Apr. 20, 2016

Don't Just Look At What You See - Part 1

Judges 6

1And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Disobedience is never worth what it costs. Sometimes the consequences manifest immediately and sometimes there is a delay. The longer an adverse situation continues, the more difficult it is to remain positive and hopeful. Time has a way of wearing us down and altering our outlook. If an oppressive situation remains too long our expectation of a victorious end becomes bleaker and weaker.

2And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

Oppression that extends over long periods of time will cause people to alter their behavior and lifestyle. Eventually those alterations become “normal” to them and they no longer have an expectation of anything better. They “adjust” to the suppression of defeat and stop anticipating anything different.

The Israelites quit living and relegated themselves to just surviving. They existed in fear and had no enjoyment of life for seven years.

3And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

The enemy will time the attack so that it has the most debilitating effect. The enemy waited until the Israelites had worked long and hard preparing their fields and planting their crops. After all the toil, all the sweat, all the effort…after all their resources and strengths were used in preparing the fields, planting the crops and watering the fields…then they attacked.

4And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

Not only did the enemy destroy the little spark of hope that the Israelites got when they saw the first sprigs of their produce peeking through the soil, but they also took away their livestock. Those animals were an important part of their lives and livelihood.

5For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.

The enemy has a plan against us. He wants to cause us to give up and quit. He has no power to negate God’s plan for our lives. So his tactic is to get us to give up the destiny God has for us.

One of the enemy’s devices is to overwhelm. He makes it seem like the opposition is so much stronger so we will just give up and give in to despair, discouragement and disappointment. He wants us to lose heart, to faint, to become weary, to quit. He cannot alter God’s plan and purpose for our lives so he tries to get us to get off track.

6And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.

The repeated destruction of their resources put Israel in deep poverty and finally, they called on the Lord for help. All of this could have been prevented if they had just served God faithfully. Israel could have been prosperous and happy and victorious in that land if they had only obeyed the Lord.

When we go our own way instead of walking closely with God, we become poor: poor in spirit, poor in wisdom, poor in joy and poor in fellowship. But we don’t have to stay that way. At any point in the journey, the Father is ready to receive our obedience and lead us to victory.

More to come on this topic!