Thursday, June 13, 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 the land of Canaan.
    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 the Canaanite land. God would then help the Canaanites to defeat them and to enslave them, 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 with 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 into defeats and slavery. So 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 Canaanite 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."