I have recently started re-reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation again. I just finished up Joshua and read the first chapter of Judges when another “truth” hit me in the face. It was not something that was new to me. It was not something I didn’t already learn earlier in life, but it was another moment of God pointing out the character of mankind and how we have been the same since Adam and Eve.
You see, in the end of the first chapter (Judges 1:19-36), the Israelites are moving into their new land. Joshua has already led the battle of conquering the major strongholds of the area and the land has been sectioned off for each tribe. It is now every tribe’s responsibility to settle into their land and push out the remaining false god people groups, namely the Canaanites. We start out learning Caleb, one of the original spies who wanted to enter the land immediately, along with Joshua, but were out voted by pretty much all the Israel people, takes stake of his requested area in the hills of Hebron and drives out the Anakites.
As you read on about the tribes, they did not drive out the Canaanites. The tribes of Manasseh, Zebulun, Naphtali and others eventually made these people forced labor for Israel, but their ways and false gods remained amongst God’s chosen people and eventually brought them destruction and defeat but most importantly, the hand of God would now be against them.
So, what does this have to do with us today? When I look at Old Testament, I like to look at the people groups like Canaanites, the ones following false gods, the ones YHWH told them not to inter-marry with, the ones they were supposed to have completely destroyed, I look at them as the sins in my life. The Israelites allowed these people to be a part of their lives just like we allow sin to be a part of ours. It starts off small. We keep a distance from it, but it is still in reach. We allow it to come closer and closer as time goes by.
Whether it is porn, alcohol, lies, greed, pride or any other choices of the multitude of sins, we start off with a little taste, then a little slice and eventually we get to a point where we are throwing the entire pie in our face. That sin, or those sins, eventually take over our whole way of doing life.
It starts off seeming harmless. The Israelites looked at the surrounding people and their chariots of iron and the size of their people and thought they would not be strong enough to completely take care of them. Once they did become stronger, they made the Canaanites become forced labor…but they still remained in the land, corrupting the values of the Israelites. You say you’re just having a few drinks during this time because it’s just too stressful. You’ll stop once the stress ends. Until my wife can look/perform like what I see on the internet, I’ll continue to look at this porn. The examples are endless. Until we take a stand against those sins, give them over to God and allow His strength to get us through, they aren’t going away. They are going to continue to build, continue to destroy and continue to push us farther away from our relationship with our Savior. He won’t be moving farther away. We will be distancing ourselves from Him.
I recently saw a post on social media of a person pushing the first domino of sin. It’s a small domino but each one in sequence gets larger and larger. It is formed in a circle and that final domino is three times as large as the person, positioned to completely annihilate them once the effect comes full circle. Small sin builds slowly until it grows into something overwhelming and totally destroys your life.
During our current state of affairs, it will be quite easy to fall into a sin pattern or fall deeper into the one we already have. We have the pressure of all we hear from the news outlets, the uncertainty of employment and the uncertainty of health amongst ourselves and our loved ones.
For the men, this is also an opportunity to step up in our walks as spiritual leaders within our homes. Let’s focus on that direction, shall we? Let’s use this time to show our family, friends & co-workers that our trust is firmly in our God. With the availability we have, let’s spend time with our wives and children doing those things we plan in our heads but never seem to put action to. Family Bible studies, game time, playing outside together, serve those around you, and my favorite, Nerf Gun Wars!!!
We can get caught up in the issues at hand or we can focus on Jesus and all He has taught us. Trust in Him. Live for Him. Worry not. He is the good Shepherd and you are His sheep. You know His voice. Trust and follow it. The calamity of the world will consistently change but always be here in one form or another, but know this: Jesus stays constant. He will never leave you or forsake you. Use this time to repent of those downward spiraling sins and use this unique opportunity to build your relationship with your Savior.
As you look back at the Israelites, whenever they focused on God & his precepts, they found favor and had peace in their land. Their God was faithful because they were faithful. This was thousands of years prior to our issues of 2020, but God’s character doesn’t change. Men, this is our time. We are being called to action. Go. Take over your land!
Questions to ask myself:
What sins am I caught up in?
What interactive things can I do with my wife/family?
Who/how can I serve those around me?
Have I positioned myself to take over my land?
Guest Discerning Dad