1 & 2 Samuel (Program #8) – The History Concerning Samuel (5)
For a period of 450 years following their return to the good land, judges ruled over Israel. These Judges were supported by the priests of the Aaronic priesthood but the situation had grossly deteriorated and even the priesthood had waned. God’s reaction was to raise up a new priest with a new priesthood. this one was Samuel, a man that was completely one with God so much so that it can be said of him that his being was like a photo copy of God’s own heart. Through Samuel not only was the priesthood uplifted and restored but the prophet-hood was ushered in along with the kingship and these things allow God a way eventually to bring forth Christ, the ultimate blessing not only to Israel but to the whole earth. How the Lord needs such ones to be utterly one with Him in this age to turn this age so that Christ could come again.
Judges (Program #7) – The Abominable Chaos in their Worship
The life study of the books of Joshua and judges reveals not just the history of Israel with its’ successes and failures possessing the good land of Canaan, but also even more importantly it teaches us how we can gain and possess the all inclusive Christ as our full portion, our enjoyment and our inheritance. Israel in the good land typifies us, the New Testament believers in Christ and just as Israel allowed their departure from a close and intimate fellowship with Jehovah to impede their progress gaining the land we too can see our spiritual progress and our enjoyment of Christ impeded if we don’t take care of our day by day, even moment by moment fellowship with Him. Listen to this verse in 1 John 1:3 “That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
A very marvelous portion related to this matter of fellowship typified of course by the picture in the Old Testament of Israel gaining, possessing the land. We enter into the fellowship the moment we receive Christ and this fellowship is a fellowship that is life long.
Judges (Program #6) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (5)
In the varied history of the nation of Israel that is recorded in the book of Judges, we have of course the interesting and well known story of Samson. Endued with the power of the Spirit, he was mighty and fierce in his struggle against Israel’s enemy the Philistines but he had a very specific failure that gave Satan, God’s real enemy the ground to tempt him and and ultimately defeated him. Of course the beautiful Philistines woman, Delilah typifies this failure. Samson indulgence of the lust of his flesh led to his down fall. The story of Samson and the warning that we as God’s people today must take from this case is our topic on this life study of the Bible.
Judges (Program #5) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (4)
The Bible begins with the story of Adam and how he gained a wife, Eve. In the New Testament of course we find out that Adam is a type of Christ, the very God and Eve, a type of God’s people, the Church. So, from the beginning the Bible becomes a book of the marriage of God Himself with His people. Yet by chapter 3 of Genesis, God’s enemy comes in to seduce man, to forsake God as their husband. The result of this separation or divorce is the story of the chaotic history of mankind. Whatever nation, whatever group, whatever person forsakes God to become involves in something else ends up in a chaotic situation. Israel’s history has seen this story repeated again and again in a cycle after cycle and soberly as we consider the situation even in the church, we’ see the same thing today.
Judges (Program #4) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (3)
During a very difficult time in Israel’s history the Lord raised up Gideon to be a judge and ruler. Initially great victories were afforded under Gideon’s leadership and the account of his successes stands as the most glorious of those recorded in the book of Judges. His success can be attributed to 4 glorious factors of his relationship with Jehovah. However shortly after these successes he succumbed to serious temptations. These ultimately overtook him and all of Israel eventually suffered as a consequence. These factors remained as major stumbling blocks to many of God’s people and especially to many leading ones among God’s people today. We will look at the factors of both Gideon success and his failures on our program.
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.
Judges (Program #2) – The Miserable History of Israel’s Forsaking God (1)
In the history of the children of Israel God had manifested Himself to Israel in many aspects. He fought for them as a warrior against Pharaoh and his armies, becoming their protector when they were still in Egypt. Then He supplied them with water and food in the wilderness as the source of all their living for more than 40 years. In addition He cared for them not just as a father but more so as their king. Eventually He unveiled to them His deepest longing and that was to be a husband to them and for them to be a bride, a pure and chaste wife to Him. But again and again Israel turned away from Him as their husband and as their king. At least 4 times, in the book of Judges we see the same words, “In those days, there were no kings in Israel, every man did what was right in his own eyes.” How much these words must had offended Jehovah, Who had revealed Himself so faithfully to Israel again and again. But His love is greater than the weaknesses of His people, so He appeared to them again, not as a king not even as their husband but as a servant, a slave to minister to them in their poor condition and lowest state.
The first chapter of the book of Judges records the marvelous story of Judah and Caleb fighting against the Canaanites after the death of Joshua. Jehovah displayed again that He was with Israel and that they can trust Him to fight with and for them against their enemy. But just as an unfaithful wife forsake her husband thereby damaging their marriage Israel eventually forsook Jehovah.
Listen to Judges 2 : 11-13 “And the children of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah and served the Baals. And they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out from the land of Egypt; and they followed after other gods from among the gods of the peoples who surrounded them; and they worshipped them and provoked Jehovah to anger. And they forsook Jehovah and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. Then the anger of Jehovah burned against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of plunderers; and they plundered them. And He sold them into the hand of their enemies around them, and they were no longer able to stand before their enemies.”
From this point on the book of Judges becomes an ugly history a failure and humiliation for Israel as she turned from the purity and enjoyment of her days as a bride to Jehovah, becoming a harlot in His eyes.