Book of Judges Bible Study: The Message of Judges - Chapter Three
Judges 3 - The Enemy within the Land.
by I Gordon
 ↩ And, thankfully enough, the meaning of these nation's names gives me plenty to go on! Whew!!!
 ↩ Major Ian Thomas writes 'The flesh will threaten, shout, strut, domineer, sulk, plot, creep, beg, plead or sob - whatever the situation may demand in the interests of its own survival... The flesh hates to be exposed for what it is and will fight desperately to avoid that awful moment of truth - that moment when the Holy Spirit rips the mask from its sickly face!' - So true. A lot of people will just say 'well, that's just me, that's who I am!' But if you are a born again Christian then you are also a new creation and that is not who the 'real you' is anymore. But you do have to know and recognise your enemy! And that may sometimes be the old you! The first step to victory comes from self-judgement. Instead of wallowing in some form of self-pity (which, if we are honest, we all strangely enjoy!) we recognise the influence of the enemy and ask the Holy Spirit to produce in us that which we are not.
On a different topic, repeat after me 'I must go and buy Major Ian Thomas' books.' Repeat 10 times in drone like fashion. Not sure if hypnotism works through a study, or that it will ever be overly popular within Christian circles :o) but you would do well to follow the advice for they are really good!!!
 ↩ Have a look at 2 Cor , 1 Tim 6:5, Jude 11.
 ↩ Went into a Christian bookshop the other day and found a new book on the life of Jabez. Someone had written a 200-300 page novel on the life of this man who is only mentioned in three verses in the Bible. Wow! What insight that author must have had! Or maybe, just maybe, it was a desperate attempt to make money out of the latest 'Christian' cash cow! I smell Canaanites!!! Or for that matter, while I'm having a rant, when will the 'Left Behind' series ever come to an end? I'm not against the content of these books but is it just me or does each new book seem to occupy a smaller time frame of the tribulation? You don't think they could possibly be squeezing it for all that its worth do you?
 ↩ Samuel Ridout in his excellent book 'Lectures on the book of Judges' makes the following convicting, challenging comment - The Hittites dwell everywhere, and if you allow them, they will settle down in your midst. They will close your mouths, so you will be afraid to speak. Why is there so much silence amongst God's beloved people? Why is there so little testimony in the gospel, so little ministry amongst the saints, so few voices heard in prayer and praise in the assemblies? Is it not because the Hittites are allowed to dwell right in our very midst? You are afraid to speak a word for the Lord Jesus, afraid to lift up your voice in thanksgiving - to lead the prayers and praises to Christ Jesus. You are afraid to take your stand for Christ and confess Him fully - afraid to do that which your conscience and the word of God declares should be done. Oh, the Hittite empire is indeed a wide one - it reaches everywhere and their dwelling amongst us is a witness how we have failed to cast them out. Yet thank God, their very presence amongst us is a call from Him to rise now and put them from us; to be done with fear, to be done with all this terror, this holding back, and to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!
 ↩ This cracks me up. You may remember that Christian and Faithful (Pilgrims Progress) met Talkative on their journey to the Celestial City. John Bunyan writes of Talkative saying 'He was a tall man and somewhat better looking at a distance than close up.' You probably all know someone like that! Someone who has all the right words, and when you meet them you think 'wow, that person is spiritual!' But a close up inspection of their life shows it to largely be a facade. They can talk the walk but are somewhat lacking walking the talk! Lord save us all from that hypocrisy!
 ↩ Good old Faithful (in Pilgrims Progress) makes another interesting comment about understanding and words without action (the Amorites)... 'Faithful then said, 'This reminds me of the words of Moses when he described the animal that is ceremonially clean. It is the animal that has a split hoof and chews it's cud, not the one that has a split hoof only, or the one that only chews its cud. The rabbit chews its cud but it's still unclean because it doesn't have a split hoof. This resembles talkative. He chews the cud - that is, he seeks knowledge and chews on the word - but he doesn't have a separated hoof; he doesn't separate himself from the way of sinners. Like the rabbit, he retains the foot of a dog or bear, and so he's unclean.'
 ↩ You probably know the story but please read Exodus 3:10-12 and right through chapter 4 if you are really keen. Here is a loose, and I mean loose, paraphrase... In verses 10-12 God tells Moses that He will send him to deliver Israel. Moses responds with 'oh, but who am I? I am nothing, a nobody, how can I go?' With Moses' eyes firmly upon himself, God simply says 'I will go with you! Isn't that enough? Do you really need to know anymore?' Moses carries on in saying 'Please Lord, I have never been this, and never been that... I don't have what it takes! Send someone else.' At this point the Lords anger burns against Moses because his lowly opinion of himself was becoming his reason for disobedience to God! Moses is known for his humility, this is not humility! It is the flip side of pride and shows that at this stage Moses still very much had his eyes on himself.
 ↩ The same attitude is found initially in Gideon in Judges 6:11-16 although he did overcome it and was, after great assurances by the Lord, obedient to God.
 ↩ See (Josh. 15:8; ; Judg , 2 Sam. 5:6-9, 24:18-25)
 ↩ _e_t_n_ and t__c_i_g. (Fill in the gaps. Lame form of hangman.)
 ↩ The Lord will never tempt us to do wrong (James ), but like Israel He will use the imperfect situations we get ourselves into to test us. Testing by the Lord is certainly not a new thing. He tested Israel repeatedly in the wilderness (Ex 16:4, Deut 8:2). You can imagine Job's anguish in saying, 'What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? (Job ). The Lord even uses false prophets to test whether we will follow the truth. (Deut 13:3) David also knew (through his experience) of how the Lord tests the heart for integrity (1 Ch 29:17) and spoke frequently of it in the Psalms (17:3, 26:2, 139:23) Testing is always for our own good (James 1:3).