We can get stuck over an opportunity lost, or in some failure. Or we can feel the feeling of regret and sorrow, accept what is, claim forgiveness and cleansing and go forward.
Posts Tagged ‘ Shechem ’
“Ephraim hath hired lovers.” The thought of the rebellious wild ass continues. Israel not only showed a lack of judgment in going to the king of Assyria for help but also desired the fellowship of others. Israel looked for new pleasures in foreign lands. Most prostitutes get paid for their work, but Israel was even worse. Contrary to nature, Israel went out and paid the one she had an illicit relationship with; that is, Israel bought her lovers. This is powerful language!
Imagine the prophet saying these bold things to the ten tribes! And he was addressing the honored representatives (the king, the priesthood, etc.)—he even used a trumpet (see verse 1).
What a tongue-lashing Hosea gave them, using powerful illustrations! The people understood the analogy about the wild ass. Hosea was a truly courageous prophet. Incidentally, Assyria was not satisfied with the pay, or tribute, and swallowed up the ten tribes.
Joshua was saying that Terah and Abraham were ungodly unbelievers in the world, but they were called out. God took Abraham, the Israelites’ forefather, out of that environment and made him a believer. Abraham was brought through the “flood” (across the Euphrates) just as the Israelites were brought through the Red Sea and across the river Jordan. The spiritual lesson is that the heritage of the old man, which is ingrained in our human nature, will again conquer us if we do not fight. We must resist the world, the flesh, and the devil. Joshua was telling the Israelites to resist temptations—to remain obedient. By tracing this history, Joshua showed how God led the Israelites.
The first time that God called and Samuel went to Eli, the boy said, “Here am I; for thou calledst me.” Eli replied, “I called not; lie down again.” The second time God called, Samuel told Eli with a little more emphasis, “Here am I; for thou didst call me.” Eli answered, “I called not, my son; lie down again.” The third time God called, Samuel said even more emphatically, “Here am I; for thou didst call me.” This time Eli got the point. In other words, Samuel got more insistent each time he was called, and no longer could Eli doubt the veracity. Now he told Samuel, “Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee [the fourth time], that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth.”
As we study the present lesson let us have this thought in mind, and apply each to himself the moral. If in our fallen condition envy can produce such terrible fruitage, how much on guard against it every true follower of the Lord should be. How each should realize that to permit the growth of even the smallest shoot of this root in his daily life might lead on to most disastrous consequences to him as a New Creature.
There are about four different lessons you can extract from this one Parable from the book of Judges (chapter 9). When Jotham, the only surviving legitimate son of Gideon, uttered this parable from Mount Gerizim to the people below who made Abimelech to rule over them, to replace the vacuum that happened when Gideon died. Its possible to deduce by this parable that perhaps some of the sons of Gideon were asked (pictured by the Olive and Fig trees and the vine), but they felt they could best serve their brethren differently according to their talents. Their picking of a despicable overly ambitious person, Abimelech, to take the task was to their ultimate ruin. Jotham pronounces a curse on them as well as Abimelech. So what other lessons can we get from this?
What happened to the early Church after Jesus and the Apostles died? What filled that vacuum and ruled over the Lord’s heritage? Can we fall into the same pitfalls today? Can we elect those to oversee in the office of elder, who are not fit? What will be the outcome?
OUR LESSON relates to the call of Abram (high father), whom God renamed Abraham (father of a multitude), although indirectly the special point of the lesson refers to the calling of Abraham’s seed, natural and spiritual, and the divine bestowments to them, constituting them the centers of hope to the world of mankind.