June 17th Judges chapters 16-18

If we were to jump into these texts without looking in the context of the situations, they would not make sense.  God’s judge is sleeping with prostitutes, the men of Israel are making idols and priests in their homes and even a levite has agreed to be a personal priest to a family for hire.  Things get even worse in the next few chapters.  We need to remember the recurring theme in these chapters “and every one did what was right in his own eyes.”  God is giving us a picture of what happens when people do not repent and turn to Him; sadly, it always leads to depravity.  As we see this picture of sin in the believer’s life we see that if sin is not remedied is will grow worse and worse until we finally end up in a place that we could have never dreamed.  I have personally seen two people very close to me in ministry that harbored sin in their lives and it manifested itself in ways that didn’t even have anything to do with the original sin.  These two each dealt with anger and jealousy.  One of these, literally, crippled an active ministry causing over 300 people to split away from their place of worship and sadly most of them are now unchurched.  Our baptismal was practly empty for about three years.  The other person, who dealt with jealousy and anger, was a church leader and a very dear friend.  When ignoring his sin and allowing it to fester it manifested itself in other ways also:  He left his wife and children of almost 25 years for another woman who had earlier done the same.  We need not be prideful when we realize we are one unrepented sin away from destruction.  We need to be very aware of our walk and stay attached to the vine.  Once again, all of this started due to one sin in Israel: when they did not drive out the inhabitants of Canaan.  We need to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.  We also need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.  Remember the heroine addict in the gutter did not land there in one day.  It was a life sent in the wrong direction by one or two poor choices of disobedience. 

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