Replay

Judges 10:6-10

6Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, 7he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”

Introduction

Do you agree that if you do the same thing over and over and expect different results, it is insanity? This statement is not necessarily applied in all aspects of life. The positive side of such theory: Doing exercise again and again is beneficial. The negative side of it: Doing wickedness again and again and expect to be pardoned or forgiven is a very miserable mistake.

The Israelites were biblical example of mankind’s stubbornness before God. God had shown them that obeying Him is beneficial to the obedient.

Yet, they kept on going back again and again to their old wicked lifestyle.

1. Again

6Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him

The word “again” signals the repetitive wickedness of the Israelites. The Israelites not just served one foreign god but the gods of surrounding nations.

Serving others gods is most evil in the Lord’s eyes. Why is service to other gods evil? To serve is to do what is pleasing to the master. To serve the Baals is to do what’s pleasing to Baal. And, the Israelites disobeyed God’s first commands.

It says in Exodus 20:3, 3You shall have no other gods before me.

“Baal” means “rulers, lords, master, or owner.” It appears like in English translation of the Bible, there’s no distinguished difference between gods of other nations and Israel’s God except that of the capital letter and small letter. In Hebrew language, the proper name of Israel’s God is “Yahweh” while the gods of other nations is called “Baal” or “elohe” a general term for gods.

It says in Hosea 1:2, 2The Lord said to Hosea, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”

The Lord used the marriage of Hosea to teach that serving the Baals or other gods is compared to a promiscuous wife who sold herself to adultery.

When there’s no harassment from other nations, the Israelites prospered. Prosperity cannot guarantee faithfulness to the Lord. Faithfulness comes from God. During prosperity, one tendency is to relax and forget God.

King Solomon prayed in Proverbs 30:8-9, 8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Solomon was the wisest king of Israel. He devoted his life to learn, explore, increase, and experience much wisdom and understanding. It is no surprise that he carefully studied the lifestyle of the Israelite during the time of Judges. He may have easily known that when the Israelites grew rich, they easily disowned the Lord Almighty, and served the Baals and the gods of other nations.

Bathsheba

Relaxing life has caused David to commit sin. It says in 2 Samuel 11:1-3, 1In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

That relaxing moment put stain in the wonderful spiritual life of King David. The Lord may have allowed King David to commit sin for future readers of the Scripture to learn that wealth and relaxation are not at all reliable for spiritual growth. On the contrary, relaxing life may cause one to deteriorate spiritually.

Such was the story of the Israelites during the time of Judges. When they grow wealthy, they forget the Lord. This generation is not exempted. Many wealthy people Jewish or Gentile declare themselves as atheists.

Many years before the time of Judges, it’s recorded in Joshua 24:19-20,

19Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

Joshua prophesied what was about to happened. It happened not during his lifetime but many years after his death. Just like what Joshua had warned, the Israelites forsook the Lord and served other gods. God was angry when the Israelites served other gods, and let other nations harassed them again.

2. Angry

7he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”

It took eighteen years before the Israelites were reminded of their sin of forsaking the Lord by serving other gods. The Israelites were oppressed by their enemies. The Philistines from the western side and the Ammonites from the eastern side of Israel attacked and destroyed everything belonging to Israel.

Did the Israelites try to pray to the Baals when their enemies attacked them so that it took 18 years before they realized that foreign gods cannot help them? Such stubbornness of the Israelites of not readily seeking the Lord for help illustrated practically when believers try to solve problems on their own. When they cannot find any remedy, it is when they would seek God’s help.

Very familiar, ey? How much do you understand about Christ as Lord of lords so that you would easily come to Him whenever you need help?

Jesus Washed their Feet

The night before Jesus was betrayed He washed the feet of the disciples. The disciples have not received the Holy Spirit, yet, at that time, and they did not understand how to react before the Lord of lords.

It was recorded in John 13:6-10, 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 

Peter tried to reason out because he did not realize what Jesus did. Peter has personal idea of service to the Lord. He cannot understand why Jesus had to wash his feet instead of him washing the Lord’s feet. Jesus explained that being part of Christ, the disciples’ feet should be washed by the Lord.

Peter suggested that the Lord should wash his hands and head as well. Yet, Jesus said that their heads and hands don’t need washing.

Did you observe that Christ does not need any suggestion from them?

Jesus knew what He was doing. He did not need suggestions from others. He is the Lord of lord. He does only what His Father told Him to do. He does not do things that originated from human concepts or suggestions.

Jesus said in John 12:49, 49For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

The Lord Jesus exemplified how to obey. He did what His Father told Him.

When we solve our problem on our own, we trust ourselves as our own master. But to seek Christ’s help in every aspect of our life, it proves that He has become the Lord of our life. May we remember to seek first and foremost the Lord’s help instead of trying to solve our problem on our own!

<‘)))>< ltsii/2018 ><(((‘>

 

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