Judges 13:1-3 A Means of Grace

Judges 13:1-3 (KJV)
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

Even as God delivered Israel to the Philistines He was preparing the one who would avenge them.

Judgment at the hand of God is consistently found in the Word of God, but never without at avenue of grace. God used every enemy of Israel. God explicitly sent many of them. But in every case God was quick to answer His people’s cry for help. In the end we learn that He had already prepared the answer before they ever asked.

God is the same yesterday today and forever. The same God who raised up Samson, at the very moment He delivered Israel to Philistia, has raised up a means of grace for us in the midst of our darkest judgment.

 

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Judges 13:1-3 A Means of Grace

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Judges 10:6 Worship is Service

Judges 10:6 (KJV)
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.

It seems to me that there is a lot of speculation these days on the subject of worship. Volumes are written on the subject. Often believers, lest I say whole churches, are judged according to a man’s ideas about the subject.

I think they have wandered into dangerous territory, not unlike that of the Middle Ages, when the state forced upon citizens that brand of worship prescribed by their established church. Remember, as Baptists, we teach that everyone has the right to worship God according to the dictates of one’s own conscience.

In reality we have little Scriptural indication concerning what worship has to look like.
We know that worship involves kneeling or prostrating oneself before another.
This worship is clearly condemned when it is given to any other than God.

We have indications that worship involves music.
The Bible makes it clear that Satan too has a musical style involved in his worship.

We also have passages, such as this one that correlates service with worship.
The word rendered “serve” here means “to till the ground.” It is as menial as that. But it includes in the definition bondage and worship. Service given through some sort of compunction whether (negatively) forced or (positively) constrained by love, such service is worship.

  • It is wonderful when rendered to God
  • It is idolatry when rendered to any other

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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 10:6 Worship is Service

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Judges 9:19-21 No Need to Be Quiet About Faith

Judges 9:19-21 (KJV)
If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:
But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.
And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

Jotham was right to be afraid. Abimelech would certainly kill him if he had the chance. But he did speak up and his curse did come to pass (albeit three years later).

Sometimes the circumstances warrant a safe place and a strategic retreat. The power of Satan and those who, whether wittingly or otherwise, follow him is real and sometimes quite violent. There is no reason to get persecuted needlessly. Elijah had the good sense to flee from Jezebel. We ought to have as much sense as that.

This however doesn’t mean we keep quiet about our faith. Jotham was discreet but he wasn’t quite.

Let’s follow his lead.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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 9:19-21 No Need to Be Quiet About Faith

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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.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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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:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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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.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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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:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

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.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Judges 2:2 When Our Kids Ask “Why?”

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.