Study from God’s Word… Judges 2: 8,9 [Josh 24: 29,30]; Josh 24: 32; Judges 1: 1-10, 16-19; Josh 15: 13,14 [Judges 1: 20b]; Judges 1: 11-15 [Josh 15: 15-19]; Judges 1: 22-26; Josh 13: 13; Josh 16: 10 [Judges 1: 29]; Josh 17: 11-13 [Judges 1: 27, 28]; Josh 15: 63; Judges 1: 21; Judges 1: 30 - 36; Judges 2: 1-5; … Passage for Reflection: Judges 1: 19 … NIV 19 The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.
My Journal for Today: Today my devotional shepherd, Dr. F. LaGard Smith, asked me to read the target verse for today several times, asking, in essence, ”What’s wrong with this picture?” And the answer to that question is really quite obvious when we realize – and believe – that God’s covenant with His people, through Joshua, is truth. God had promised that wherever and whenever His people moved to conquer the pagan peoples who occupied the Promised Land, that He, God, would be with the Israelites and they could – and should – eradicate the pagan peoples and cultures from these lands. So, … what’s with today’s highlighted verse?
It says that God’s people, in this case the men of Judah, stopped short and were failures when it came to taking possession of the hill country because the armies who inhabited these lands had iron chariots. Hey!, … isn’t God able to overcome even thousands of iron chariots? Well, of course He is; and what this shows is that the Hebrew armies (and especially their leaders) failed to trust in God; and they balked when they saw all those iron chariots. And isn’t that the way with all of us who claim to trust in God? We can do fine when we perceive that we are in control; but give our spiritual enemies a seemingly overwhelming advantage; and we, so often, bolt and run from letting God have the victory.
I’m called in ministry to work with men who’ve stared down defeat over and over and over again in the area of sexual purity and freedom. They have confronted the enemies, which are Satan and their own flesh, and they’ve come to believe that they cannot be victorious. They see “iron chariots” in the presence of their own weaknesses of the flesh; and they simply relent, giving in to their fleshly desires, failing to take advantage of the power they have within themselves as Christians, the same resurrection power, the Holy Spirit, Who raised Jesus from the dead, … the same God, Who can, and will, enable and empower any Christian to choose purity over impurity and to defeat the enemies Satan is sending into battle in those “iron chariots.”
When are we, as disciples of Christ, going to realize the truth of 1st John 4: 4, which loudly declares to believers, … every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them [i.e. the spirits of antichrist], because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Like the people of God in the times of Joshua, we have, when we fully trust in Christ as our Lord and Savior, have made a covenant with God, believing on the Name of Christ; and trusting/clinging to the truth that He [the Holy Spirit] is greater in us than any spirit in the world and even Satan, who certainly will do all he can to show off his “iron chariots” and try to make us believe that He is stronger that the Spirit of God Who resides in our hearts when we are truly born-again.
Dr. Smith asks his readers today, ”Do I glibly speak of trusting God when all is well, but cower in fear when the situation looks hopeless?” And each of us must answer that question in the light of our faith; because God’s word and His covenant with us are true and strong; and the power we have in ourselves as followers of Christ is most certainly stronger than any “iron chariots” we see coming against us. The question will be answered when we stand and fight or … we cut and run.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I stand with you in the truth of Romans 8: 31. Amen