Judges 3:1-4 – “Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; 2 only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly). 3 These nations are: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. 4 They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the LORD, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses.” NASU
We stopped in the last devotional with several questions regarding why God would leave enemies in the land that Israel was given as the Promised Land. Let’s continue that journey.
CONSIDER THIS – If God has designed our Possession of the Land to be little by little, how do you suppose the enemy infiltrate the land? It is largely through counterfeit, deception, and confusion. The devil is a master at using LEGITIMATE NEEDS in our lives in order to launch his attacks and carry out his schemes. How many Legitimate Needs do you have? Can you Name Them? Everyone has a need for Security, Provision, Acceptance, and a Desire to be Loved. For every need, there is a Legitimate and Illegitimate way to meet that need. A very important question is, “Do you believe that it is God’s desire to meet your Legitimate needs?” Another question worthy of asking is, “Do you believe that He knows your Legitimate needs?” The insinuation of the devil is that He does not care or that He is an absentee landlord and does not involve Himself in our daily lives.
IS THERE A MEANS WHEREBY WE CAN KNOW THAT GOD UNDERSTANDS? Do you realize that for every Legitimate Need, God has set a guard on those needs? Do you realize where those safeguards are found? Let me surprise some of you – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Every Commandment of God is a Guard to Protect a Legitimate Need in your life. Let me offer something for you to dig a little deeper into and study more extensively:
Exodus 33:12-16 – The Need is IDENTITY & PURPOSE.
Exodus 33:16-34:1 – The Need SIGNIFICANCE, VALUE, and WORTH. [Significance Is a word of comparison by which you receive value and your sense of worth]
For every Commandment, there is a Legitimate need for which that Commandment Guards. The Illegitimate method of meeting Legitimate needs does not meet the need but rather moves us into deception and it is a work of the flesh and the devil.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS:
- Exodus 20:3 – NO OTHER GODS. This guards our need for identity and all our self-worth is hinged here. We are informed in Colossians 2:10 that we are “complete in Christ.” And in Hebrews 6:1 we are instructed to press on to maturity. The word maturity is the same words as complete in Colossians 2.
- Exodus 20:4 – NO IDOLS. This guards the Legitimate need for Standards and all idolatry is a substitute. Isaiah declared “you have to carry your idols but my God carries me.” The person following a False Standard has to do what? Bear the burden of carrying that load and strive to achieve a position and condition that is a Gift of God. Performance demands a Standard that we can accomplish. WHY? Because if we do not achieve that Standard we are, in our eyes and the eyes of others, a Failure and lose our Identity. What happens in this is that rather than running to God in Repentance and Receiving His Grace we Adjust the Standard so we can make it achievable. NO OTHER GODS and NO IDOLS.
- Exodus 20:7 – DO NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN. This guards the need for Authority. In the Garden of Eden God gave man the Authority to Rule & Reign. That’s what God made us for – Rulership. We have an innate need for the Rulership of God to be released in and through us. Thus, not taking the Name (Authority) of God in vain. You and I as believers bear the Name of our Lord. We are visible expressions of His Lordship and Authority.
- Exodus 20:8 – REMEMBER THE SABBATH. This guards the need for Rest! Not just physical but spiritual rest. It speaks of Rest from Performance and Unrealistic Expectations. It allows us to embrace the reality that God is walking out His Life in our human bodies, hearts, and minds.
- Exodus 20:12 – HONOR FATHER & MOTHER. This guards the need of man to be under authority. This provides the balance and need to release authority.
I have not attempted to detail every commandment but the Reason God Left Enemies in the Land and why we face enemies in this life is both to train us for War and teach us Dependence.
Embrace your battles. By that I mean rather than complain that you have difficulties and problems look for the ways that God is making your Stronger and bringing you to a new level of Maturity. Rejoice, as James said, “when you encounter trials” because of what is happening in you. You are moving from faith to faith and victory to victory. You are BECOMING that which God said you were!
God bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!