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Judges 6. Gideon, part 3: In chastisement the Lord's grace is near.

JUDGES-6-170224
length: 63:42 - taught on Feb, 24 2017
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Title: Judges 6. Gideon, part 3: In chastisement the Lord's grace is near.        

 

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JDG 6:7 Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord on account of Midian,

 

JDG 6:8 that the Lord sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery.

 

JDG 6:9 'And I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,

 

JDG 6:10 and I said to you, "I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me."'"

 

God makes clear that chastisement is from Him, but He also draws near and reminds us of His grace, and in that grace we find clarity of repentance.

 

God always knows the perfect timing and magnitude of discipline that His children need. In each case He is nearby with His grace, guiding and instructing. Among shepherds in the ancient east, if a particular sheep would not stop straying, the shepherd might break one of its legs, but then he sets it and bandages it and he carries the lamb in his own arms, comforting it until the wound is healed. This is a perfect picture of our shepherd when He has to deal with our pride and hard heartedness.

 

PSA 23:4 Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

 

In Psa 31 the poet looks back upon a previous state of mind, one of conflict, and makes all godly ones partakers with him in the healthful fruit of his deliverance.

 

Like our oppressed Israelites in Judges, David also dwelt among the rocks and mountainous caves in the wilderness, often alone with only his harp for comfort, but unlike Israel before Gideon, David trusted the Lord and relished the Lord's deliverance.

 

The key in both cases is that the Lord certainly does deliver, whether in divine disciple or undeserved suffering for testing and blessing.

 

PSA 31:6 I hate those who regard vain idols;

But I trust in the Lord.

 

PSA 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad in Thy lovingkindness,

Because Thou hast seen my affliction;

Thou hast known the troubles of my soul,

 

PSA 86:1 Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and answer me;

For I am afflicted and needy.

 

PSA 86:2 Do preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;

O Thou my God, save Thy servant who trusts in Thee.

 

PSA 86:3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,

For to Thee I cry all day long.

 

PSA 86:4 Make glad the soul of Thy servant,

For to Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

 

PSA 86:5 For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive,

And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee.

 

PSA 94:17 If the Lord had not been my help,

My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.

 

PSA 94:18 If I should say, "My foot has slipped,"

Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.

 

PSA 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,

Thy consolations delight my soul.

 

Notice that it isn't the case that there is never an anxious thought within me, in fact at times, they multiply within me, but then I remember the consolations from God. To cast your cares upon the Lord, you have to have cares.

 

"Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship." [Denzel Washington]

 

PSA 56:1 For the choir director; according to Jonath elem rehokim [the silent dove among the far off]. A Mikhtam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

 

In this case David has done nothing wrong, so he is suffering as a man of God at the hands of those who hate God. It is the time when he is fleeing from the wrath of Saul and sojourned in Philistia. In both cases, suffering deservedly and undeservedly, which is preferable, the grace of God is always near.

 

PSA 56:1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.

 

PSA 56:2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me.

 

PSA 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee.

 

It is not written that I will never be afraid, in fact it is written as a foregone conclusion. It doesn't justify fear, however, it is a sin against God, but God has vanquished our sins, as David well knows, and so we reject the fear without guilt and put our trust in God, and notice why he is able to do so in the next line.

 

PSA 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

 

PSA 56:5 All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

 

PSA 56:6 They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life.

 

PSA 56:7 Because of wickedness, cast them forth, In anger put down the peoples, O God!

 

PSA 56:8 Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book?

 

PSA 56:9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.

 

PSA 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise,

 

PSA 56:11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

 

PSA 56:12 Thy vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to Thee.

 

PSA 56:13 For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

 

PSA 103:6 The Lord  performs righteous deeds,

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

 

PSA 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

 

PSA 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

 

PSA 103:9 He will not always strive with us;

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

 

PSA 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 

If He had, Israel would have completely perished long ago. The wages of sin is death. They have been dealt discipline in the form of the curse while the grace of God stood so near so as to deliver them.

 

PSA 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

 

When we don't fear Him, proper response to chastisement will install that fear within us.

 

PSA 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

PSA 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

 

PSA 103:14 For He Himself knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are but dust.

 

JDG 6:8 that the Lord sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery.

 

JDG 6:9 'And I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,

 

JDG 6:10 and I said to you, "I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me."'"

 

In rabbinic tradition, this prophet was Phinehas the high priest, but if that were true he would have lived a very long time. The unnamed prophet was sent as a reminder of what God did for Israel in the Exodus and in the conquest of the land. This call to remember has been given several times and will be given many times more.

 

Israel's obligation to God was nothing more than faith, loyalty, and obedience, but they had not harkened to His voice.

 

To not have this attitude is to have a god of your own making, which has been a very popular thing for people of all ages to do.

 

There are many who think that this is too much for God to ask. They demand to be able to make their own allegiances. But when this desire is thought through with clarity, what is seen first of all is how asinine it is for a created being, who owes all things to Jehovah, to demand the freedom to consider other allegiances.

 

Secondly, whatever other allegiance he chooses is clearly idolatry, since all other beings besides Jehovah are created by Him. It is the picture of a drowning man who can see only one hand extended into the depths that are rapidly killing him and rather than reaching out to grab it, he waits, saying to himself, “I wonder if another hand will show itself before long?” If he couldn't reach the hand we call it a tragedy, if he could reach the hand but decided to wait for another hand, we call him a fool.

 

Prophet: "In light of all that God did for Israel, it was simply too much to ask for excusive allegiance to Him."

 

The simple message from the prophet is, "In light of all that God did for Israel, it was simply too much to ask for excusive allegiance to Him." He didn't ask them to be perfect. There were provisions in the Law for failure. He asked for allegiance, which is obedience; a desire not for failure but for faithfulness and loyalty.

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