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Category Archives: Judges

Comfort

Comfortable.  It is a word we all know and love to experience.  When I travel, I often long for my bed.  Why?  Because, it is more comfortable than the hotel’s bed.  When I have been away from home for a while or spent the day driving, I look forward to my chair at the house.  Why?  Because, it is comfortable.  This wonderful word simply means to be in the state of ease or relaxation.  Comfort probably is a greater influence on our decisions than we think.  However, sometimes being comfortable is not a good thing.

Judges 13-16 record events about the life of Samson.  He is the man of great strength that brought the Israelites victory over the Philistines.  We paint him as a hero of the faith, but often forget he was an egotistical womanizer.  However, he seems to have exercised faith in the final moments of his life.  As he was placed next to the pillars of the building, he prayed and God restored his strength.  But for the most part, he’s not the kind of guy you want your boys to imitate.

In 15:9-13, there is an interesting account that deserves our attention.  Samson has brought disaster on the Philistines and they have responded by setting up camp in Judah.  They were not on a weekend get-a-way.  It was an act of war.  When the men of Judah ask the Philistines why they are waging war, they learn it is for revenge against Samson.

Think of the amazing strength that Samson has.  Obviously, the men of Judah know about it, because they gathered 3,000 men to go get Samson and bring him to the Philistines.  They were willing to surrender their only hope of freedom to the enemy.  Why would they do this?  Comfort . . .

The men of Judah were comfortable in sin and bondage.  Their disobedience caused the oppression; we read in 13:1 that the Israelites did evil I the sight of the Lord.  Unlike previous times, we have no record of them calling out to the Lord to set them free.  They were comfortable where they were at and were willing to hand Samson, the man that God was going to use to free them, over to the enemy.

I urge you, don’t be comfortable in sin.  Sin should create discomfort in our lives because it interrupts our fellowship with God.  It should be like sitting on a tac or having a pebble in our shoe.  We should not embrace it; we should remove it.  Ask God to show you where you are comfortable in sin and through the blood of Jesus Christ, remove it.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2018 in Judges, Monitor Articles

 

Memory Problem or Focus Problem?

Have you ever read the book of Judges?  Often, we look at the nation of Israel and ask ourselves how people could be so stubborn and foolish.  We tend to look at all the times they “missed the point” or “how quickly they forget.”  We forget that many times, their recorded story is our daily reality.  Let’s take a moment and look at Judges 3:5-6.

So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.”

Didn’t they remember the works and wonders God preformed in the past?  Our quick assumption would be to think they completely forgot God.  After all, they sure weren’t acting like “His people” should act.  I want to challenge you that this wasn’t the case.  They did know about God.  After all, if we look in Judges 3:9, they certainly remembered they could cry out to him!  It wasn’t that they did not know about him; they didn’t know him.

This is a big difference.  They knew of him, but they didn’t know him.  Their hearts were pulled astray to other gods, and desires of the flesh trumped the dedication of their hearts.  God told them in Deuteronomy 7:2, not to enter covenants with the people of the land . . . but they did.  Further reading tells us they did so out of selfish gain and fleshly desires.  God told them that he alone was to be worshipped in Deuteronomy 6:5.  However, the people’s straying heart followed in the steps of Adam.

Do you see yourself in this pattern?  Do you see how we fall into the same traps as the Israelites?  We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.  We have Christ as our Savior, and we have abundant material blessings.  How many times do we forget?  How many times are our hearts lead astray by desires and we forget the truth of God?

We may never truly forget God, but we do struggle with his exclusivity.  After all, don’t we always remember who to cry out to when we are in trouble?  I want you to know that if you only find yourself turning to God when you are in trouble, that is a sign of a divided heart.  It is a sign of a heart that is held captive by selfish desires and idols.  If we only go to him when we are in trouble, then he is not the focus of our hearts.  We are just like Israel in the book of Judges.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2018 in Deuteronomy, Judges, Monitor Articles