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February 21, 2024

From Testing to Triumph (Judges 3)

Passage: Judges 3
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In the book of Judges, instead of finding a portrait of Israel's victorious life in the Promised Land, we encounter a recurring pattern of moral failure. It commences with their failure to expel the inhabitants of the land as instructed by God, ultimately leading to a cycle of sin, repentance, and deliverance. The nations remaining in the land served as a test for Israel, revealing whether they would obey God's commandments. Similarly, in our lives, God places individuals who test us, revealing our obedience or lack thereof. Just as Israel faced the Philistines, Canaanites, Sidonians, and Hivites, we encounter people and circumstances that challenge our faith and obedience to God.

Like Israel, when we fail to confront sin properly, we risk embracing it instead. The tragic consequence is becoming entangled in sin's grip, much like marrying it and serving its desires. Excuses abound for our sinful tendencies, but Scripture reminds us that in Christ, we are new creations called to put to death our old ways. However, when sin entices, it is often easier to make justifications than to confront it head-on. Yet, victory lies in total obedience to God's word, not in rationalizing or accommodating sin.

The consequences of succumbing to sin are dire, leading Israel into bondage and servitude. Despite experiencing God's deliverance, they repeatedly fell back into sin, perpetuating the cycle of moral failure. Yet, God in His mercy raised up deliverers like Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar. These judges served as instruments of God's deliverance, but the ultimate deliverer is Jesus Christ. Just as Israel cried out to God in their distress, we too must turn to Him for deliverance from the bondage of sin.

Othniel's victory over Cushan-Rishathaim illustrates the power of God's Spirit in overcoming adversity. Similarly, Ehud's cunning and reliance on God's message demonstrate the importance of arming ourselves with the Word of God. Like Ehud's sword hidden in his garment, we must hide God's word in our hearts, ready to wield it against the enemy. Shamgar's use of a seemingly ordinary ox goad as a weapon reminds us that God can use the seemingly insignificant to accomplish mighty deeds.

The key to victory lies not in human strength or cleverness but in the power of God's Spirit and His word. As we face the tests and trials of life, may we remember that God is our deliverer, and our obedience to Him is our pathway to triumph. Let us heed the lessons from Judges 3, embracing total obedience to God's word and relying on His Spirit for victory.

Join us at Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, where Pastor Allen Victor leads us in studying God's word and applying its timeless truths to our lives.  Come and experience the transforming power of God's word in a community of believers committed to obedience and faithfulness.

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