This is another entry from my personal journal. Hopefully I will soon have something more current to share, but this will do for now.
July 25, 2005
Well, God has told me to read in the Book of Judges… twice! I read through it once, but once I finished it, He kept telling me “Judges”, so I’ve started reading it again.
I’ve only completed the first chapter and already something new has struck me. (You know how most of the time when we read the Word, we really just “cruise” it?) The Israelites have been instructed to go against the Canaanites - to destroy them ALL. They start off doing as they are told, but after a while, the Israelites start backing off by letting some of the Canaanites live on to become forced labor instead! Well, this may seem OK, I mean it’s still harsh and it’s still punishment, BUT, it’s not what God told them to do!
SO, this is what went through my mind as I was reading this first chapter of Judges again… the Israelites start out obeying God. He has told them to destroy the Canaanites – not an easy thing to do, is it? Not a pleasant thing to do, is it? After a while, they are tired of killing; they are sick of death. Satan starts saying things to them that are true, but he twists them into lies, like “God wouldn’t want you killing innocent people”! “God is love”!
The Israelites are physically tired, mentally spent after all of this fighting. Satan knows when to pounce! Instead of remembering where they have been and where God has brought them, they listen to their flesh, to Satan’s lies and then the Israelites start justifying ways of not fully obeying God’s command by allowing the enemy to live and using them as slaves.
Chapter two of Judges begins with The Angel of Lord approaching them with judgement! Yes, it’s sometimes hard and unpleasant to do as God as commanded. But if we do not obey the will of God, there will ALWAYS be consequences. God is love! That is true. But even though we may not understand His ways sometimes and we may not want to do things His way, He has His reasons! The Israelites found out the HARD WAY! Thankfully, God had His men write it all down and He has preserved it through the ages for us to be able to have in our hands and read with our eyes, so that we don’t have to learn the hard way!
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. (Notice He didn’t say that it would be EASY). And of course in Joshua 1:9 He reminds us “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”.
Doing God’s will may seem scary, too difficult, lonely, or we may even doubt it at times, but we’ve got to keep going forward and trusting in Him to complete the good work that He started in us (Phil. 1:6).
I guess that’s all I have to say today. Thank, you Lord, for showing me something new. I know that it may not be new to someone else, but, hey, I’m a slow learner! :)