Judges 8:1-3 Someone Is Upset

Judges 8:1-3 (KJV)
And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.
And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?
God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

Someone will get upset at anything.

Imagine:

  • The Midianites oppressed Israel.
  • God chose Gideon to lead a small band of 300 to defeat them.
  • The enemy was destroyed without incident and

Ephraim was upset that they weren’t invited to the fight.

I bet they wouldn’t have been upset if it had not gone so well. I think they just wished they could claim they had helped in the miracle.

The thing is, whenever we do anything for God, someone will be upset about something. It is the nature of mankind. We are:

  • Petty
  • Jealous
  • Selfish

by nature. Our first response to almost everything will be a natural one. Only the disciplined and thoughtful Christian will overcome those impulses and give a godly response up front.

Ephraim’s anger was abated after just a bit of reason. It would have been better if they had reasoned before they responded.

It would be better if we would too.

 

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Judges 8:1-3 Someone Is Upset

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Judges 7:7 A Convenient Congregation

Judges 7:7 (KJV)
And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

Many years ago now I hosted a revival meeting with what was then one of the better-known evangelists among the Independent Baptists of the southern states. One day he confided in me that there is something bad that happens in the heart of a preacher when his audience gets over four hundred in attendance. A pastor I am acquainted with recently wrote a blog questioning the value of so-called mega churches. A preacher friend of mine wrote a piece shortly thereafter questioning not just the mega churches but perhaps all of the larger churches. He wondered whether it might rather be God’s will to have a number of smaller churches scattered throughout an area rather than the larger churches people often drive great distances to attend. Seems to me like God might give us a target number of three hundred. Anything over that and we tend to accept some glory all our own.

Of course numbers can be relative. One person might get puffed up with one hundred. Another may remain humble with several hundreds. Seems to me that the issue is not numbers at all. The issue is faithfulness to God and to truth.

Perhaps the Proverbs has the answer we need.
Proverbs 30:8
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Judges 7:7 A Convenient Congregation

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Judges 4:2 Just Ask Jael

Judges 4:2 (KJV)
And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.

This comes from Robert Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary, “I beg the reader not to overlook the expression, “the Lord sold them.” Yes! every event, as well afflictive as prosperous, is of the Lord’s appointment. Painful as the Lord’s corrections sometimes are, yet, when his hand is traced in them, and the heart is enabled to say, I know, Lord, that thy judgments are right, this brings the soul up to its proper frame.“

I wonder what price God got for them? Nothing is sold for free. Jabin, Sisera and the dwellers at Hazor May have believed they got a bargain when they took possession of Israel. Not so. Just ask Jael.

Even so, our purchases always come at a price. It may seem sometimes that God has given us a thing, even though we know we shouldn’t have it, because He didn’t keep it from us. He didn’t stop us from buying it. He gave us the proceeds necessary for the purchase. That doesn’t mean it was:

  • A wise purchase
  • A good deal or
  • The will of God

Jabin may have purchased Israel from God but he soon regretted the deal.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Judges 4:2 Just Ask Jael

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Judges 3:1-2 Even Our Enemies Can Be a Blessing

Judges 3:1-2 (KJV)
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

Clarke,
“This was another reason why the Canaanites were left in the land, that the Israelites might not forget military discipline, but habituate themselves to the use of arms, that they might always be able to defend themselves against their foes.”

Gill,
“…the following nations were left in the land, that the young generations of Israel might by their wars and conflicts with them learn the art of war, and be inured to martial discipline; which, if none had been left to engage with, they had been ignorant of…”

In a world gone amuck in sin, the skills necessary to defend oneself are necessary. A threat that keeps before our eyes the ever present need of those necessary skills may be seen as a blessing from God.

 

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For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Judges 3:1-2 Even Our Enemies Can Be a Blessing

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Judges 2:2 When Our Kids Ask “Why?”

Judges 2:2 (KJV)
And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

God can do things we should not.

When I was in Bible College I learned that it is not wise to ask our children why they did something they shouldn’t have. Most of the time they do not know why. As a parent we do. We know it is because of the sin nature. It would be better to teach our children that truth than to frustrate them and us by insisting they try to give an excuse.

This passage in no way negates that teaching. That God:

  • Asks questions of us we should not ask
  • Makes demands of us we should not demand of others or
  • Expresses emotions we should not express
  • Neither gives us permission to do those things nor impugns the righteousness of God

He is God.

What I see as a takeaway in the passage is that God did not wait for an answer. He administered discipline.

When our children do wrong we shouldn’t ask them why they did it. We should

  • Teach them right,
  • Explain the sin nature and
  • Provide discipline to correct their path

That will help them in their future.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Judges 2:2 When Our Kids Ask “Why?”

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Joshua 24:22 Our Own Worst Witness

Joshua 24:22 (KJV)
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

Faith is a choice of the free will. Having made the choice to follow the Lord, to turn back would be a terrible testimony not against God, but against the backslider.

God tells us to let our “yea be yea and our nay be nay.” He tells us it is better not to make a vow than to make one and break it. It is a matter of character and right.

To turn into sin, after professing faith in God, hinders the Lord in no respect. But it does bring reproach upon those who do it.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Joshua 24:22 Our Own Worst Witness

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Joshua 23:11-13 The Ease of Slipping

Joshua 23:11-13 (KJV)
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

God warned Israel, through Joshua, of the ease in which a believer can slip away from loving God.

There are all around us in this world, things that crave our attention, and our affection. From the ways we spend our time to the people we are drawn to as companions, Christians are constantly enticed into compromising relationships. It is only through awareness of the problem and diligence in our walk with God that our love of Him is steadfast.

And it is only in our love for Him that we find blessing.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Joshua 23:11-13 The Ease of Slipping

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Joshua 21:1-3 God Turned The Curse Into a Blessing

Joshua 21:1-3 (KJV)
Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;
And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.
And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs.

The New Testament Christian has been made both king and priest. As such the Levitical priesthood has something to teach the Christian.

  • Upon Levi was pronounced a judgment for his part in the slaughter of Shechem.
  • It was this judgment that determined they would have no lot in Israel but be scattered throughout their brethren
  • The ministry of the priesthood required they be nearby to all of their brethren
  • So their judgment became a blessing to themselves and their brethren

Christians might fairly call themselves the chiefest of sinners. Far from earning salvation, we have been given a gift we could never deserve. As the Spirit-born children of God we are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are scattered across the face of this earth as witnesses to those around us of God’s goodness.

God turned the curse into a blessing.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Joshua 21:1-3 God Turned The Curse Into a Blessing

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Joshua 13:6-7 Get After It!

Joshua 13:6-7 (KJV)
All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.
Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

The passage begins “in the red.” Joshua is old. The days of his labor are drawing to an end but there is still a lot of work to do. God’s purpose, in this passage, is to lead him to get it done.

We may be able to use the passage to inspire our own productivity when we find ourselves behind.

There was a promise from God
God would drive out the enemy before them. We have God’s promise of help when we put our hands to the plow.

There was a plan to be made
The Land was to be divided. Look at it as delegation. Each tribe was given a chunk of the work to do. Planning and delegation always precede accomplishment.

There was a command given
We can lean on promises and make plans all we wish. If we want to get the job done we have to get up and do it. No plan will be foolproof. No assignment will be accomplished with 100 percent efficiency. Adjustments will need to be made as we move along. But failure to move in favor of better planning is failure all its own.

There is plenty for us all to do in God’s work. Let’s:

  • Claim His promises
  • Make a plan
  • Accept some responsibility and
  • Get after it

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Joshua 13:6-7 Get After It!

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Joshua 9:3-6 Wily Workers in Church

Joshua 9:3-6 (KJV)
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.

Seems to me that there are a bunch of folks like this in churches. Christian history is filled with accounts of wily workers. These are people who, for any number of reasons, have made a league and joined a church group.

  • They may have been afraid of God
  • They may have been impressed with the congregation
  • They may have seen an opportunity for improvement

Whatever the reason, they never met Jesus and they never became part of the family. They are (technically) members of the church but they have no fellowship with the Holy Spirit. They go about serving Christianity in the power of the flesh. They are unhappy and they are ineffective unless they can overpower others or buy their influence.

True believers are far from perfect but they are born again into God’s family.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 4000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Joshua 9:3-6 Wily Workers in Church

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