Judges 3 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“These are the nations the L_rd left in order to test Israel, since none of the Israelites had fought in any of the wars with Canaan. This was to teach the future generations of the Israelites how to fight in battle, especially those who had not fought before.” Judges 3:1-2

Make no doubt about it. The L_rd was not pleased with Israel as this moment. Israel had sinned against Him by failing to drive-out the former inhabitants of Canaan. Adonai had promised to ensure victory to each tribe who fought faithfully & boldly. So, what are we to make of this statement, that G_d left some nations in Canaan to teach future generations of Israelites how to fight?

I am glad to know that G_d is not the G_d of the “second chance”. I used up my second chance years ago. Rather, I rejoice in the knowledge that G_d is the G_d of “another chance”. Do you remember what Paul told the Messianic community in Rome?

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love G_d: those are called, according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

G_d will accomplish His purposes, regardless of our decisions. If we choose to obey and follow Him, He elects to go before us and bless us. If we choose to disregard the L_rd, He will still accomplish His purposes while rebuking us. His will is not bound by our decisions, but our peace with Him is.

G_d had & has great purposes for Israel. (Romans 11) In Judges 3, Israel had settled among the Canaanites. Instead of driving them out, Israel had chosen to take Canaanite daughters as wives for themselves, give their own daughters to their sons, and worship their gods.

Israel’s choice of “inter-national” compromise ensured inevitable future warfare with those nations. This was not G_d’s desire for Israel. But His gracious mercy toward Israel was that He parlayed their bad faith decisions into a teaching scenario.

The Israelites needed rebuke, because they had forsaken the L_rd. On the other hand, they also needed to be preserved as a nation, because G_d was raising-up Messiah Yeshua through their bloodline. All things worked together for the greater good of G_d’s purpose.

Ask yourself: Do you want G_d’s purpose for your life to be advanced through your faithful obedience, or in spite of your rebellion?

~Steve Wiggins
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014