1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, “Who shall be first to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?” 2 And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up. Indeed I have delivered the land into his hand.”
We are entering into a very dark time in Israel’s history. A time which lasted approximately 400 years. It was a time of a series of entering into God’s blessing, falling into apostasy (turning away from the faith), crying out for a deliverer, to which God would provide a judge, a time of revival, falling once again into apostasy and then the cycle repeating itself over and over again. It was a time when the Israelites rejected God’s leadership, there was no king, and everyone did what as right in ‘their own eyes’ (Judges 17:6).
Then Adoni- Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes.
This would make it virtually impossible for him fight!
So the Lord was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron.
Just as God had promised. We must never forget His faithfulness! He is always with us.
So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.
We must never be afraid of a word of correction from the Lord. Proverbs 12:1 tells us, Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. Pretty straightforward and right to the point.
7 So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.
The importance of a good, godly leader cannot be overemphasized. Such a leader must serve the people with the understanding of Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” When a leader leads in this manner, it insures the greatest opportunity for success.
11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals;
You will hear the term ‘Baal’ in one form or another throughout the bible. In its literal sense, the word means, ‘husband, owner, possessor’ and is the title of a Canaanite deity (god). Serving other gods than the one true God, brings nothing but grief and heartache, no matter what form those gods may come.
Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.
This is ultimately what we can expect when we walk in deliberate disobedience to the Lord. He is not opposed to bringing correction to us in any way which He deems necessary. It is all avoidable through simply doing what he tells us to do.
1 Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan.
The Bible tells is that the Lord will never tempt us, but He will test us, for the purpose of drawing us to a greater love and dependency upon Him.
When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
Othniel was the first of the judges. As you read about these judges, you will find some fascinating things the Lord did in and through them. You will also read of some pretty unusual circumstances and situations they went through. Some of them, didn’t have the most stellar of characters, but God used them none the less. How grateful I am that God uses us in spite of ourselves.
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
This is one of the most amazing accounts in the Bible. Here we get a front row seat to this incredible interaction between Jesus and Satan. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way. Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” It was during this 40 days of being tempted in the wilderness that Jesus was subjected to every conceivable temptation. As a result, we cannot say that there is any temptation that will come our way that He doesn’t understand. we can always call out to him in our time of need.
Then He (Jesus) closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “ Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Man! I absolutely love this account in Scripture. Imagine what it must have been like to have been sitting there as Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2), the very words spoken about Himself. They were witnessing the very fulfillment of a prophecy that had been spoken several hundred years earlier. I get Jesus bumps every single time I read this!
And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.
The demons are subject to the authority of Jesus. They clearly know who He is. He would never allow a Christian to be demon possessed!