March 18, 2007
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- Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
- And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
- And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
- And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
- And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
- But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
- And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
- Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.
- And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
- And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
- And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher:
- And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
- And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
- And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?
- And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
- And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
- And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
- Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
- And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
- And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
- And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.
- And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
- And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy.
- And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.
- And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.
- Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
- And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
- Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
- Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
- Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
- But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
- Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became tributaries unto them.
- And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
- But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.
- And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.
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- And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
- 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?
- Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
- And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
- And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.
- And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
- And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
- And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
- And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
- And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
- And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
- And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
- And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
- And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
- Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
- Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
- And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
- And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
- And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
- And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
- I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
- That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
- Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.
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Thought for the day:
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Now that Joshua has passed away, the children of Israel have the responsibility to finish the job that he had started. Chapter one begins well, as Judah takes the leadership in attacking the Canaanites. Great victories are won, but the job is not completed because the Canaanites had "chariots of iron" (
vs 19). Interestingly, God had promised Israel that they need not fear chariots of iron, but that God would fight for them (
Joshua 17:18). In spite of this promise, Judah gives up the battle, and is content to intermingle with the heathen in direct violation of God's commandments. Once the leading tribe made that decision, it became easier for the other tribes to do likewise, for the chapter indicates that seven other tribes also failed to drive out the enemies of God. Because of that, chapter two opens with God's anger being kindled against Israel, and concludes with His refusal to continue to drive the pagans out from before Israel. His promise to them had been conditional: if Israel obeyed, He would lead them on to victory; if they did not obey, then He was no longer obligated to assist them. They made the wrong choice, and God followed through on His promise not to help.
Of course, what God had said would happen to Israel did happen. Once they began to cohabit with the heathen, it only became a matter of time until they began to worship the false gods of their neighbors. As has been seen throughout the Old Testament, God always keeps His promises, and what He says will happen does happen. God promised that He would not fight for Israel if they broke their covenant with Him. They chose to break it, and He abandoned the fight. He warned them that if they allowed the heathen to survive, that the heathen would ultimately lead them astray, and that is what happened. We as believers must realize that God isn't playing games, and doesn't speak just to hear Himself. When He warns His children to "Flee youthful lusts" (
II Tim 2:22), it isn't because He desires to rob Christians of a legitimate good time. He does it because there is danger there. When He states,
"Love not the world"(I John 2:15), or
"Come out from among them and be ye separate" (
II Cor. 6:17)
, He knows that our flesh is weak, and that we must protect and insulate ourselves from the godlessness around us if we are going to be able to give a good accounting of ourselves before Him at the Judgement. Obedience pleases God, and protects us. Why wouldn't we want to follow Him?
Judges 2:14-19 reveals the spiritual cycle that Israel was about to embark on for the next several generations. They would go into sin, and God would allow their enemies to overcome them. Under that oppression, the Jews would repent and cry unto the Lord, and He would raise up a Judge that would lead them out from under the hand of the enemy. Once they were free, the Jews would go right back to their rebellion, and the whole process would repeat again. We look at the Jews and wonder at their foolishness. Yet how many Christian go through the same routine? They ignore the Lord until punishment comes, then they repent and obey until things return to normal, then they go back to their sin. If the Jews were foolish, how much worse are we who not only have the example of Israel, but also have the completed Word of God as well as the permanent indwelling Holy Spirit?
Learn from those who have gone before. Always obey God, for He knows what is best for us both now and in eternity.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery