Thursday, March 1, 2012

Praise - Take 2 Bezek

 In this scene, Joshua had moved on to his eternal dwelling. There was land yet to be taken or conquered and the Israelites prayed for guidance. Judah or praise (Genesis 29:35) was chosen to go up to fight against the Canaanites. Canaan was the land God promised to Abram (Abraham) decades earlier in Genesis 15:13-21. The men of Judah made an agreement with the men of Simeon to fight together to conquer their lands. They caught a king by the name of Adoni-Bezek and cut off his thumbs and big toes. He confessed that he cut off the thumbs and big toes of 70 kings who had to gather scraps under his table. He admitted that God paid him back for what he had done. He died and the Israelites conquered the land. Please see Judges 1:1-7 for the whole story. 

God promised Israel the land of Canaan. He never told them that they were to receive it on a silver platter. They must fight to gain what God promised them. This was not just a physical fight. There was a spiritual element to it. As Paul the apostle said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Many think that our enemies are flesh and blood. Not at all. The spiritual forces of evil affect humans and they act out. We cannot see these forces with our physical eyes. We just see the human beings these forces are working through. So our fight is firstly spiritual. What conquers these evil forces? When a light switch is turned on, darkness disappears. When we praise the author of our faith and the stronger force, the other forces flee. Jesus Christ won the war when He was crucified and resurrected from the dead. All we need to do is praise Him for what He has done and remain in Him. He will guide us into our victories and promises. We need to fight in prayer to gain our promises if we want them. We need to continue praising Him before, during, and after we gain our promises and victories. Let’s praise Him.

“Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 111:1-3

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