The Bible says in Judges 16:27-31, Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years. You can always come back to the Lord Jesus no matter how much you have failed Him. Samson finally learned his lesson. That is what life is all about. It is not so much what we accomplish, but what we learn from the Lord in our personal relationship with Him. There is an important statement in verse thirty. It says, So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. It is an important lesson about the end of life, which therefore applies to old people also. If you keep living by faith, you might do more for the Lord on the last day of your life than you did all the rest of your life. Just one word said in faith might be used of the Lord to accomplish great things. That same truth can be seen in Hebrews chapter eleven where great accomplishments of faith take place on someones deathbed. It says in Hebrews 11:12 about Abraham, Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. It says in Hebrews 11:21, By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. It says in Hebrews 11:22, By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
The Bible says in Judges 17:1-6, And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah. And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son. And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee. Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. First, we have kind of a typical family situation. A young man steals from his mother, and then he confesses and gives the money back to her. When Micah tells his mother what he was going to do with the money, she takes some of it and does it for him: makes an image. This is our introduction to this time in Israel: a time of departing from the Lord. They still speak of the Lord, but they have adopted religious ideas of the world. The same think is happening a great deal today. Be very careful about compromise. Compromise will sneak up on you and ruin you. Why do people compromise when they should not? For one thing, we are too easily influenced by other people instead of by the Word of God. For another thing, people will adopt ideas and practices just in order to get along and to use such ideas as, Well, we do not want to just others. And then they rationalize and justify anything. We see that with accepting abortion, and we see that with not teaching the proper relationship between men and women. Homosexuality is ungodly. In other words, it is not of God. Jesus said in Mark 10:6, But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. Jesus first miracle was at a wedding between a man and a woman. That does not mean that we hate homosexuals or that we constantly condemn them, but it does mean that we teach and support only the Biblical presentation of men and women relationships.
The Bible says in Judges 17:7-13, And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in. And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest. These verses show us that Micah had some good instincts in that he wanted to serve God, but Micah had a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. An individual cannot choose his own priest. Also, not just any Levite can become a priest. That Levite would have to be in the right lineage. Both of these errors were major departures from the law of Moses. Micahs conclusion about what he did was really faulty. He said in verse thirteen, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest. Micah has a serious lack of understanding that his own personal relationship with God is what is most important. Micah did not seem to have the understanding that we find with the heroes of the faith such as Abraham who was called a friend of God, or such as David who constantly spoke of his relationship with God such as Psalms 23:1 that says, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Some people today make the same kind of mistake that Micah made. They think that they need to do more things from a religious standpoint and do not understand that more than anything else Christianity is a relationship with Christ, a daily relationship with Christ.
The Bible says in Judges 18:1, In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. The statement made in the first part of verse is given several times in the book of Judges. It seems to indicate that the lack of leadership became a problem for the Israelites. They had a lot of problems. Their greatest problem was spiritual in nature. They drifted away from God, they mixed too much with the heathen, and they did not conquer the land as God commanded them to do. God should have been their king. He was not. A human king who was both strong and godly could have guided them in a better direction. Eventually King David would do just that as a symbolism for what King Jesus will one day do for the whole world.
The Bible says in Judges 18:2-6, And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there. When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here? And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest. And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go. This story about Micah is becoming a very long story because it is an important story that shows us just how bad the Israelites had become at this time. God wants to use to remind us of how far we can fall also, and therefore we had better beware. Five men from the children of Dan come to the region of Ephraim near where Micah and his priest live. Astonishingly, the five men know the priest. Already we see a problem: they do not have a relationship with the Lord where they can go to the Lord in prayer and ask for wisdom and guidance. They falsely think that the priest must go to the Lord for them. A lot of people make that same mistake today. The priest has a quick answer for them: Yeah, just keep doing what you are doing. You are fine. Everything will go well for you. People will always love that kind of message. Maybe what should have been said was something like this: You are sinful people in the midst of a sinful nation. You need to repent of your sins and to change your ways. You need a personal relationship with God. That kind of message will not be welcome by as many people.
The Bible says in Judges 18:7-10, Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man. And they came unto their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye? And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth. Notice that the five men said about the people of Laish in verse seven. They said that they dwelt careless, they were quiet and secure, they had no magistrate in the land, and they had no business with any man. They did not have a strong leader who could have helped make sure they were prepared for war. They had no alliances with other city-states that would have helped to protect them. They thought they were secure, but they were not. At the very time they thought they were secure, others were plotting their downfall. Christians are warned not to be in such a condition. It says in First Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. The citizens of Laish had others observing them and plotting to destroy them, but they were totally unaware of it and totally unprepared. Beware.
Copyright; 2020 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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