IMMANUEL-GOD WITH US
Monday, 17 September 2018
Judges 4 : 1-24
So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. -Judges 4:2-3 [NKJV]
The book of Judges portrays the life the nation of Israel from the death of Joshua to the time of Prophet Samuel. It describes the constant apostasy of the people of God and how graciously God brought them back to Himself by their oppressors. Nations surrounding them were used by God at times of apostasy and this in turn melted down the rebellious hearts as they cried for help. When God sees that they truly turned to Him, He would raise up a judge to rescue them from their enemies. This is a repeated scenario in the book of Judges.
Here in today’s reading also we see how the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin the king of Canaan, who oppressed them. As the oppression grew, Israelites cried to God for His mercy and was heard by God and raised up prophetess-Deborah and Barak to rescue them. We need to note the theme of 'Covenant faithfulness' of God being shown forth in these incidents. Even after repeated rebellion, God did not abandon them; instead corrected them and led them. God really wanted to model this nation as a Theocratic society in its fullest potential. Unfortunately Israel of old could not measure up to God's highest expectations and hence they failed utterly. Every blessing was given to them so as to build them up as a model society to the world around them.
After entering and settling down in Canaan, they quickly forgot about God who miraculously rescued them from the hand of Egyptians and established them as a prosperous kingdom after uprooting all the powerful kingdoms in Canaan. Slowly they lost sight of God and godly purposes of their own life in the Promised Land. They set aside their moral responsibilities and intermingled with the rest of Canaanite communities around them and started worshipping their gods and following their perverted culture. This ultimately led to their decline and in turn led to the raising of their enemies who in turn oppressed them. Even though we see God faithfully rescuing them and re-establishing them; again they returned to their old life. It is a clear picture how futile human efforts are in following God without God with us in every step. That is why in the New Testament, we see God comes to us as Immanuel- God with us.
"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which is translated, "God with us." (Matthew 1:23 NKJV)
Today we the Church of God is given the final and ultimate chance to display God's kingdom here on earth by aligning under His Lordship. He expects us to follow Him step by step as His Holy Spirit is given into each and every heart that accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. He in turn lives in each believer and makes him or her as a vessel of honor to display the heavenly purpose here on earth. What a great God we serve!!!
Food for our spirit:
Jesus said: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
[John 15:5 NKJV]
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