Preface to Study of Judges:
As we begin this study of Judges- I want to start with an introduction that brings the application of what happened during this time in Israel and bring it alongside what is occurring in our country today. Judges takes place in a time after Joshuas death and before the time of kings. It was a time of apostasy when there was no king in Israel and everyone did as they saw fit- as to what was right in their own eyes. Apostasy is defined as: abandon or renunciation of religious beliefs. Often referred to as heresy and these who practice it as heretics. Listen to what Jude warned the church about this: For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.(KJV- crept in unawares) They are godless men who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ as our Only Sovereign and Lord. Jude tells us three characteristics of an apostate:
- Subtle- slip in. like a chicken snake after the birds egg in the unprotected nest.- they are cunning and crafty. They come with new ideas more than armed might- did God really say?.
- Ungodly- they abuse Gods grace and call evil- good and good- evil. Give license to live immoral lives are we not a nation who has now given license to homosexuals to marry?
- Deny Jesus Christ as our ONLY Sovereign and Lord. Have to recognize, tolerate, accept and approve the other mans belief that Jesus is not Lord or not the only Lord.
Our declaration of the Word of God as absolute truth is being overruled by political correctness. Do not call homosexuality a sin- that is hate speech. Morality is trumped by political correctness. God says woe to men who call evil good. The government and media have dubbed this hate speech and deemed it offensive. Last time I looked there is no protection against being offended by what someone says. We are offended by immoral behavior, profanity, and those who insult God and use His name in vain. But the law of the land says we have freedom of speech. Unless we use our freedom of speech to call sin- sin, according to Gods Word.
Let us first start this study with a look at the doctrine of hedges.
Job 1: 8-10 we read the familiar story of God and Satan and their discussion of a hedge around Job. There is an individual hedge around the believer. In this case we see a hedge can come down for two reasons: God allows it to come down; or one walks outside of it when they choose to sin. Satan cannot take down the hedge.
There is a hedge around a nation. A nation whose God is King has a hedge about it and we see this in the story of Israel. Look at Isaiah 5 and we see God build the hedge and we see God take it down. We also see why- Israels sin. Read the Woes-
I recently listened to a sermon Adrian Rogers preached several years ago and it as if this great preacher of Gods word is preaching from todays headlines. Turn to Psalm 80 and we will compare the nation of Israel to America and where we are today in the 21st century- almost 500 years after the Pilgrims, our forefathers sailed over in the Mayflower. The Mayflower Compact which stated their beliefs and purpose started out with these words: In the Name of God it said also; For the Glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Never was there a nation on this earth that began with such Christian purpose that actually in that time and era of kings and queens looked to God as their King and wanted to do what was right in Gods sight. This was the genius that guided America to the founding of this country and the writing of its constitution.
Whenever the enemy gains control of the present- they will always rewrite history to suit their motives and intentions. Hitler did in 1930s Germany to make the Jewish people the root of Germanys problem. Today history in being revised in this country. It is the way of men who gain control to rewrite history to suit their ambitions and justify their causes.
Who are they blaming for their problems today? Christians are on a short list of those who are the problem in todays society. For in America today- there is no king and everyone does what is right in his own eyes- as they see fit.
Psalm 80 finds Israel in trouble. They are crying out to God: Restore us, O God! Make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved. O Lord Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
Israel was divinely planted by God. Look at verse 8-11 in this chapter. He took them from slavery out of Egypt and brought them into the promised land where he prospered them. Where God protected them and placed a hedge around them.
Why are they praying to be restored? Because God has broken down the wall ( hedges KJV) in verse 12. Why did God break down their hedge of protection for they had not obeyed Him. We will see in Judges how they did not fully obey God. When God told them to drive out the Canaanites and destroy their altars- they did not do as He said. They did not believe the God who had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand could defeat the enemy so they did what was right in their own eyes. When common sense said we cannot drive out those armies who are superior- we must let them be and find away to co-exist. Spiritual pluralism, multiculturalism, and of course materialism. Why drive these people out if we can make them forced labor or design peace treaties which make economic sense.
Why is God angry and not answering their prayers? Because they are unrepentant. The prayers of an unrepentant person make God angry. They had abused Gods grace and as a result God had taken down their hedge. God was Israels first line of defense. He has been Americas first line of defense. If you are a believer and hedged about with His protection- He is your first line of defense. He is your strong tower, He is your shield He is your provider. Unless you walk outside with sin and continue to walk in sin- you are walking in the darkness.
Did we not use to sing with great pride:
God Bless America! Land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the Light from above!,
We are in one of the darkest night of our history, I believe. It is evident from what we see around us. The hedge around our nation has been taken down. We should be praying with tears and great sorrow restore us O God. Revive us. Let your face shine upon us that we might be saved.
Why do I say the hedge has been removed? Because we have expelled God from our land.
1962- prayer was removed from our public schools. One of the mighty weapons we have for the demolishing of strongholds was removed from the school, where our children spend 8 hours a day in their most formative years.
1963- the Bible , the Word of God is removed. If you forsake the Word of God, how soon will it be before you forsake the God of the Word.
1973- the law of the land is abortion on demand
1980- the 10 commandments are removed from the courts, municipal, local and state governments and schools.
The Result: Beginning in the 1990s we had the worst droughts, the worst hurricanes, the worst wild fires, the most destructive tornadoes, and earthquakes.
In 2001- we are attacked from the outside on 9/11 and over 3000 are killed in one day by a handful of those who so disrespect America and its lifestyle they call us the great satan.
Yet we continue to ignore what God calls evil and call it good and make marriage by homosexuals the law of the land and the right of people.
What did Jude warn us about? . Godless men who have crept in unaware- who change the Grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our Only Sovereign and Lord.
God has blessed America and prospered her through the years. But when God is no longer our King. When His Word is ignored- belittled and altered to suit the times- we have a gospel that is no gospel at all.
God will not stay where He is not wanted. We expelled Him from the schools, the work place and our society- and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes- not what is right in Gods eyes.
Look again at Psalms 80 : 12- God has broken down the wall, taken down the hedges and as a result: so that all who pass by pick its grapes? America today, once the richest nation on the face of the earth is a debtor nation. China holds billions of our IOUs. Many of our companies today are not American owned, but foreign owned. They have come to pick our grapes-plunder out wealth. All of this is in the name of globalism a global economy. You cant fight progress and you cant fight city hall, we lament.
Yes you can if God is your king. If the Lord Jesus Christ is your commander in chief. If the Word of God is our guide.
We are in a battle. We each have a role to play.
Look up. Confess up. Speak up and Stand up stand up for Jesus you soldiers of the cross.