Saturday, May 25, 2019

First Israeli King Saul (GL27)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

The Humble King Saul
I Sam 9:19, 21  Samuel answered Saul and said, "I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. And Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?"
   Since God exalts the humble, so He chose a humble king to rule Israel. When Prophet Samuel, who was then the judge of Israel, invited Saul to eat with him in the high place, he was humble enough to confess that he was a nobody amongst his tribe Benjamin, which was also the smallest tribe in Israel.

The Merciful King Saul
I Sam 10:24, 27  And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?" So all the people shouted and said, "Long live the king!" ...But some rebels said, "How can this man save us?" So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.
    When the Israelites accepted Saul as their king, some rebels despised him but he kept his peace.
    When the people of Jabesh Gilead was threatened by the Amorites, all Israel wept and mourned for their helplessness.
    But when Saul heard of it, he forced all Israel to gather before him. With 300,000 thousand Israelites, they convincedly defeated the Amorites.
    After this victory, the Israelites demanded those rebels who rejected Saul as king to be killed. King Saul prevented them for he gave their salvation and victory to God. Out of his mercy, King Saul forgave all of them.
I Sam 11:11-13  So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together. Then the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' "Bring the men, that we may put them to death." But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel."

God's Deliverance from Egypt
I Sam 12:6-8  Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the Lord who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers: When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
    God kept reminding the Israelites of His great might and power in their deliverance from bondages in Egypt so that when they faced difficulties, they would recalled His greatness and abilities to deliver.
Brethren, when you are in doubt read the OT especially the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy to strengthen your faith in Him and pray that you can believe His ability to help you.

Deliverance by Judges
I Sam 12:9-11  And when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.' And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety.
    Our God is filled with love and mercy. He was patiently waiting for the Israelites to repent of their sins so that as a just God He could bless them.
    Brethren, come to Him with a repentant and thankful heart so that His peace and joy can fill you. His love and blessing will then overflow to all those around you as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

Covenant For Having A King
I Sam 12:13-15  "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the Lord has set a king over you. If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
    Since the Israelites would no longer be ruled by God through His judges but by kings chosen by them, God reconfirmed His covenant with them.
1. If they fear and serve Him by obeying His words, then both they will continue to follow the law as His chosen people.
Note: the law or Mosiac law is found in the Torah or Pentateuch, the five books of Moses.
2. But if they rebel or disobey His words, then they had made themselves to be God's enemies, thus forcing God to fight against them.

John 14:15-17a  "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth.
    Similarly, when Christians keep His words then they love Him and God will baptize them with the Spirit of truth. They will know the truth, which will set them free from bondages and also transform them into His image.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-9 (GL26)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Samuel the Last Judge
I Sam 8:1,3-5  Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel... But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."
    Since Samuel the prophet became the judge, the Israelites were blessed with the Lord fighting on their side and peace.
    However, when his sons who were unrighteous, were helping him in his old age the Israelites rejected him as the judge and wanted a king just like the idolatrous nations around them.
    God comforted Samuel by telling him that the Israelites were not rejecting him as the judge but God Himself as their King. They had been rebellious since the day He took them out from Egypt.

Accept their Will of a King
I Sam 8:7-9  And the Lord said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
    Since God had given men their free will, He had been faithful to His words though it hurt Him tremendously to see men destined themselves to great sorrows, sufferings, deaths and damnation.
    God told Samuel to accept their will of having a king to rule over them. But he had to warn them of the oppressive behaviours of human kings.

Forewarning of Having a King
I Sam 8:10-11,13-14,18  So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots... "He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants... And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day."
    With God as loving King, He is just. He will send His judges to deliver, help and restore them and He will remove their wicked descendants such as Eli's sons.
    God told Samuel to warn them that human kings are imperfect and tend to be selfish. They are prone to exploit their positions and abuse their power for personal gains and satisfactions resulting to great sufferings and disappointments for the people.

Forewarning by Prophets
Amos 3:7  Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
    God has been faithful to His words by sending His warnings through the prophets and in the last days through our Lord Jesus Christ.
     Our Lord and His apostles had warned us that we are saved for good works and warned us that the unrighteous, carnal and worldly Christians, who had not crucified their flesh and still remain untransformed will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.
    He also warned us of the perilous time for end time Christians and that unless they are well grounded in His words including His end time prophecies, even the very elect may be deceived.

Stiff-necked Israelites
I Sam 8:18-19  And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day." Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us,"
    Though the Israelites would weep and mourn because of their wicked kings, God promised that He would not deliver them from their pains and sorrows. They had decided to have a king to rule over them and had put God aside from interfering into their affairs.
    It was really painful to God for they had chosen to suffer under human kings. To fulfill their will, God had to choose the best candidate and ensured that he was accepted by them.
    They had seen the blessings of God when they obeyed His words and also their defeats and sufferings when there rebelled against Him. Yet they preferred to be their own boss than trusting God to lead them. This was their pride, stiff-neckedness, stupidity and rebellion.

I Pet 4:1-3  Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—  when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
    Similarly, many Christians today, refuse to keep His words so that they can be transform into His image, but twist and distort His words to justify their worldliness.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-8 (GL25)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Great Confidence in Samuel
I Sam 3:1  Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
    Since the Israelites had rejected and rebelled against God, God respected their will and He left them alone to make their own decisions. So the word of the Lord was rare then except to the judges.
    He could only help those who came before Him in the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh when they humbled themselves with thanksgivings, prayers and supplications.
    Since childhood, God had revealed Himself to Samuel, and had been teaching and guiding him in the words of the Lord. The prophecies spoken by Samuel were always fulfilled.
    God built up their faith in him as a prophet of God, who would lead them to defeat their enemies, who had been defeating and oppressing them.
I Sam 3:19-21  So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Enemies' Confidence Destroyed
I Sam 5:2-6, 9  When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon's torso was left of it. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. But the hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory.
    God purposedly allowed the Ark of God to be captured by the Philistines so that He could destroy their faith in their idols.
    The victorious Philistines were delighted and they celebrated their success of capturing the Ark of God, which had terrified them all these years.
    They placed the Ark of God in the temple of Dagon for they were confident that their idol Dagon would destroy the Ark. But, early the next morning to their surprise, their idol Dagon had fallen face down before the Ark. They reset the idol.
     Again the following morning , they found their idol Dagon fallen face down in front of the Ark but with their head and palms broken from the torso.
    Wherever they kept the Ark, the inhabitants of surrounding areas were either killed or stricken with tumors causing all the Philistines to fear the presence of the Ark of God.
I Sam 5:11-12  So it was, after they had carried it away, that the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction; and He struck the men of the city, both small and great, and tumors broke out on them. So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, "Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go back to its own place, so that it does not kill us and our people." For there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men who did not die were stricken with the tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Repentance of the Israelites
I Sam 7:3-5  Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines." So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
    The godly Samuel managed to get the Israelites to repent. They then came back to worship the Almighty God and began to keep His words.
Note: A godly pastor will lead his sheep to repentance from worldliness and then teaches them to keep His words. This will enable God to move mightily in their midst for the revival of the church
God's Mercies Endure Forever
I Sam 7:10-11  Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.
    The mercy of the Lord endures forever. At the repentance of the Israelites, God fought alongside them and gave them victories after victories. During the days of Samuel the prophet, God helped them to recover all the land taken away by the Philistines .
I Sam 7:13-14  So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-7 (GL24)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Before the death of Joshua, he divided up Canaan land for each tribe to possess except for the Levites whose earthly inheritance was the Lord. Joseph had two portions under the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh.

Jos 10:43  Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.
    The Camp or Headquarter of the Israelites was in Gilgal, and

Jos 18:1  Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them.
    The Tabernacle of God was set up in Shiloh.

Jud 3:1-4  Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it), namely, five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. And they were left, that He might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
    Since the Israelites had rebelled against His commands, God would not fight the enemies and let them harvest the spoils (like the Egyptians, Red Sea and Jericho). God took this opportunity to allow them to fight the enemies themselves so that they would be trained to be warriors.

For about 300 years, God was patiently and faithfully sending judges (using signs and wonders) to continuously deliver the sinful Israelites from their oppressors.  He was hoping to bring them back to be His people even though they had faithlessly rebelled against Him.
Jud 2:18-19  And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
    Not only were the Israelites faithless, but also the priesthood and Levites. Many of them were faithless and had lost the fear of God, that they even dared to commit abominations within the temple ground. The two sons of Eli the priest were the worst.
I Sam 2:12,17,22  Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord... Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord... Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Ark of the Covenant Captured
I Sam 4:4,10-11  So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God... So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
    As Israel was suffering from defeat after defeat, they brought out the Ark of the covenant from Shiloh, hoping that God would help them to fight the Philistines.
    The priesthood and the Israelites were wicked that God was no longer with them. So God used the Philistines to kill both the wicked sons of Eli and also allowed them to capture the Ark of God. Eli died when he heard the bad news.
    It is extremely painful for God to help the enemies to kill His own people and to capture the Ark of God.
1 Sam 4:17-18  So the messenger answered and said, "Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured." Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-6 (GL23)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Covenant with Canaanites
Jud 1:28-31  And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites under tribute, but did not completely drive them out. Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; so the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Nahalol; so the Canaanites dwelt among them, and were put under tribute. Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob.
    It looked like all the tribes of Israel disobeyed God's Commandment by making covenants with the Canaanites.
    They used the deception of Joshua by the Gibeonites as an excuse to justify their financial benefits by enslaving the Canaanites.
    The disobedience of allowing the Canaanites to dwell amongst them would cause them to intermarry, which would result in them forgetting their God and His mighty power in their deliverance from Egypt and their conquest of Canaan land.
    These Canaanites would also lead them to rebel against the Almighty God into idolatry and also made them to commit abominable sins.
    Just for the sake of financial benefits, their young descendants, who were not taught His words for they were busy conquering the Promised land, would be lost to the devil, and this really hurt God very much.
   God is faithful to His words and He would not go against their free will for that was what they wanted. So God did not prevent nor stop them, since they had rejected His commands.
Jud 3:5-7  Thus the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons; and they served their gods. So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.

Jud 2:1-4  Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.' "
    Since the Israelites had rejected His command, the only thing that God could do was to stop helping the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan land. God would then help the Canaanites to defeat them and made them to be slaves, so that in their distress, sorrows, defeats and humiliation they would once again remember and believe the greatness of their Almighty God and then come back to Him to be saved.

God fighting His Own People
Jud 2:10-12  When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
    It was painful that God Himself had to defeat His own children and chastised them with the hope that they would repent of their idolatry and wickedness. Otherwise damnation awaited them.
Jud 2:14-15  And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.

A Merciful and Faithful God
Deu 4:29-31  But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.
    Though the Israelites were faithless, God is always faithful and at their repentance He would deliver them by sending judges to help them.
Jud 2:8  Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

A God of Love and Long-suffering
Jud 2:18-19  And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
    God, with pains and sadness, was faithfully chastising the Israelites by sending them to defeats and slavery. So that each time the Israelites repented of their wicked ways, He would forgive, deliver and save them and then bless them.
Note: - eternal life far exceeds the earthly abundant life.
    He would not help them in their conquest of the rest of Canaan land for only those remaining Canaanites could defeat them. It was only in their sorrows, distress and slavery that they would humble themselves and come back to God for help and deliverance.
Jud 2:21-22  "I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the Lord, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not."

Monday, May 20, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-5 (GL22)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Holy People of God
Deu 7:6  "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth."
    Since the Israelites were God's people and He was going to bring them into the Promised land, He wanted them to be a holy nation for He is holy.
   To be holy, they must love Him by keeping His commandments which could transform them into the holy people of God.
    Similarly, God wants every Christian to be holy and perfect just as He is holy and perfect.
Deu 7:9-10  "Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.

Choice of Serving God
Jos 24:19-21  But Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good." And the people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the Lord!"
    Joshua told the Israelites that the choice whether to serve God or not was solely theirs to make. He also warned them of the consequences of failing to keep His covenant.
    For after God had saved and blessed them and even used them mightily in the conquest of Canaan land, He could still destroy them when they disobeyed His words or rebelled against Him.
Lev 18:26-27,29  You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled)... For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

Abominable Statutes of Nations
Lev 20:22-23  "'You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them."
    The acceptable practices (statutes) of the Canaanites then, were idolatry, human sacrifices, incest, homosexuality, bestiality and adultery.
    These wicked practices are abominations to the Lord and all those who practiced them would be cut off from the people.
Note: - the approval of sodomy and same sex marriage in so-called Christians nations have defiled and destroyed many Christians. God will soon judge the churches, pastors and leaders, who approve, accept or practice them in the coming WW3.

Kill All in Canaan Land
Deu 7:1-2  "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them."
   God had to annihilate all the inhabitants of Canaan land for they would corrupt and turn the Israelites to rebel against God, into idolatry.
Deu 7:3-4  "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly."

No Covenant with Canaanites
Deu 7:2  "and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them."
    God did not allow the Israelites to be merciful but to annihilate all the inhabitants of Canaan land, for they would deceive them into idolatry and to practice abominations.
    They were also not allowed to make any covenant with them.

Deception of Gibeonites
Jos 9:6,14  And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us." ...Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.
    Even Joshua and these godly Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites. They believed the stale bread instead of consulting the Lord.
   Since they had made the covenant with the Gibeonites, who were actually their neighbours meant to be annihilated, they could not break their oath by killing.
Joshua 9:19-20  Then all the rulers said to all the congregation, " We have sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them. This we will do to them: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them." ...And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, in the place which He would choose, even to this day.

Brethren, beware of the heresies of false christs and false prophets, for they sound reasonable but are deceptions. These will destroy your faith in God and His words.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Israeli's Walk with God-4 (GL21)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Defeat of Israelites at Ai
Jos 7:1  But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
   After defeating Jericho where God tore down the high walls and killed its mighty warriors, Joshua moved on to fight Ai, which had a small population. With great confidence that God would fight for them, the Israelites sent only three thousand men.
    But they were defeated and they turned tail with 36 of their men killed. God was angry with Israel for Achan had stolen the accursed things during their conquest of Jericho.
Jos 7:5  And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water...

Israel no longer Invincible
Jos 7:8-9  "O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?"
    The defeat of Israel brought doubts and fear to the Israelites.
1. Doubt that the Canaanites would no longer fear their invincibility for even the small Ai could defeat them.
2. Fear that the powerful Canaanites would soon gather together and annihilate them.
Note:  These Israelites were bold, fearless and full of faith, but their first defeat destroyed their faith.

Sin of Covetousness
Jos 7:11-12  Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you.
    God is always faithful to His word. When Israel rebelled against His words, God would have to fight against them until they have repented of their sins.
Jos 7:25-26  And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

Note: When God was fighting alongside Israel, He would not allow any sin to inhibit His presence and works. Similarly, during the great revival in the book of Acts, God had to remove sinners from His presence.
Act 5:9-11  Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

God Presence Once Again
Jos 8:1-2  Now the Lord said to Joshua: "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it."
    Immediately after Israel had repented and accounted for their sin, God forgave their iniquities. God once again was fighting alongside Israel to help them conquer Canaan land as He had promised.
2 Chr 7:14  "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Repentance for Restoration
Jam 5:16  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
    God expects us to confess our sins so that He can forgive us. However, if you cannot overcome those habitual sin, then you must confess your sin to a brethren who can help you by keeping an eye on you.