Weekly news +a lesson from the book of Judges that speaks to us today
IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
The Old Testament book of Judges describes the roughly 350-year period after Joshua, Israel’s leader, had died. The land had been conquered, but God had allowed some of the original inhabitants of the land to remain in order to test the Children of Israel who had not yet been battle-tested. Now it was their turn. With Joshua gone, things went downhill in a hurry. They quickly jumped headlong into everything God had warned them to avoid. They abandoned their God and sought after the gods of the lands, intermarried with the pagans they were commanded to drive out, and suffered the consequences. When things got bad enough, the people would cry out to God. God would have compassion and send a deliverer. Under the authority of their new deliverer, they would regain their freedom and enjoy peace and rest. Once the deliverer died, the cycle repeated. The people reverted to their sinful ways, God delivered them into the hands of their enemy, they would suffer until they would fall to their knees and cry out to God.
The cycle kept repeating because the people did what was right in their own eyes, and their eyes were too focused on their earthly deliverer and not enough on their heavenly deliverer. When God had fought for them, as He said He would, their enemies were soundly and permanently defeated. When their earthly deliverer fought for them, the victories were temporary. As long as the people did what was right in their own eyes, they could never see that the battle belonged to the Lord, not their earthly “deliverer.”
Our nation has a lot in common with Israel during the time of the Judges. Our initial foundation was solid, but as we have done what was right in our own eyes, we (including Christians) have taken our eyes off God and onto our earthly leaders. Here are some revealing quotes from a few of our founding fathers:
-George Washington in his Farewell address
-John Q. Adams
-John Jay, original Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
While Israel was the only nation founded by God Himself, our beginnings certainly honored God to the greatest degree possible. We elected godly rulers who were dependent on God. Sadly, we eventually became just like Israel under the Judges; each successive generation became more focused on themselves and less on God. This and God’s sovereign plan has brought us to where we are today in America. Those of us who love our Lord are about to find ourselves in the fight of our lives. We can no longer take for granted everything we hold dear. The good news is that we can still live as conquerors if we don’t make the same mistake Israel made. We must stop placing our hopes in earthly deliverers and live in light of the eternal truth – the battle belongs to the Lord.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
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