Judges 1-3, Psalm 70
WWII general, Douglas MacArthur’s words are worth reading: “In this day of gathering storms, as moral deterioration of political power spreads its growing infection,it is essential that every spiritual force be mobilized to defend and preserve the religious base upon which this nation is founded; for it has been that base which has been the motivating impulse to our moral and national growth. History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual reawakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” As a nation we either experience revival or we will die and cease to exist. This holds true for the nation at large as well as the Christian Church in America. A Chinese Christian recently visited the United States and toured churches here. At the end of the trip he was asked what he thought about American spirituality. He answered, “I am amazed at how much the church in America can accomplish without the Holy Spirit”. This Chinese Christian was not fooled by the lack of revival, nor is God.
The Book of Judges has so much present day relevance both to the personal walk of each Christian, as well as our nation and the state of the Christian Church in America. We see the lead up to the cyclical nature of this entire book in Judges 1:27-35, the incomplete victory by the Israelites of the land they were to possess. Though God commanded the Israelites to completely destroy the people living within the borders of the Promised Land, they disobeyed. It is not that they weren’t able, since God Himself promised He would fight for them and proven it, they just disobeyed. The reoccurring statement in these verses is, the (name the tribe) did not drive out the inhabitants of (name the people). We then read in Judges 2:10, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.” So we have the enemy within their borders and the Children of Israel who no longer knew or worshiped their God. This downward spiral eventually led to despair and a turning to God, where God would raise up a Judge to bring about revival. Only to see the nation once again fall into complacency.
As we read through this book there is a tendency for us to think, “Really? Why can’t they just learn their lesson?” And the Lord is probably saying the same thing about all of us and our nation right now. We look at the plight of our brothers and sisters being persecuted overseas, especially in both Africa and Asia, and we pray for them, as we should. But while their churches are growing at a rapid rate, the Church in America finds itself not growing, stagnant, lacking revival. On a personal level, what are the incomplete victories in our walk. Have we settled into a comfortable, complacent level of Christianity. Do we consider our walk good enough? Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” The Christian walk is always dynamic, never stable, we are simply deciding each day if we are taking a step forward or backward. On a national level, Proverbs 14:34says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” We, as Christians, must open our eyes, roll up our sleeves, and open ourselves fully to be used by the Holy Spirit if we are to once again see revival come to our nation before it’s too late.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: