Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The spirits that drove the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perezzites and Jebusites to fight against Israel are still alive and well in the world and in the church today.

Perezites Are in Your Neighborhood

By Pastor Jim May

“You are what you eat”, is a phrase that most of us have heard all of our lives. That’s a little unsettling when you think about the fact that we eat so much fast food and junk food. Medical science has spent many years researching the food we eat and the effects it has on our bodies, and after spending billion upon billions of dollars, they have come up with the same conclusion. If you eat junk food all the time, you’ll develop a “junk body”. If you eat a lot of fatty foods and salt, you’ll clog up your arteries and run the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. If you eat a lot of veggies, and exercise right, you will stand a better chance of living a longer life.

The fact is though that America faces a “Push Away Crisis” of grand proportions. The problem is that all of the foods that we aren’t supposed to eat are all around us. They seem to taste better and look better.

Our four basic food groups have become Fast, Frozen, Instant and Chocolate.

Getting a little overweight is something that just sort of snacks up on you.

One man ran across his friend who had become shall we say, “A man of greater substance.” He asked, “I thought you were trying to get into shape?” I am, said his friend, “I’ve chosen the shape of a triangle.”

Now the problem is that we allow the things that tempt us to lie around so that it’s just too easy to eat and gain weight.

That kind of brings me to the message that I have for this morning. It’s a story of how God proves his people when they get to the place in their relationship with God where God is limited by their disobedience and unbelief and therefore no longer performs miracles like he once did.

Israel, under Moses and Joshua, had seen some mighty miracles, such as the 10 plagues and deliverance from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, water from the rock in the desert, bread falling right out of Heaven, the parting of the Jordan River and the walls of Jericho coming down.

They had been brought from Egypt, not by their own might, but by the power of Almighty God alone. They had no military force or weapons of war. They were helpless, weak and destitute because of the sin of rebellion that had brought them down into Egypt as slaves to begin with. Israel had of the depend upon God

But now, all of those old Israelites that had known Moses and Joshua were long dead and new generations arose in Israel that forgot the power of God to perform miracles.

They had also forgotten the commandment that God had given them to rid the Land of Canaan of every idolatrous nation. Instead, they allowed a few people to remain behind through kindness and generosity. They thought that they knew better than God, so they chose not to obey him. That was a bad decision that not only haunted Israel all through the Old Testament, but still haunts them today. When God said to destroy all of the enemy, that’s what he meant. What part of “all” could they not have understood?

Now when we forget God, and lose our relationship with him, then God says, “If that’s what you want, fine; but you are own your own. But even though He allows us to continue to do our thing, make our mistakes; he never really gives up on us. God loves us so much that he ever tries to draw us back to the cross and to our love for Him.

That’s what’s happening to Israel as we begin to read in the Book of Judges.

Judges 3:1-4, "Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses."

Did you catch what the Word says? God had allowed a new generation to arise in Israel in spite of their rebellious ways. His promise to make them a great nation that was given to Abraham had not been negated by their evil deeds.

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