Summary: We can learn from the children of Israel by following the Lord Jesus and know real victory!
Small children can say some funny things...especially when it comes to matters pertaining to church and listening to the stories in the Bible. Here are some stories someone gave me:
A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to
Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn’t get a baby-sitter."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"
Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, Johnny what is the matter? Little Johnny responded, "I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife."
Sometimes we might not get our bible facts out just right, but we can grow in our knowledge of God’s Word. We can have more faith to become a victorious Christian in this present world. Someone says, “You can’t be a dedicated Christian as a young person today,” or “you can’t be a dedicated Christian working at my job each week.” I believe the Bible which says, “....and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” IJohn 5:4
WE CAN KNOW VICTORY! WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE IN UTTER DEFEAT!
As we continue studying through the book of Judges, we are constantly reminded of how the children of Israel were bouncing back and forth from victory to defeat, from defeat to victory, and then victory to defeat. Their experience is like a yo-yo, or a see-saw. Up
and then down. Much of their time was spent on the downside. Too many Christians are spending their lives on the downside. I believe God wants us to know the upside...the place of victory.
Looking at Judges, 3:1-11 there are several steps to take in order to be a victorious Child
1. There is the STAND WE MUST TAKE! (vv.1-4)
The First step...we must get ready to take a stand for the Lord!
v.1 Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel...
The new generation coming along were inexperienced in the ways of war. They had not done any fighting like their fathers, and other previous generations. The nations were left in the land to be used as instruments to teach Israel something about fighting. They give a list of those nations: 5 lords of the Philistines. Remember little David killing a
Philistine giant by the name of Golaith. He used a slingshot and God did the rest. All the
Canaanites. This word includes all the heathen inhabitants of the land.
v.4 tells us they were left to see whether the children of Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord.
v.1 says “these are the nations which the Lord left....” It could very well read, “these are
the problems which the Lord left...” It could read, “these are the pain in the neck which the Lord left.” They were called “thorns in the side” in chapter 2:3. They were for certain... problems, headaches, migrain, thorn in the side. Even today, the Middle East is still a sore spot on planet Earth.
(1) Take a stand regardless of the Problems
Those nations were to test Israel. Our problems are not designed to destroy us, they are in our lives to make us stronger. To test us and see if we are for real! They are there not to destroy, but to develop us more like Jesus. So, if we want to know victory, we must TAKE A STAND regardless of the problems
and the pressures we face.
(2) Take a stand in the Presence of Unbelievers
We must take a stand in the presence of unbelievers. The whole Canaanite world was looking on Israel to see if they would remain faithful to their God. Did Israel remain faithful? See vv.7,12 “they did evil...” There is pressure to conform to the ways of the world around us. There is peer pressure. There is the pressure to get along even at the expense of compromising scriptural commands.
(3) Take a Stand even when it’s not Popular.
Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 It is never popular to live for Jesus.