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Hebrew History Part 8
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Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343
We continue our studies this week as we study "When the Judges Ruled in Israel"
Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Ruth 1:3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
From verse 1 we see that during the time of Ruth that the Judges were ruling. Moses was the first leader of the nation of Israel, then Joshua, and after that, the Judges. After the judges ruled, we will soon be coming into the study of the Kings. We know that God wanted to be the ruler of the people only, but they were carnal at that time and desired that they have a king like the other nations of the world. We must fight that tendancy in life. There are lots of things to desire in the world, but God wants us to be a people with a vision of the upcoming kingdom, not worried about things down here on earth.
1 Sam 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
1 Sam 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
1 Sam 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
1 Sam 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
1 Sam 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
1 Sam 8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
Some interesting notes about this time:
1 Sam 1:3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
Judg 21:24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.
Judg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
When I read that last night, I thought of how the world is so much this way everywhere today, especially in America. The influence of society is causing people to doubt absolutes, and what is right and wrong is determined almost in each persons mind. But we do not have to be people without absolutes that are swayed by every mood and move of man. We have a God who is unchanging, and we can absolutely believe everything that God says. When he spoke the Word, it was true then, it is true today, and it will be just as true a million years from now.
Psa 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psa 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
Judg 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
Many areas were unoccupied by Israel when the Judges began to rule. Although Joshua had defeated the main force of opposition as he led Israel into Canaan and divided the land to the various tribes, many locales remained in the hands of the Canaanites or other inhabitants of the land.
Because the people only partially occupied the land, it left them with continual difficulties.
Israel turned away from God at this time. We see this is a cycle that is repeated again and again all the days of the judges.
Rather than driving out the other nations, Israel many times associated with the inhabitants of the land, and this caused many to forsake the worship of God for the worship of the false god Baal. I thought of how many today worship false gods without even realizing it. They may not bow down to an image like they did in those days, but by their actions, many worship all sorts of shiny things. May be a sports car, a sailboat, maybe a sport. Perhaps it is even their own family that comes between them and the Lord, or it may be something as small as a fishing pole. Anything that comes before our service to God is an idol, and the very first commandment has to do with putting God first in our lives.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
We are warned in the New Testament to not put even our own families before God. Now God does not want us to fail to take care of the family, He wants to be Number 1 in your life and my life.
Luke 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.
Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
I dont know about you, but my desire is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. That means to count the cost, and then do whatever it takes to please Him. That may mean breaking out of our comfort zone and helping someone occasionally even if we are on our way to church. Practicing Christianity is much more important than speaking it. (Parable of the Good Samaritan is example)
We see due to the people associating with the inhabitants of the land, there began a period of apostasy intermarriage between the Israelites, Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. This led to further neglect of service and devotion to God. When we get wrapped up in all the things that Satan can find to occupy our minds, there will be little time left to serve God. But we have to shun those things, take up our cross daily, and do the important things first. There is a popular book out called "First Things First." While I havent read it, I do know that God is honored when we put him first in our lives.
During this period of idol worship, God was so upset with the people that the blessings He had promised to Moses and Joshua were removed at that time. In our lives, if we do not follow Gods commandments, we too will lose our fellowship with God, and the joy and fruits of the Spirit will be removed . Only by obeying and walking a Godly walk daily can we have the peace of God that passeth all understanding.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
The second things in the repeated cycle was that judgment came upon the people in the form of oppression.
The third thing in the cycle was repentance.
As the Israelites lost their independence and served the oppressors, they recognized they were suffering the consequences of disobeying God.
Num 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Sin has a price, and someone must pay that price. We can ignore the free gift of Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and we will pay the penalty forever by separation from God in the torments of Hell. If we will repent and see ourselves hopeless without God and seek Christ as Savior, God is faithful to save all that call upon the name of the Lord.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
When the Israelites saw their error, they would repent and God would hear from Heaven.
The fourth thing of the cycle was that God delivered.
God always hears the prayers of his people, and he would raise up men to challenge the oppressors.
Some of the military leaders that God used during this time were Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson.
While God may not use you and I to be great military leaders, He still uses simple clay vessels that he molds to accomplish His work today. Be part of the Kingdom Work and do those things God directs you to do this week. Like God blessed those great men of old in Judges, He will bless our efforts today.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
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