Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012 … And the Beat Goes On … and On … and On

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Judges, Chapters 3-5 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : Judges 3: 1-7 … 1 These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses. … 5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. … 7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

My Journal for Today: Back in the 60s, a time when I was off to college and feeling my oats, and separating myself from my relationship with God, a rather comical couple, Sonny and Cher, wrote and sang their signature song back then, And the Beat Goes On. If you’re too young to remember them singing it, here’s a link for a You Tube segment of that great 60s hit.

And what, you say, does that have to do with Chapters 3-5 of the book of Judges? Well, in these chapters we have the beginnings of a beat and refrain which began in Israel when Joshua took the Israelites into the promised-land and continued on with a repetitive chorus of sinful, disobedient living for over 300 years. And here, in these chapters of Judges I was led to read today, we see this pattern beginning.

Israel does “… evil in the sight of the Lord;” … God sends a JUDGE to rescue His people; … the people are shown the error of their ways – usually through some defeat or subjugation on the part of the pagan peoples who had not been eliminated from the promised lands as God had commanded; … God’s people repent, … which is followed by some years of peace and pridefulness, allowing again for the worship of pagan gods like the Baals or the Asherahs (see above in verse 7). And as you read ahead in Judges … “the beat goes on” … and on … and on.

Six periods of Judges – 12 Judges; … and the people, even though they would be given a leader, even a Judge like Deborah, whom we read about in today’s chapters, … a judge who broke all the norms of the culture being a female national leader, … but God gave His sinful, disobedient children a way out of their idolatrous living … over and over again; … and they kept falling into repetitive and redundant patterns of sinful, idolatrous living.

Maybe you have had or now have some stronghold of sin which has been the “beat which goes on” in your life. For some it may be drugs or alcohol; … for others it may be gambling or shopping: … for others – especially in this culture – it may be an obsessive/compulsive habit of viewing p0rnography. I was wrapped up in that one for over 22 years of my life before I came to know Christ as my Lord; and even now the beat goes on in my life in the area of gluttony, … my recurring bondage to my eating desires. I really don’t know what this beat may be in any of your lives; but I do know that the Book of Judges is, as I wrote yesterday, a mirror for our lives today; … and yes, in our sin natures, “the beat goes on.”

BUT (again, a very big “but”), … just as we read in Judges, if we’re willing to seek the LORD, just as in Judges, God never leaves nor forsakes His people; and for us, He sent His own Son as the final Judge, … the ultimate Redeemer, … the One Who shed His blood so that the beat of sinful living never has to go on in the life of a believer.

Yes, I still struggle with my sin nature; and yes, I still sing “the beat goes on” with regard to my pridefulness and my pursuit of the flesh. But when I choose to receive and use the grace which God has provided me in His final JUDGE, Jesus Christ, I have the song stopper; and that beat NEVER needs to go on in my life again.

We’re going to see more of this refrain as we proceed through the book of Judges; … so, get ready as the “beat goes on!”

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to sing Your son and not the song of my flesh which desires that the “beat go on.” Amen

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