Judges (Program #3) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (2)
If God’s people are to enjoy all the benefits of their relationship with Him, it is necessary for them to maintain this relationship in a proper way. In reality God is the king, the unique husband and the Head over all things. That means His people must be under Him, submissive and subject to Him in a tender and intimate way . But in much of the history of God’s people they rejected Him in His headship always resulting in a condition of His people falling lower and lower and been evidenced by defeat after defeat at the hands of the various enemies of God’s people. At such times we occasionally see Jehovah acting in an extra ordinary way to jolt his people into the realization of their actual condition. Such a time existed in the book of Judges after the death of Joshua, God chosen leader over Israel as the people turned away from Him and their enemies began to prevail, God responded by raising up not a mighty king to lead Israel back to victory but rather He raised up Deborah, a female. Though she was very capable, she was the one who lived in submission and in subjection to Him.
Deuteronomy (Program #9) - The Rehearsal of the Law (2)
Deuteronomy Chapter 7 begins in a way that might be very difficult for us to reconcile with our natural thought. “When Jehovah your God brings you into the land which you are about to enter to possess, and clears away many nations from before you – And Jehovah your God delivers them up before you and you defeat them, you shall utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, nor shall you show them any favor.”
God’s word to the children of Israel was as they were preparing to enter the good land was to utterly and absolutely destroy the people that were inhabiting the land. To us today this may seems far too extreme. But what view do we bring to the Scriptures?
To be sure, the Old Testament book of Exodus gives us a complete picture of God’s full salvation, from the Passover, a full type of our redemption in Christ to the feeding of God’s people with the heavenly manna and satisfying them from the flowing water from the smitten rock. All of our genuine experiences of our Christian life are marvelously depicted. But the picture will not be complete without the experience of the victory of Christ against the enemy of God’s people. The battle is engaged on today’s program.
We have come to a point in Exodus that is very meaningful. We are about to see God’s people, the nation of Israel engage in battle for the first time since their exodus out of Egypt. Here are some excerpts of a few verses in chapter 17:8, 9, 10, 13 “Then Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, Choose men for us, and go out; fight with Amalek…. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him and fought with Amalek…. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Some who has been following this life study closely may take issue with us in saying that this portion depict the first account of Israel fighting against the enemy. Because they surely had an encounter with the army of Pharaoh on the occasion of their exit out of Egypt. Why do we say that this is really their first battle?
The apostle Paul’s first epistle to the believers in Corinth was of sixteen chapters and was full of his strong rebuke and argument with the church there. In that letter he subdued them and defeated them. Now in his second letter just as a parent would spend a long period of to comfort and encourage a child that had received the strong chastisement. Paul minsters to comforting ointment and the encouragement of love. Listen to his opening words in his cherishing epistle :
1:1-3 ” Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy the brother, to the church of God which is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions and God of all comfort;”
This is a very subjective book, 2 Corinthians, where by Paul brings the Corinthians back to the experience of Christ and is a book that can lead us to experience Christ as well.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #12) – The History Concerning Saul (4)
After been established as king over Israel, God enabled Saul to defeat three successive enemies that were plaguing Israel. But during the course of these campaigns, it gradually become more and more clear what Saul was seeking in his own heart was not God’s kingdom, but rather to build up a kingdom or a monarchy for himself. The third of these enemies, the Amalekites had bothered the children of Israel many years before when they were traveling in the wilderness on their way to good land after leaving Egypt. After Joshua defeated them the Lord told Moses that He would war with the Amalekites from generation to generation. Because in typology, the Amalekites signified the most difficult of all of God’s enemies that is the flesh of mankind. Though king Saul may have outward success his battle against the Amalekites, inwardly he was defeated by his own compulsion to serve God according to his own flesh.