Summary: Have we left behind, hidden in the dark corners of our hearts, some seed of sin that will come back to test us? God told Israel to kill all their enemies, but they didn’t, and those enemies came back to be the tool that God used against them to prove the
Seeds Left Behind
By Pastor Jim May
Judges 3:1-9, "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. And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother."
Just look around you, in whatever church you find yourself, and you will see someone, and probably many people whose lives are paralleled with what we have read in this passage of scripture. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Also, the Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Corinth said these words in 1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
Since Israel’s faults, failures, trials and tests are given for our benefit, that we may learn to serve God more faithfully and with more freedom than they did, I think it would be very beneficial for us to look at these events to see what lessons are there for us to learn.
Let us begin by remembering what events transpired prior to this passage. Israel had wandered in the desert for 40 long years until all of those who had refused to believe God and enter into the Promised Land the first time had passed on. It was a new generation that came into the Land of Canaan with Joshua – a nation reborn, born in the wilderness, and one that had not been a part of the exodus from Egypt. Their fathers and grandfathers had seen the mighty hand of God and walked by sight because they had seen the miracles, but this younger generation had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Surely God was with them or they would have perished in the wilderness. Surely God’s promises to them were true. God was going to bring His people home in spite of them fighting against Him all the way.
It was God who had called them, made them His own, and delivered them from bondage. Israel could not decide to be God’s nation on earth unless God called them first.
Is that not the same thing that God does for the sinner right now? It is God who calls us. It is the Holy Ghost that convicts us. It is the Father in Heaven who selects those whom He will call because only God knows the hearts of men and who will be receptive. Does God want ever man to be saved? Of course He does, and His power is great enough to forgive and wash away every sin of the whole human race. The fact is though, that God already knows who will never accept the Blood of Jesus to save their souls. He already knows who will never choose to be saved and so I am convinced that those who fall into this category may never even feel the tug of conviction upon their heart. Not because God doesn’t desire it, but because of the hardness of their own heart.
A note on the subject of pre-destination: (I know that I’m no scholar and that many others have argued pre-destination for years. But this is my own opinion based upon what I have learned by personal study of God’s Word and not by the teachings of other men.)