was a lord. We always find these evil men in one accord.

These lords of the Philistines did not believe in Jehovah, God of Israel, so we can just imagine that if Samson had some kind of secret to his strength, they wanted to know it themselves.

When these lords presented their plan to Delilah, they bought her trust with a great deal of money. Something Samson could not provide for her.

5,500 pieces of silver was a great amount of money at this time.

*****Jdg 16:16  And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
Jdg 16:17  That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

Delilah was relentless and finally found the secret of Samson’s strength. Samson’s strength was not in his long hair.

Samson’s strength was in his vow!

Delilah has shown us how easy it is to defeat the child of God:

And, Jesus warned us of this in one of His parables:

Luk 16:8  And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: [for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light].

The Holy Spirit departed from Samson and he had no power at all.

He had trusted in himself:

Again the Bible teaches us.

Pro 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and [lean not unto thine own understanding].

*****Jdg 16:18  And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.

The man God had chosen to liberate Israel from her enemies had lost another battle with his own self.

Samson never raised an army, Samson never won a battle, Samson never rallied Israel.

Samson allowed the lust of his flesh to rule his life.

*****Jdg 16:19  And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

Samson went to sleep in his confidence that nothing could take his strength from him.

Samson had not up untill this time, realized that he actually had no strength.

It had been the gift of God through the Holy Spirit!

*****Jdg 16:20  And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

The Philistine easily overpowered Samson and now could have their way with him!

*****Jdg 16:21  But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

They took him: They had never been able to lay hold on Samson all his life.

They put out his eyes: This was common to do to prisoners at this time.

They would scoop out the eyeballs.

Or they would just pierce the eyes.

Or they would sometimes just hold a red hot poker near enough to the eye to cause blindness.

They did not trust ropes to secure him so they bound him in brass fetters. Fetters were for the feet so Samson could not run away.

Samson was then treated like an animal.

*****Jdg 16:22  Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
Jdg 16:23  Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Jdg 16:24  And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

Samson had yielded to his flesh most of his life. We see that his hair begin to grow while he was in prison, which means Samson had taken this time to renew his relationship with Jehovah.

Instead of seeing Samson as one who was in judgment of his own God, these Philistines gave the credit of Samson’s defeat to their false god Dagon.

Many false religions see how Jehovah may judge His people and claim that He has never existed.

This is the means of most all false religion to try to give some credit, or some reality to false gods.

To many in the Arab world they use “oil” as a means of giving credit to their false deities not realizing the God gave this  “oil” to them to rise out of poverty but evil men took control of all of it..

These 5 lords of the Philistines held a national festival to honor their god “Dagon” and as we can see they used this false deity also as a means to stay in power.

These people had many false gods but Dagon was their chief god.

I am so glad I don’t have to pick and choose from multiple gods to see who might have the greatest power on certain days!

Samson was used for their amusement!

It is a tragic thing when the children of God are nothing more than a thing of amusement to this world. In fact in the eyes of most of this world we live in the “Body of Christ”, the Church, is no more than a nuisance.

They consider the Church to be blind to progress and blind to the modern ways of the world and harmless just as Samson was this day to these Philistines.

*****Jdg 16:28  And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29  And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30  And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

But when God’s people call on Him humbly and with a repentant heart, they find that God has not ever forgotten them and He never will!

Samson had only began to be a deliverer. He had not completed the work God had given him to do.

Samson played with sin “instead of hating sin” as the Bible instructs us to do.

Samson’s great strength was in the Holy Spirit and had nothing to do with His hair nor the length of his hair.

Let’s look at a parallel to Our Lord Jesus:

1.) Both births were foretold by an angel.

2.) Both were separated to God from their time of birth.

3.) Both were Nazarites.

Samson because of the vow of the Nazarite.

Jesus because He had a residence in Nazareth.

4.) Both moved in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

5.) Both were rejected by their own people.

6.) Both were to destroy their enemies.

Now let’s contrast them both:

1.) Samson lived a life in sin——Jesus lived a sinless life.

2.) At his death Samson prayed that he could be avenged of the Philistines——-Jesus prayed for God to forgive those that would persecute Him.

3.) In death Samson’s arms were out stretched in wrath—–On the Cross,Jesus’s arms were stretched out in love.

4.) Samson died!

But the Lord Jesus Christ walked out of that grave and is alive today!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Gideon, Defeating The Midianite

Gideon, Defeating The Midianite

Book of Judges 6:1, 11-16, 24, 34; 7:2-7, 16-22

We have seen war and rumors of war for several years now and it does not seem that things will ever be better.

In fact God says things are only going to get worse.

One of the main things we need to learn from this lesson is that when we see and hear of these wars we need to go in prayer to the God of Peace or “Jehovah-Shalom”.

Who is our peace?

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, [The Prince of Peace].

Heb 13:20  [Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus], (that great shepherd of the sheep), through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

There is only one way for true peace to come.

Col 1:20  [And, having made peace through the blood of his cross], by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Let’s begin:

*****Jdg 6:1  And “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD”: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

3 times the Bible uses this same phrase in the Book of Judges.

3 other times the word “again” is added to this phrase in the Book of Judges.

We know that 6 is the number of man. And 666 is the number of the Beast.

These Midianite were the wandering herdsman of the Eastern desert. They were somewhat like the Bedouin Arabs that are seen in the Middle East today.

Many of the Midianite were probably descendants of Abraham and Keturah after the death of Sarah.

But they were also intermingled with the Ishmaelites and the Amalekites.

It was because of these wandering nomad that the children of Israel had to move into caves and strong holds during the harvest seasons for about seven years.

Though these Nomad traveled in search of grasslands for their flocks continuously it was an intentional act allowed by God in His judgment of Israel, to destroy their crops.

We might say this was harsh but God does what He says He will do.

Lev 26:15  And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
Lev 26:16  I also will do this unto you; [I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it].

How can we say God is harsh if we will not obey Him. The problem is not in God’s Judgment. The problem is in our obedience!

*****Jdg 6:11  And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Here again we get to meet a Theophany of The Lord. The angel of the Lord came as a wayfaring man and sat under an oak of Ophrah.

This city of Ophrah belonged to Joash, of the tribe of Manasseh.

The winepresses of that day were normally at the bottom of the hills but the threshing normally took place at the top of the hills so it is evident that Gideon was hiding the work  he was doing.

This would be a terrible job if you could not take advantage of the wind to help blow away the husk.

*****Jdg 6:12  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

We will soon see what kind of man Gideon was and again we will wonder why he was chosen by God for this task.

But it is the Bible that tells the story:

1Co 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Notice the Lord immediately offers encouragement to Gideon. (“mighty man of valor”)

*****Jdg 6:13  And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, [why then is all this befallen us?] and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

How many of us have asked this same question?

(Why have these things happened to us, if the Lord says He is always with us?)

Gideon believed the Lord had forsaken Israel and we should know for sure that all the others of Gideon’s family worshipped Baal, though Gideon was an outcast at this time, which could mean that he did not.

We can be sure that Gideon did not believe that the Lord was with Israel at this time and surely not with some one as he was, which could be said “as a coward”.

We can see that Gideon was suffering from a lack of “faith”.

*****Jdg 6:14  [And the LORD looked upon him], and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

If this verse were in the New Testament it would be written in Red Letters. We find out again that this angel of the Lord is actually God in the flesh.

Gideon is still uncertain about this angel. Gideon’s first response had been to question God’s concern for His people BUT now He questioned God’s wisdom in choosing him to deliver his nation.

What we should learn as believers is that once God has called and commissioned us, all we need do is obey Him in “faith” and Our Lord will do the rest!

“Faith” is believing God no matter what we see!

Our God cannot lie but more to the point He Cannot Fail!

The world we live in laughs at “faith” but the reality is, that whether we are believers or not, “we cannot live in this world without faith”.

***** Jdg 6:15  And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

Gideon now questions the omnipotence of the Lord. Gideon was not sure this angel understood that Israel lived in fear of these Midianites.

Israel was hiding in caves!

This half tribe of Manasseh is not mentioned as ever having valiant men SO, “Again” we see that God will take a nobody and make a somebody out of them!

This is another example to the Body of Christ.

1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

*****Jdg 6:16  And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

It is obvious that the Lord is telling Gideon that the number of these Midianites are not important. It did not matter how many they were.

They would fall as if there were only one man!

Although Gideon was a weak individual, God told him that he was the one that was chosen to deliver Israel.

BUT, Gideon must first be trained to overcome his own fear.

*****Jdg 6:23  And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Jdg 6:24  Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Why is it that the fear of death keeps us from doing a work for God. We don’t want to be missionaries because we are afraid God will send us to some foreign land so we will not even do what God ask us, which is to be a missionary where God has placed us!

God told Gideon that he would not die in this thing God had asked him to do. Only then did Gideon have no fear!

Every Born Again child of God is promised “eternal life” in a much better place than anywhere here on this Earth, yet we still cling to life in this flesh than can only last such a few years.

Jehovah-Shalom means the God of Peace.

Unless we are at peace with God, we simply will not be able to face the enemy with confidence and fight the Lord’s battles.

The Hebrew word “Shalom” not only means “peace” but also well-being, good health, and prosperity!

Remember what the Bible teaches:

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

*****Jdg 6:34  But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.

In verse 33 it said that these invaders were pitching in the Valley of Jezreel and this valley may have been the most fertile valley in all of Canaan Land.

It was now time for Gideon to act.

Gideon blew the “shophar”. A “shophar” is made from the horn of a Ram.

The town of Abiezer gathered with him and he sent messengers to Manasseh, Asher, Zebulaun, and Naphtali because these are the tribes that were closest to this valley.

32,000 men gathered to Gideon but there was 135,000 man army gathered in the Valley of Jezreel.

This was not only an army but also a calvary riding on camels.

This enemy army was very mobile and could move on an enemy in almost any terrain.

*****Jdg 7:2  And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, [lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me].

Though Gideon’s army was outnumbered 4 to 1 God said his army was just too large but let’s look at the reason that was given.

A couple of things we need to always remember about the Lord.

1.) No flesh is going to get the “glory” while in God’s presence!

2.) AND, A “faith” that is not tested cannot be trusted!

God will test our “faith”!

WHY?

1.) So we can know if our “faith” is real, God already knows the outcome of every test!

2.) So our “faith” will increase for something that is coming in the future!

The promises of God must shine through our tribulations in this world.

*****Jdg 7:3  Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, [Whosoever is fearful and afraid], let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

If we are afraid to get into the battle then we will not be of any use to the Lord.

There were 22,000 who wanted no part of this war and thus would rather just serve them or continue to hide from this invading army.

There are so many of our young people today that have just given in to Satan and have chosen to serve him.

Just so we have a clear understanding of the significance of this let’s see what the Bible says:

Rev 21:7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Gideon was also being obedient to Laws of Moses by sending these men back home.

Deu 20:1  When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Deu 20:8  And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? [let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart].

Any kind of fear is contagious!

If we compare to God’s army, whom He will bring with Him at His second coming we can see the difference:

Rev 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: [and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

*****Jdg 7:4  And the LORD said unto Gideon, [The people are yet too many]; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
Jdg 7:5  So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
Jdg 7:6  And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

Some times, in fact most of the time, we may never realize we are being tested by the Lord until the test is over.

Notice the rejection of the remaining soldiers was not based on physique, or experience, or age, or military knowledge, but only on how they drank their water.

It could be said that those that brought the water to their mouths with their cupped hand could be more alert to their surroundings but whether this is true or not there were only 300 that drank the water this way and these are the ones that God chose for the battle.

Now Gideon’s army was outnumbered  45 t0 1.

*****Jdg 7:7  And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

We should notice that there is nothing on this planet that can restrict the power of God.

In the modern day church we should clearly understand the if we count the strength of the church by it’s numbers then we do not understand the power of God!

In fact a small congregation will many times do more for the Lord than a large congregation and this is a shame to that larger congregation.

BUT, statistics are not important to God!
 
God told Gideon that by these 300 chosen men Israel could be saved!

When all those other men left for home those 300 that remained each had a torch, a trumpet, and an empty pitcher.

Just the weapons God needed for this battle!

That empty pitcher, an earthen vessel represents the believer:

2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

That torch represents the Word of God:

Psa 119:105  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

That trumpet represents the coming of the Lord.

Joe 2:1  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

That enemy of 135,000 never had a chance against God’s chosen army of 300!

*****Jdg 7:16  And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
Jdg 7:17  And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

When I was in Vietnam and were on search and destroy missions in the far north, we would split up in 3 man killer teams to cover our area. We would try to keep each team within eye range but this was hard to do most times because of the jungle growth.

We set certain signals but each team also had a radio and Each team carried the LAWS antitank weapon that could fire only one time, not because we were expecting to see tanks because tanks could not operate in the far north without roads. We did know that the enemy may have elephants. Each team had a M60 machine gun and every team member totted an extra case of ammo for that gun and an extra battery for the radio man.

If we came under attack that person who carried that LAWS rocket launcher would make sure his area was clear and if he could get some idea where the enemy had fired from they directed that rocket to that area, but if they did not know where the enemy was they were to fire anyway.

It was not that we could win a battle with those weapons but we wanted to make the enemy believed we had more firepower than they did and we did not want them to know we were such a small group.

My team was only 18 men at full strength.

Gideon used this same tactic which of course came from the Lord.

Gideon divided his team into three groups but they tried to keep everyone in sight and each team knew exactly what to do when the signal was given.

*****Jdg 7:18  When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
Jdg 7:19  So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
Jdg 7:20  And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

There were normally three watches of 4 hours each. The beginning of the middle watch would be about 10 o’clock at night.

As Gideon gave the signal an over confident army did not realize the actual strength of Gideon’s army and they panicked.

All they thought was that they were surrounded by a mighty army.

Suddenly the darkness and quietness of the night exploded into sudden light all around them, noise that they were not familiar with and three hundred trumpets blowing the attack signal.

*****Jdg 7:21  And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
Jdg 7:22  And the three hundred blew the trumpets, [and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host]: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

There was nothing also for Gideon’s army to do at this time except to wait on the Lord.

As these soldiers panicked they fought with each other in the darkness and they fled in the direction they had come toward the Jordan.

Now look at what the Lord did to ensure the victory.

The Lord sent the Spirit of Confusion into this army and these enemies fled before God’s people.

So what can we learn from this?

1.) God’s Church does not need overwhelming numbers to defeat our enemies. It is “faith” that must rule in the Church.

2.) God does not need especially gifted leaders to accomplish His will on this Earth. All our leaders cannot depend on their own skills nor  on their education or experience. Every leader must depend of the Lord God Almighty in order to succeed.

3.) The best thing we can do to help Our Lord is to give Him a willing servant. We may not fully understand God’s plan but it is His plan And He Wants Us To Be A Part Of It!

God wants us to give ourselves to Him completely:

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

After all we are His earthen vessels and until we have broken our ties to this world we can never shine as the lights of The Lord.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Php 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

After these things we listen for the trumpet to sound:

1Co 14:8  For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

When we give our testimony to the world, it must be certain and it must be clear.

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Only after these things will we ever hear the true trumpet of victory!

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

He is coming!

Are we going with Him should be our only concern in this world we live in!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Judges, Delivering God’s People

Judges, Delivering God’s People

Judges 2:7-23

We are taught much about the History of the World we live in. We here in America are also taught the history of our Great Nation.

BUT, we should ask ourselves one question. Does History Repeat Itself?

What are the 3 steps throughout history that have caused the downfall of every nation that has fallen?

1.) They suffer through spiritual apostasy!

2.) They suffer through moral awfulness!

3.) They suffer through political anarchy!

The History of this world we live in does not record one single time of any nation that was subject to moral decay that have not passed into political and economic decline.

These are the signs of a nation that is about to cease being a nation!

The Book of Judges marks a transition period in the history and the government of Israel. Because they had failed to follow the Word of God they had also failed to drive out the people of Canaan land. They settled among these people and it was not long before they inter-married, began following their idolatrous practices, and then became degenerate!

The Bible uses this time period to point out to the “Body of Christ” the results of apostasy but more important the work of those that had “faith” and what “faith” can accomplish.

Heb 11:32  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

There are two things that we know for sure that happened:

1.) The generation of Joshua had been so busy in trying to gain physical possessions that they forgot to teach their children the Word Of God.

2.) The new generation had refused to submit to the Word of God and the Ways of God.

SO, The nation of Israel quickly decayed once the new generation took over.

“The whole fight for salvation must be fought over and over from start to finish with each incoming soul and with each new generation”.

Let’s begin:

*****Jdg 2:7  And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

When Joshua was Israel’s leader, all the tribes worked together in obeying God’s Word.

BUT, What we will not find in the Book of Judges is a nation that is working together as a unit.

We will see that just as God had called out Moses, when God needs someone to deliver His people, He will call one from the tribes of Israel.

God had called Moses, Joshua had been appointed to follow Moses but no successor was named after Joshua to lead the nation.

Israel was to follow the Word of God and Jehovah God was to be the leader of this nation.

Just as in the Church, the Body of Christ, when Jesus returned to the throne room in Heaven, He did not appoint a successor on Earth.

We are all to follow the Word of God!

In fact in this time we live in we are all to follow the Words of His Son!

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  [Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Jehovah God has exalted His Word even above His name:

Psa 138:2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: [for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name].

We also know that in these last days we are to follow the Word of Jesus as commanded:

And it is Jesus Christ Our Lord who the world is to follow:

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10  [That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow], of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

The world is in turmoil because the World has tossed out “THE ONLY” Savior and Redeemer and is suffering for this reason.

*****Jdg 2:8  And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Jdg 2:9  And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

Joshua could probably have taken any place he wanted to be his inheritance but he was given this place by the children of Israel.

Jos 19:49  When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:

This is a lesson that all leaders, including our own presidents should learn from.

Joshua was the last of the great men of Israel until the Kings. Yet he chose to to honor the Word of God and live in a place decided by his nation.

Men in great public places should learn to prefer a common welfare “afforded to all people” before their own private satisfaction!

The whole land had been given to Joshua, Eleazar, and the princes as joint trustees. They were to act for the good of the people, so Joshua could take nothing but their gift to him!

*****Jdg 2:10  And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: [and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel].

If there was a verse that describes this America we live in, this is one of them!

The death of Joshua marked a perilous time for the nation of Israel. This new generation refused to have an intimate relationship with the Lord.

They had forgotten what their elders had done and seen. They had forgotten Moses and Joshua. They had forgotten the miracles that had gained them ownership of the land.

They had ignored the Word of God!

BUT, They had the five Books of Moses.

Joshua had written everything down since Moses for them to read and study but they were to busy enjoying the pleasures of their new world.

History was repeating it self again!

*****Jdg 2:11  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
Jdg 2:12  And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
Jdg 2:13  And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

The children of Israel had done evil before the Lord on many occasions but this was even more evil.

What or who is this Baalim?

Baalim is the plural form of Baal. Baal means “lord”.

Baal is the name of the Sun god worshipped by the people of Canaan Land. By using the name Baalim in this verse, it means this false deity had other names but all referred to the Sun god.

A form of this name appears 81 times in the Bible.

Some titles that we may know are, Jupiter, Hercules and others.

Who or what is this Ashtaroth? Ashtaroth means “the blessed ones”.

This title is referring to the Moon god. In a lot of cases it represents the female god of fertility but it can be a male deity as that one still worshipped by the Muslim.

To the Greeks it was Astarte, who drove the “moon chariot”.

As Baalim means there were many by different names, so Ashtaroth means there were many by different names. This false thing is referred to many times as the “groves” or a “grove”.

Not wooden trees but wooden images. The images of Baal were for the most part made from stone but some were possibly made of  metal as Chemosh or Moloch.

Some titles of Ashtaroth that we may know are, Juno, Venus, Diana.

Since these also relate to “Idols”, this is why so many false religions will go into a riot when some movie, or some cartoon, or some depiction that places their god in a bad way, as we have just witnessed throughout the Arab world and other places.

When we forget the Word of God and do not teach it to our children, we are in danger of forsaking the “God Of The Word”.

This why people turn to false gods and false worship!

*****Jdg 2:14  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, [so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies].

The reason Israel could never drive out the remaining Canaanites was because they fought their battles without Jehovah.

And without the Lord we can do nothing!

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

*****Jdg 2:15  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

The enemies of Israel from time to time became their “masters”.

There lives in the new land became miserable!

Ecc 8:6  Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

Ecc 8:8  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; [neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it].

*****Jdg 2:16  [Nevertheless] the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

In other words because Jehovah is full of mercy, He will raise up a deliverer!

But, Israel is still under judgment rather than “Grace”!

To spoil means they were being destroyed and robbed.

This is exactly what Satan does to everyone he makes contact with!

God explains this to us in this way:

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, [knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world].

Satan will use every means given to him to complete this task and fulfill “his” agenda.

This is the thought behind every ungodly national leader!

*****Jdg 2:17  And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: [they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in], obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but they did not so].

In other words Israel again and again would commit spiritual adultery and again and again, would break their covenant with God.

But we know the Lord never changes and He will continue to save His people:

Joe 2:18  Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

Over and over again these people wasted their suffering. We can be so foolish, when we are suffering and Our Lord provides that relief and we go again against His Word and welcome that suffering back into our lives.

It is no wonder God refers to us a sheep.

Sheep are the dumbest animals in the world. They are always in need of a shepherd!

I have great concern for my nation as I study these things of the Book of Judges. I know America has fallen away from the Lord.

It is also evident that the evil in this world is loosing it’s fear of our nation and we are becoming a laughing stock to the world!

Psa 106:39  Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

Psa 106:41  And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.

We should be returning to the Lord just as Israel must do!

Psa 106:47  Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

The Bible teaches us that Israel will return to The Lord but only a remnant of all other nations will be a part of this salvation after the time of “Grace”, which is this Church Age we are now living in.

*****Jdg 2:18  And when the LORD raised them up judges, [then the LORD was with the judge], and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

That word “judge” can be used in other ways beside to sit in judgment. There were a select group of men in this Book of Judges that were handpicked of God to be leaders, somewhat like a king but not exactly as they did not have very much authority.

The Hebrew word translated as “judge” also means “to save, or to rescue”.

These judges were great deliverers who won military victories, but only with the help of the Lord.

They also had the function of settling disputes between the people of Israel.

Most all these judges came from different tribes and functioned more on a local level than on a national level.

*****Jdg 2:19  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way].

Israel continued in a cycle of disobedience, discipline, despair, and deliverance. Sadly we still see this same cycle in the Body of Christ today.

The Bible teaches us:

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Right now in America there is a generation that was raised under the schooling of evolution.

They have not been taught the things of Jehovah! They hear the word “god” used worldwide not understanding that this word is a generic word for most any deity.

It is [Jehovah our Holy Trinity] that is the God of the Bible and this is the God who will sit in judgment and that judgment by His Word given to us.

This the same one that will chastise all His children to keep us all on the right track.

Hebrews 12:8 tells the whole story. “If you can live in sin, without chastisement than you are not a child of God”!

But a “bastard” son of the devil!

Jeremiah wrote of the children of Israel:

Jer 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

This can also be said of some of the Church!

*****Jdg 2:20  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, [Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice];
Jdg 2:21  I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Why could Israel not drive out the rest of the people of Canaan Land? Why does Israel sit in the middle of such turmoil even in our day?

It is because they have transgressed the covenant they had with the Lord!

It is because they refuse to listen to the Word of God!

How could they ever be witnesses for Jehovah if they became like the people of Canaan Land.

How can God’s people be witnesses to the Almighty Jehovah Our Holy Trinity, when we get more and more like the world everyday?

God tells the Church:

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

When we refuse to do this it will cause Anger in The Lord Our God!

Again God tells us if we are not obedient to His Word then we have never accepted Him as Our Savior:

1Jn 2:19  They went out from us, [but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us]: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

*****Jdg 2:22  [That through them I may prove Israel], whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
Jdg 2:23  Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

There can be no Testimony unless there has first been a real test.

Israel until this day has “no testimony” for the Lord God of the Bible.

The Book of Judges is the inspired record of the failures of Israel and of God’s “faithfulness”.

This book is much more than a past history!

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE OF TODAY!

Do we want to know how God feels about disobedience in His Children?

Psa 106:40  Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
Psa 106:41  And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; [and they that hated them ruled over them.]

We of the Church have allowed the Church, The Body of Christ, to sink so low in disobedience to Our Father in Heaven, that because of His anger, He is allowing the world to rule over the Church.

We have only one option left:

Psa 106:47  [Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen], to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

It is called prayer!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!