May 14, 2023
“In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
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“In those days, there was no king in Israel.” Judges 18:1 (NKJV)
“In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6 (NKJV)
It is a dangerous thing when the people of God depart from the Word of God. It is dangerous because departing from God’s Word communicates rebellion and/or ignorance. The danger of rebellion is that it supposes we know better than God. It refuses the Lordship of the One, Who is “Lord of all,” regardless of our acceptance.
“Do not have other gods besides Me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the father's sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.” Exodus 20:3-6 (HCSB)
Departing from His Word out of ignorance is dangerous because the ignorant person cannot perceive the downward moral trend, which leads to a horrible end.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 16:25 (HCSB)
God had clearly outlined the purposes and procedures of warfare for His people. Notice how His Word was ignored by the Danites (and the Levites) in today’s chapter.
“When you approach a city to fight against it, you must make an offer of peace. If it accepts your offer of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people found in it will become forced laborers for you and serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you but wages war against you, lay siege to it. When the Lord your God hands it over to you, you must strike down all its males with the sword. But you may take the women, children, animals, and whatever else is in the city—all its spoil—as plunder. You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies that the Lord your God has given you. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and are not among the cities of these nations. However, you must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. You must completely destroy them—the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite—as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they won’t teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 20:10-18 (HCSB)
Contrary to secular opinion about God in the Old Testament, He was not against foreign people. (He is very gracious to foreigners like Ruth, Tamar, and Rahab) But He is against foreign gods! And He hates when we mingle idolatry with worshiping Him.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021