Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 626 · 2 months ago

The Book of Judges #16

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Judges 10

Dodo, a man of Istakar, and he lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim, and he judged Israel thirty or twenty three years. Then he died and was buried at Schamir. After him arose Jare, the Guileadite, the Gileadite who judged Israel twenty two years, and he had thirty sons who wrote on thirty donkeys, and they had thirty cities called Havath Jare to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And jared died and was buried in Cayman. The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the balls and Astrath, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of MOAB, the Gods of the ammonites and the gods of the Philistines, and they forsook the Lord and did not serve him. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the ammonites and they crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the people of Israel who were beyond the Jordans and the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead, and the ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah and against Benjamin and against the House of Ephraim, so that Israel was severely distressed, and the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying we have sinned against you because we have forsaken our God and have served the balls. And the Lord said to the people of Israel, did I not save you from the Egyptians and the Amorites, from the AMMONITES and from the Philistines? The SIDONIANS also, and the Malakites and the mayonites oppressed you and you cried out to me and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods. Therefore, I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the Gods whom you have chosen. Let them save you in the time of your distress. And the people of Israel said to the Lord, we have sinned due to us. Whatever seems good to you, only please deliver us this day. So they put away the foreign gods from among them and serve the...

Lord and he became impatient over the misery of Israel. Then the ammonites were called to arms and the encamped and Gilead and the people of Israel came together and the encamped at Mispa and the people, the leaders of Gilead said one to another, who was the man who began to fight against the AMMONITES? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. Thus will end the reading of God's word. Please be seated. Well, last time that I was with you, we looked at one of the worst periods in the history of Israel and one of the worst periods in the history of the book of judges. We looked at Abimelech UH, not a pleasant story at all. We looked at Gaul and ZA bull and the treachery the people of Shek Um. We saw deceit, we saw revenge, we saw back by and we saw murder. We saw all of these things. It was a terrible time in the history of Israel. So to its text begins with two relative unknown judges of Israel, and what we do know about these judges must mostly be gained by inference. The text really doesn't tell us very much about them. So we begin by looking at verses one through five. These verses are looked at is kind of an interlude in the book of judges. As I said, we know quite a bit about Gideon, we're told quite a bit about a Bimelech, but now we have two judges who are just briefly passed by and then after these two men will come another judge. That will happen in chapter eleven, of whom we know a little bit more and uh, we're told at least the whole chapter concerning him. His name is Jeff. But after him they will come another period of time where we have three more judges, and I would put out as a challenge that I doubt. But after the service you can tell me if I'm wrong. But I doubt if any of you could name those three judges that come after J ff. But if...

...you can, please let me know, because I couldn't have done it. So Um, that would be that would be pretty good. But if you happen not to know their names right now, their names are Ibsen, Elon and Ab Dott. So if you didn't know that, those are them. Not Quite as familiar with shadrack Mishak and the Bendigal, so you are forgiven for not knowing. And then after them will came the most famous and the last judge of Israel. You've probably heard of him. His name is Samson Um, and so that's what we're going to have here. So right now and interlude is kind of like there's been different things, similars put out for this but since we're in Tucson, it's like a little CS. Okay, it's it's it's just a little break into proceedings. It's it's similar to an intermission in a play where you go and gets yourself a refreshment of some kind and talk to your neighbors or friends that are there and see people are there. It's it's that kind of a deal. It is just gives us a little break here. And and so we have here in the book of judges a forty five year period of which we basically know nothing. We're not really sure what happens in this time verse. One tells us that after the bloody reign of Abimelech, there needed someone to rise at Israel who would save them, and we are told that that someone is Tola, the son of Pua the son of Dodo, a poor and Dodo. We know absolutely basically nothing at all, only that Dodo might be a worse name than loathing, like we saw last week. So I don't I don't think any of the women we pray tonight that are having a child are thinking about naming their child Dodo Um. But if you are, again you can tell me after the service. But speaking of bad names, Tola means worm. That's a great name to right. That's that's another name I'm sure you're thinking about naming your child. But but tola, we are told, as a man of Ishakar. His actually his name is the same name. Aim has a son of Issachar,...

...and we're gonna come into the same kind of thing with Jare in a moment. We're told that tola lives in Shamir, which we don't know. Some speculate, because the vowels are the same and even the continental sounds are close, that perhaps Shamir is actually what becomes known as Samaria, but others don't necessarily believe that. But he also lives in Mount Ephraim, which is in the location of Samaria, so that would fit. We're told he judges Israel for twenty three years. Then he dies and is buried in Jamir, where he lived. So basically, as Dr Javin and mcghee notes, all we're told about Tola's life is what is normally found on a tombstone. So that's what we know about Tola. Born this date, died on this date. That's pretty much it. So we are really only told one thing about tola that we can kind of grasp on, and that is that the phrase in verse one that he a roll to save Israel. But there's a question that might cross your mind at that point. Yeah, but save Israel from what or who? Nothing is said. We're not told of some enemy, we're not told of anything. So who does he save Israel from? Well, it probably is that he saved Israel from themselves. As Tim Keller said, the Church's greatest problem is the church. But at least he saved Israel from the terrible reign of Abimelech. Barry Webb says of Toldah that he left Israel better than he found it, and that's a mighty good thing to be remembered for. And my years of Pastoring, I'm hoping that I can say that of the Churches I pastored. I'm not talking about temporary ones, so don't don't count this, but the ones that I think I pastored, I believe I left in a little better shaped than were founded and I'm thankful for that. But we're talking about another judge in verses three through five, and we're told more about him then we're told about tola, but we're still left...

...guessing about his accomplishments. His name is Jaire, which means he enlightens, which I have to admit, is a better name than worm Um, and he is a Gileadite. And he also bears the same name as a son of one of the heads of the twelve tribes. Again we run into this once more. Numbers thirty two, forty one, and Jay or, the son of Manassa, went and took the small towns thereof and called them have a j are, just like the Jaire sons do in our text today. But again, what did he do militarily? Who did you deliver Israel from? What did we do? We don't know. We don't know anything about it that at all. We're we're not told about any military accomplishments. The only thing we're really told is that he had thirty sons. That's his claim to fame, which probably isn't a good thing, because to have thirty sons, he probably had a few wives, which isn't the best thing at all, and so he's not alone in that department biblically, of course, certainly there's others, but nonetheless it's not a good thing. We're told a little bit more about his sons that were told about him. They wrote on thirty donkeys and they had thirty cities that they called have a chair, just like the ones earlier that I mentioned. And have a chair simply means the cities of Jaire, or the hamlets of Jaire, if you please. And these two facts that are given to us, even though they're small, and we said, okay, they thirty sons, wrote on donkeys and they had thirty cities and they named him the cities of Jaire. But nonetheless it probably indicates to us that Jaire was trying to form a little dynasty and he wanted his sons to go on and and rule the nation at that time. Now we have, I think, a different opinion of donkeys than the scripture would have us. I have an opinion of I I don't really have a high opinion.

I don't. I don't think too many people do, of donkeys. Um. But they were much higher thought of in those days. A few years ago I was down in New Orleans with my wife and another couple and uh, I always I had been there before and when I was there I always saw the drawn carts and I thought, oh, what a romantic thing to you know, I gotta bring my wife here sometime. We gotta take one of these rides through the city. I thought it was great. So so I did and we got into the into the cart and I immediately asked the driver of the cart, Um, you know something about the horse and he said, well, this isn't a horse, this is a mule. So that tells you a little bit about my horse sense. Uh A, is what I know. But apparently I found out it was illegal to make horses work in the city. You couldn't do that. So they had to have mules and in doing that. But but a donkey in those days and the days of the Bible, was actually looked at as a regal animal. When we read about Jesus coming to the city and the triumphal entry at a donkey and we hear about a meek and lowly it's not because the donkey was meek and lowly, it's because Jesus was meek and lowly. The donkey was a regal animal and is looked at in that way. And it says in the EXPOSITOR's Bible commentary. It says doctors were signs of royalty, wealth and military prowess. And then Jair's sons are apparently ruling over the thirty cities and so they seem to be forming a dynasty with his regal donkeys that they're having and all these things. And the fact that Jayer lives in Gilead indicates he had life pretty good. Why do we say that? Or you remember when the tribes of Israel that on the other side, Gad and Reuben remember whenever we're going into the promised land. Are Going to go in? They said, well, you know, we like it here. They were on Gilead, the other side of the Jordan. He said we we like it here, we don't really want to go get land over there. And Moses said, okay, but you're gonna fight with your brother until they get their land...

...and then you can go back. So Gilead must have been a pretty nice piece of property based on that. So what was happening again in Israel? Well, we don't know, but when the AMMONITES and the Philistines are getting ready to attack, the AMMONITES will attack under J J fef. He will be the they will be the enemy he faces, and the Philistines, as I'm sure you know, will be the enemy that Sampson is going to face. But it appears that Jare has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to prepare Israel for war with ammon and so we don't have a lot of good to say about him either. And so let's move the verses six or thirteen. In in verse six, for the sixth time in the book, we're told the children of Israel again did what was evil in the side of the Lord. But we're not told what the evil was that they did. But when we're told what it is, and there's there's times and judges where it says the children of Israel did evil and that's all it says. There are other times it tells us why they did and whenever it tells us what they did, guess what it is. Idolatry. It's always idolatry. And so here again, it's going to be idolatry, but here they don't just do like they did before and take the gods of one nation, but here they take the gods of five nations in order to serve them. They serve the God's Assyria, the Gods of Sidon, the gods of MOAB, the gods of Amin and the Gods of the Philistines. And, as they said, two of those nations will be the next two enemies that they're going to face. Sidon, as far as we know in the book of judges, never was an enemy to Israel that they faced. But anyway, this, this list here is the longest list in the book of judges of the kinds of Gods Israel's served, which some belief indicates that Israel's apostasy had reached new levels and that they were serving all of these different Gods. And it seems to bear out by God's response to their cry out to God that will see here in...

...a moment. The only God they decided not to worship was the true God. They worshiped all the false gods, but they didn't worship the true God, and that God they forsook. And whenever I read something like that. I always have reminded, and it's a vivid picture in my mind, because we saw a sister in Israel and the Guide pointed out uh this scripture and it's always stayed in my mind since then. Jeremiah, to eleven, to thirteen, has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods. But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be Appalled, O Heavens, at this. Be Shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord from my people have committed to evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of Living Waters, and hued out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns. They can hold no water. Think of that. I mean a fountain, a spring of living waters, but they gave it up for not only cisterns, but broken sister that can't even hold water, which means it is a useless cistern. You think by this time that Israel would have realized that this is not a good path for them to follow, but Jeremiah reminds us in chapter seventeen and nine that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. Who can understand it, but every time that they decide to go and serve the Gods of other nations, they end up being oppressed by those nations. Peter Martyr Vermigley writes. They considered that they themselves, who worshiped one God, were few in number, but there was an infinite number of those who worshiped idols. And for as much as human nature is of itself ready unto pleasures, hereof it came that they turned onto strange holy services. And undoubtedly the same causes in our time move the minds of many, and that's true. The result in verse seven is the anger of the Lord is kindled again Israel and he sells them into the very nation of...

...whose gods they're serving. The S V says the anger of the Lord is kindled, but I kind of like the King James Better here, because it says the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. I I like that very, very much. But the second part of the verse is a terrible saying. It says that God sells Israel. Instead of them being in service to God, now they are sold into the service of the AMMONITES and the Philistines, which is basically God saying I'm no longer going to be responsible. If you are in a particular job and you decide to leave it for a different job and you tell your boss and you leave your boss and you go to your new location, you are no longer the responsibility of your past boss. He has nothing to worry about whatever you do. It's out of his hands. He doesn't care. God is saying, if you don't want to deal with me, fine, I won't deal with you. The result the E S V gives in very vivid language in verse eight concerning the AMMONITES. They crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year. The first word for crush, the King James, translates as vexed. I don't particularly care for that. Strong says. The word means to break in pieces. So they broke in pieces the Israelites, a very violent word. And the second word, strong says, means to crack in pieces. Bratt Brown, driver Briggs says the word means to crush or oppress. So it seems like they endure a severe oppression. And in verse nine, the ammonites now come across Jordan's to be in the area where they can fight against some of the tribes of Israel, specifically Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim. In verse ten we have the common response of Israel when their enemies are coming against them. They cry out to their own God and they confess their main sin, which is, of...

...course, idolatry and forsaking the true God and worshiping false gods. And here we have something in this little story. When I read this, at least in my mind, I was reminded of the story of Samson. It will come across a little later, and you might remember Sampson, that when Delilah is with him and she said tell me where your strength lies, and he three times he tells her something and uh, and each time she does exactly what he says. And then she says the Philistines are upon you, and he gets up, but he breaks off the cords and destroys the Philistines. And then she comes back and says, well, you must not really love me, and and again says to him, you know, tell me, and again he does and he lies. And then there's the third time same thing is repeated. Uh. And then the fourth time that she says that he's all finally just kind of overcome and he tells her that if a razor touches his head he will lose the strength. And in that case, it says in Verse Twenty of that chapter, he awoke from his sleep and he said, I will go out at other times and shake myself free. But he did not know that the Lord had left him. So here in chapter three, verse nine, we saw Israel crying out to the Lord because of the enemies. Verse Fifteen of that chapter the same thing. They cry out to God and he raises a deliverer. In chapter four, verse three, again Israel Christ the Lord and God raises up Debora and Barrick. Chapter six, verse seventies or cries out to the Lord and God raises up Gideon. Well, this time, like Sampson, they go to the Lord and God Says No, I don't think so, not this time, and God doesn't promise to raise up a deliverer to them. And God reminds them of this and he tells them in verses eleven and twelve that he had delivered them from a certain number of enemies. Anybody have a guess as to how many enemies? Seven good, thank you. Yes, seven enemies. But this is...

...the fifth time you read of their far crying out to God. And this time I say they're in for a shock. They expect things to be just like it was, like Sampson felt. But in verse thirteen God says, I will save you no more. And in verse fourteen, and Great Irony, the Lord says go cry to the Gods, you have chosen, maybe they will deliver you. Now again, when I read this I'm reminded of another story in the book of Kings where Elijah is challenging the prophets of bail and they're crying out and cutting themselves with stones and yelling and screaming, and Elijah finally says to them, maybe you need to cry it a little longer. He could be going or a little older, could be going to the restroom, you know. And Uh, and I kind of like that challenge of of Elijah there. But again God said, go to the Gods, you've chose, maybe they are going to deliver you. Michael Wilcox paraphrases the saying of the Lord, by I know this cry of years is it's merely a cry for help which might just as well be addressed to the balls as to me. And Israel is not so much story for their sins, as their story, for the consequences that have come as a result of their sins. So we look at versus fourteen through eighteen, fifteen through eighteen, in verse fifteen, Israel does seem to do the right thing in response to this. They admit their sin and they say to God, which is a good thing to say, God, you do whatever you want to us, that's fine. However you desire, you do it. But he says one thing. They want, please deliver us this day. And in Verse Sixteen they put legs to their words and they put away the foreign gods they've been serving. and has been mentioned by others, this is the most complete show of repentance we see of Israel in all the book of judges. But is it sincere? Does Israel really mean business this time? And then it says a...

...very interesting thing about God. It says he became impatient over the misery of Israel. Now we always got to be careful when we read a sentence like that in the Bible and understand that God doesn't have the same infirmities nor the same passions that we have. And and it doesn't say that he was impressed with their repentance, but he was impatient with the misery that Israel was enduring. One translator. Translator says he could bear Israel's misery no longer. So in verse seventy of the AMMONITES, perhaps sensing an uprising, armed themselves in camp and Gilead and in response, Israel caps at ms pop and the verse a teen asked a question has asked three times in the book of Judges and the question is a little bit different in each time. But here the question is who is the man who is going to begin to fight against the AMMONITES? In case you wonder who that is, it's in chapter eleven. Talk about that next time. And then in the first verse of judges we read this after the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the Lord who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them. And then towards the end of the book, Chapter Verse Eighteen, will read the people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and inquired of God who will go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin. Well, the first question is answered by Jeff Thah and the last two questions are answered by Judah will be the one. And so here they add to the question that they asked that whoever that man is, who first goes to strike against the AMMONITES, that man will be the ruler over the nation. Well, let me make some applications as I close here tonight. Again we see in our text time and time again, Israel continues to find themselves worshiping the Gods of other nations, and we must, we probably do. Maybe you don't, but I do, shake our heads at it. Think,...

...come on, don't you people ever learn? I mean how many times and what are these God's ever ever done for you? Anyway, I don't get it. And and every time they worship the true God and they forsake their idols. God sends a deliver delivers them, and it's like how many times you get hit over the head with the club before you recognize what you're doing is foolish. And they always go uh finding these foreign deities and then they always end up serving the God are the people whose gods they were and you'd think, man, wouldn't they learn? But then you wonder sometimes, first of all, what about we as a nation? And again, I'm not a political preacher, and I'm not trying to preach Americanism or anything like that my sermon, but we know that America was founded by Godly people, for the most part, I realized, not everyone, but there were many who fled Europe because of religious persecution and many churches were early established in America, many godly people it came over here. They weren't perfect people, but for the most part they worshiped the god of the Bible. But today, how many of our nation worshiped the gods of Buddha, the gods of Hinduism, the Gods of tribal cultures and many more gods that I could mention. And let me ask you this question. Have you ever found yourself committing a sin that you keep committing over and over again, even though you know every time you've committed a sin like that you've had embarrassment, a sense of God's presence forsaking and we do it. We are no different. Our sins may be different, but we are no different because the things that we do become idols to us as well. They are different idols, but their idols we all...

...have, as the puritans used to speak of our darling sins. What Israel does in this chapter and what God does in response is what Paul will describe later in the Bible and Romans, Chapter One versus twenty one to twenty three. For although they knew God, they did not honor them as God or give thanks to them, but they became futile and their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. In other words, they forsook the truth, Forsook the true God and worship false gods. So we read in our text, when Israel did this, that God sold them into the ammonites and Philistines. Romans says it the same, but a little different. In Romans, therefore, God gave them up and the loss of their hearts, to impurity, to dishonoring their bodies among themselves. They wanted a master different than Jesus, and so Jesus said no one can serve two masters. So if that's the master you want, then that's the master you can have. Many people are content to worship God as long as God doesn't interfere with their idols, then they don't like it. So Israel in our text shows to us the danger there is in presuming upon God's grace. Now I do believe, and I've told you this several times from this pulpit, I believe it firmly, that the humble, sincere believer who comes to God for forgiveness that God will indeed receive them and forgive them. But I also want to say there are two cautions, and I want to close with these tonight. The first caution I would give you is that although there is forgiveness, there can also be a penalty or a judgment that comes with that forgiveness. God will forgive David of his adultery...

...and murder, but the child, the fruit of his sin, is going to die. God will forgive Israel for forsaking him and worshiping idols, but there will be an oppression that they need to endure. God will forgive Adam and Eve in the garden, but Oh what a penalty they have to endure. God will forgive Asiah for doing what only the priest were allowed to do, but as I will become a leper to the day of his death. So we need to be careful because there can be consequences, grave consequences, to our sin and grace. Oftentimes that doesn't happen. God is many times gracious to us, much more gracious than we deserve. But the second danger is we can become a servant to that sin that we allow. Paul says to the Romans and chapter six and Verse Twelve, let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it, in the lust thereof. He's writing to Christians. And the other thing that that can do is we begin to serve our lust. Is it can lead to a hardness of heart. After David committed his sin, he seemed to go along quite well for a while because his heart was hardened against what he did. But one day the Prophet comes in and tells David a little story about a man, a poor man, who had one lamb, and when David gets done here in the story, he says, show me to that man, and Nathan says, David, you're the man, you're the one, and then we see David penitent heart and a psalm like Psalm thirty two or Psalm fifty one.

Let me ask you this question. Do you know what might be the last line written in our bibles? Now, probably your mind is going to the book of revelation, and that would make sense and it's very possible that the last line of the book of revelation is indeed the last line of the Bible. But you know, John wrote the last four books of the Bible and we really don't know in what order those books were written. That we're not sure. Several years ago I was at a graduation at a seminary and I heard Dr Gaffin talk about first John as making a case for it being the last book of the New Testament, the last book of the Bible, and so we emphasized the last line of the book of First John, and I wonder if you know what that last line of First John Is. It relates very much to our text tonight. The last line is little children, keep yourselves from IDYLS. The same danger that Israel faced is the danger we face. The same exhortation comes to us. It was the problem of the children of Israel and it's also a problem to the people of God to day. So let me close by saying to those of you who trust in the Lord, those of you who believe in him come to the cross, those of you submitted to the Lord Jesus and received His grace and everlasting life. May I say to you what may be the last words of the Bible. Little children, keep yourself from IDYLS. Don Me pray. Let me thank you for your word, even the words that are somewhat, kind of hard and, as sad's Lord, even hard to understand, how to relate to...

...us. But, Lord, you can make them, every word and the Bible relate to us, speak to our hearts and show us where we're wrong and show us the path to grace. And we thank you for that. We thank you God, as we're going to sing in a moment, that we are very blessed because our trespasses have been forgiven. But I pray, Lord, you would help each one. And there are those who are not following you, who have not given themselves to you. I pray tonight that they may indeed just reach out to you and cry out to you and receive grace from you. And for those of us that have done that but may be bothered by a sin that continues to come up again and again in our life, may we not be like the Israelites. But Lord, help us to conquer that sin and help us to keep ourselves at all costs from ideals that can enslave us and can harm us. Lord, I pray God for Your blessing upon us and the strength that you can give us, for we ask an in Christ name. Amen. M H.

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