Scripture Read: Judges 3:9-14 When the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 Then the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. 12 Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and defeated Israel, and they possessed the city of the palm trees. 14 The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
Application: Again and again this statement appears through out this book; “Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD” Why? The answer is neither hard to discover, nor popular. It is the plague that all are infected with, the leveler of all human beings and the reason for all the ill that takes place in this world. The prophet Jeremiah states it very succinctly:
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
It is no secret that all are sinners, yet most do not want to deal with that truth and very much desire to not consciously deal with the final outcome of that condition. It is not popular in this day and age to admonish folks to understand that we all will stand before our Maker and give an account of our life. The shocking truth about our sinful state is that even when it is given the best conditions, without a relationship with God, we will choose to do wrong. This is best seen at the end of the age. Satan is bound and placed in a pit for 1000 years, during that 1000 years, Christ Himself rules the earth. No more war, no disease, even the animals become our friends. After living in that utopia, when Satan is released one last time and man is once again given the choice, sad as it is, man chooses evil.
Revelation 20:1–3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Revelation 20:7–8 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
“If we just had a perfect government”, “If we all were one, no war, no hunger, no sickness”, “IF…” If your aunt had a mustache she would be your uncle!! All the “ifs” in the world will not change the simple fact that in our fallen state, without the aid of the Lord, we will choose to follow the flesh…and the flesh loves sin. God shuts all the mouths at the end of the millennial rule of His Son. For centuries man has claimed if given the right circumstances he would do right. 1000 years of perfect environment and absolute justice is more than enough of a chance to make our point. Sadly the point is made – without a living relationship with the One that created us, we will choose sin. Why? It is clear we are not sinners because we sin…we sin because we are sinners. In the fall, all of our being was infected. We may not like this but it is the truth. That is why it took the all knowing God to bring the all saving plan to us. A plan that redeems all of our being from sin…even our body, which will be raised incorruptible on that Day that the Lord has appointed.
Before we think too harshly about the Israelites, let’s take a good look in the mirror – we will see the same kind of nature!
Meditation Questions: Do you think others are greater sinners than you? Is there any sin you believe you could never commit? What is your list of “big” sins and “little” sins? Should you have a list? When you talk to God about your sin, what does that sound like? How do you balance the hate and disgust you should have for sin, the fact that you give into it, and your esteem? What reason would you give to someone that just saw you sin, that you really do love God?