Here We Go Again

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Judges 1-3; Luke 4:1-30

here-we-go-again

The Israelites did things that the Lord saw as evil, and they forgot the Lord their God. They served the Baals and the Asherahs. The Lord became angry with Israel and gave them over to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim. The Israelites served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But then they cried out to the Lord. So the Lord raised up a deliverer for the Israelites, Othniel, Kenaz’s son, Caleb’s younger brother, who rescued them. 10 The Lord’s spirit was in Othniel, and he led Israel. When he marched out for war, the Lord handed over Aram’s King Cushan-rishathaim. Othniel overpowered Cushan-rishathaim, 11 and the land was peaceful for forty years, until Othniel, Kenaz’s son, died.

12 The Israelites again did things that the Lord saw as evil, and the Lord put Moab’s King Eglon in power over them, because they did these things that the Lord saw as evil. 13 He convinced the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, defeated Israel, and took possession of Palm City. 14 So the Israelites served Moab’s King Eglon eighteen years.

15 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord(Judges 3:7-15, Common English Bible)

It was just yesterday we read of the Israelites promise before God, Joshua and each other that they would follow God. They promised. And, when Joshua told them they were witnesses unto themselves, they readily agreed.

How quickly things can change. Please understand, I am not saying this was literally the next day. In fact, we know some amount of time passed because by the time of our lesson today Joshua had died. With their leader gone, the Israelites immediately start doing evil in the sight of God.

It is the beginning of what we have talked about a couple of times already, the Israelites cycle of evil and good. Without Joshua to lead them, they fall into evil. And, apparently, their current version of evil was pretty bad as God turned them over to their enemies. God worked against His chosen people. But, there was grace that followed as God raised up leaders that turned the people around.

In our lesson today, it is at least the second time for Israel to go in a direction other than the one God would have them go. God became angry. God let their enemies run over them and the Israelites cried out to the Lord. God raised up a new leader, Othniel. Apparently, Othniel was the quintessential leader. Othniel came in, raised up an army that tossed the enemies of the nation. The lesson says that once the Israelites defeated their current set of enemies, Othniel continued to lead them and God gave the Israelites peace for 40 years until the death of Othniel.

Then again, the Israelites backslide once again when there is no leader. Their enemies overrun them again (because God allowed it) and there was an enemy force that occupied the land until the Israelites cried out again to God. Until God raised up Ehud as the judge and leader. Once again the Israelites defeated their enemies and again there was peace in the land. This time for 80 years.

I wish I could tell you Israel finally learned their lesson, but they did not. It was a pattern we will see again. And again.

There is one other thing. I find it interesting when the Israelites had a leader they seemed willing to follow. Without a leader, they fell back into evil. While I don’t think it is so much a leader, it is someone who held them accountable. We all need accountability partners. We need people in our lives who will walk with us, reminding us of what is good and what is evil before God. If you don’t have an accountability partner, I urge you to move in that direction.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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