Judges 3:1-4 (KJV) Why My Enemies?

Judges 3:1-4 (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;
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

 

Though the responsibility for leaving Canaanites in the land is placed, first upon the tribes of Israel and then upon Joshua, God here assumes that responsibility and lays a purpose for allowing them to remain. We see in this the melding of the free will of man versus the sovereignty of God. Men are responsible to do right before God. Their disobedience, however, in no way foils the plan of God. He has seen it from the beginning and even incorporated it into his good plan.

 

There are three purposes either stated or implied for leaving these Canaanites in the Promised Land:

To teach Israel
If Israel had no enemy she would forget how to fight. If Israel lost the skills of combat an enemy would surely rise up and take her. It is necessary that a civilized and godly people have a “well regulated militia”.

To prove Israel
An unproven people are an unsure people. No one, including themselves, has any idea what they are or are not capable of, what they do or do not believe who they will or will not follow.

The chasten Israel
When the children of Israel turned from God, He turned their enemies against them. God allowed that enemy to have its way with Israel until she returned to the Lord.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Judges 3:1-4 (KJV) Why My Enemies?

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James 2:8-11 KJV Guilty of a “Lesser Commandment”

James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

 

We tend to associate James 2:10 with the verses following it regarding two of the Ten Commandments; against adultery and murder.  It is key, I believe, to associate it also with the verses preceding it regarding what might by many be considered a lesser commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 

This “lesser commandment” though not found among the ten, is part of those laws of the Old Testament[1] and was especially singled out by Christ as second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine…[2]

 

Two things come to mind:

  • The importance of loving and respecting all persons
  • The serious mistake of attempting to earn righteousness through these laws

If a man is trying to earn his righteousness through keeping the law and just one time prefers one man above another he has committed a sin as heinous as adultery or murder.

 

God offers a better righteousness through faith in Christ. His righteousness liberates us to then practice good works for the sake of the work and not as a futile effort to please God in the flesh.

[1] Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

[2] Matthew 22:37

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 2:8-11 Offend in one point

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Hebrews 10:14 Perfected For Ever

Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

The point of the verse is the phrase “by one offering“. The apostle wants us to see the effectiveness of the offering of Christ. In doing so he makes a secondary claim that is of immense blessing to those who are saved; we have been “perfected for ever“.

 

What God has done and is continuing to do in me as a Christian, and in every Christian everywhere, is a forever thing. It never ends. It isn’t revoked at some moment of sin in my life. No contract is broken if I am unable to keep my end of the deal. At the moment of my salvation God made me perfect in Christ Jesus. That is justification. For the rest of my life of earth God continues to work in my heart and soul for victory over sin and perfection in Christlikeness. That is sanctification.

 

God’s covenant with the believer is a for ever one.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 10:14 God’s Covenant is For Ever

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Work At Not Working

Hebrews 4:9-11 KJV

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

One could view this passage as a kind of play on words. We are to “work at not working.”

 

This entire chapter is taken up with the doctrine of a spiritual rest that be longs to those who believe. This rest was rejected by the first people to hear it, those Jews in the wilderness, – carrying forth to those Jews who, looking the rest of God in the face in the person of Jesus Christ, crucified him rather than give up their religious traditions. It was once again offered to Gentiles of whom the Bible says, they would hear.

 

Apostle Paul writes to those believers here and warns them of “seeming to come short of it”. It is not that they could come short, for a believer can never come short of salvation, but that they might seem to come short of it by not enjoying the fullness of rest in Christ.

 

John Gill writes, “….is here meant, that rest which believers now enter into, and is at this present time for them, and though true believers are entered into it, yet their rest, peace, and joy in Christ, is not full; they enter by degrees into it, and by believing enjoy more of it: and this is to be laboured for by prayer, hearing the word, and attendance on ordinances…”

 

It would serve us well to see also that the remainder of Hebrews four offers at least four helps for entering into this full rest:

The Word of God

Which is able to cut deeply into our hearts and souls to remove unbelief and replace it with faith.

The watchful eye of God

Who sees our faith as well as our lack thereof. He knows we believe, if we are believers. He also knows we do not yet believe perfectly.

Our High Priest, Christ

Whose function it is, to minister towards our weakness. He serves as our advocate whenever we miss the mark of faith. When the weakness of our faith becomes apparent it is then that we best hold tightly to our profession of faith in Christ. He is the overcomer of our unbelief.

The throne of grace

To which we are invited to come boldly. When we lack faith, when our rest is less than full, when we struggle between our two natures of belief and unbelief, we are invited, urged even, to come without hesitation to the throne where we may obtain mercy cover our lack of faith and grace to help us strengthen our faith.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 4:9-11Rest with God

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Expect God’s Deliverance

2 Timothy 3:10-11 KJV
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

 

Paul, sitting in a prison cell, rehearses to Timothy the places he experienced persecution and afflictions:

  • Antioch
  • Iconium
  • Lystra

 

Timothy was fully aware of all that Paul had endured and how he had endured them. Paul’s interest here was to testify that the Lord had delivered him; not from some or even most of those persecutions. Paul said the Lord had delivered him out of all of them.

 

The obvious message for Timothy and for you and me is that the Lord will do the same for you and for me.

  • We will endure persecutions
  • We will experience afflictions
  • We will experience these things in multiple places
  • We may even experience death as a matter of our faith

 

But we may expect the Lord’s deliverance out of all of them.

  • There may be deliverance from the persecution and affliction
  • There may be deliverance through the persecution and affliction
  • There will always be deliverance as death translates us to eternal heaven.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Persecution, Deliverance

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How to Suffer Without Shame

2 Timothy 1:12 KJV

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

There can be no question that the Apostle Paul suffered for the cause of Christ. He describes that

suffering in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 KJV

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

He was about to suffer the ultimate when he was executed in Rome. But Paul assured Timothy that he was not ashamed of His suffering. He then gives these two reasons:

He knew whom I have believed

The great difference between true Christianity and mere religious Christianity is this knowledge of Christ. The religious Christian simply cannot comprehend the difference between a faith based walk with the Lord and duty driven religious service.

To know Christ is to be willing to suffer for Him.

He was persuaded that He is able

Persuasion, not in his own abilities and skills, but in those of Jesus Christ. Let the world do as it might, Christ is so much greater than the world! Paul’s persuasion

  • that he was saved,
  • that his salvation was in Christ and
  • that heaven would be his eternal home

so filled him with assurance that he could not be ashamed no matter what the world did to him.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Christian Suffering, Christian Victory

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