Wednesday 6th May 2010 – Pastor Mark Ballosingh
The effect of heroism cannot be seen in circumstances where things are good. In the midst of trouble, anguish, lamentation, God will raise up a Hero. He will not wait till the trouble is over but he will do it while during the troubles.
JUDGES 3: 1-9
The passage speaks about the children of Israel who were lead into Canaan by God’s command but they turned their back on God. Canaan was a land filled with milk and honey, prosperity, a land of richness and abundance but she was surrounded by the enemy. How often as an individual we forget to thank God when things around us are going good?
The enemy around her was jealous of the blessings of the promised land of Canaan. How people around us are driven by jealousy when they see our blessings.
God strategically surrounded them with the enemy. God did this for 2 things:-
1) To teach them to fight – the children of Israel knew nothing about war. In the midst of the woe he wants his children to learn to war, intercede and about spiritual warfare. God wants us to get on our knees and grab hold of the spiritual horns of the altar and cry to him until he comes through.
2) To test them – God blessed Israel and put them in the center of their enemies. God wanted to see if their environment would impact them. Testing their faithfulness to him. The environment should never impact the child of God. God has given us the ability to impact the environment.
In the midst of your enemy God will bless you, he is not concerned who is around you he is concerned about you, the child of God.
Israel sinned and turned their back on God. Woe is brought on by sin, oppression, disobedience and unfaithfulness.
“WOE CAME UNTO ISRAEL”
1) Rebelled against God – Israel did what they wanted to do. The spirit of witchcraft is driven by the motto “do what you want to along as it does not hurt anyone
2) They forgot the doctrines of God – there was no order, no ruler, no righteousness. Israel was in a state of anarchy.
3) The confederacy of the Philistines – there was unity amongst the enemy they had a common purpose – to defeat the children of Israel.
4) They opened the door of compromise – although they were in the place of prosperity, Woe came upon them. And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. Israel gave their daughters to the Philistines (the enemy) and took the Philistines daughters as their wives. Israel was already defeated from inside as the enemy infiltrated them.
5) They forgot God – They brought Woe upon themselves. When you turn your back on God you place yourself under the subjection of the enemy.
If we look at the history of Israel, every time they turned their backs on God, he delivered them into the hands of the enemy. Israel was sold as slaves and served the enemy for 8 years.
After the suffering and torture of 8 years, Israel couldn’t take it anymore and they cried out to God and he heard them. Aren’t you glad that in the midst of your trouble, in spite of the situation which you allowed to come into your life, you can call on God and he will hear your voice?
WHY DID ISRAEL CALL ON GOD?
1) They thought their trouble was not too much for them to bear. They thought because their daughters were married to the sons of the Philistines they didn’t have to worry as they had support on their side.
2) All their foreign Gods failed – after they tried all other avenues then they called on the true and Living God. How can we escape if we neglect the Salvation of Jesus Christ? Instead of coming out of the hole we sink deeper and turn to alternatives rather than cry out to God.
3) Affliction / lamentation – Israel allowed the enemy to come in. When things are going good and there is no trouble we neglect God and don’t want to hear anything about God, but when sickness and trial face us we call on God.
In the midst of your sin, oppression, lamentation, trouble, God will make a Hero. God was raising up a hero amongst the children of Israel – Othniel.
Othniel a Hero:-
1) He came from good lineage. Othniel was the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. Caleb was one of the spies who brought back a good report of the land of Canaan when all others who were faithless brought back negative reports. He came from a family with good legacy and heritage
2) He had a first hand experience of the Power of God. He was a child when Moses delivered the children out of Egypt and the Red Sea was parted to allow them to pass through on dry ground. If God did it then, he can do it again. Jesus Christ same yesterday and today and forevermore (Hebrews 13:8)
3) He was old but he was able – Age has nothing to do with who God makes a Hero. Out of nothing, God will make something, out of nobody, God will make somebody. (Recount the story of Sarah giving birth to a son although she was old, God made what may have seemed impossible at her age, possible)
4) He was obedient and heeded the voice of God – Othniel was commissioned by God. In the midst of their captivity Othniel hearkened to the voice of the Lord to bring deliverance to the children of Israel. “And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him Judges” 3:10.
Stand Still in the midst of your adversity and listen for the voice of God for when he calls you by name he is going to make you a hero.
God will give you courage when you need to stand. (If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small Proverbs 24:10)
Othniel allowed the Spirit of God to take control of the situation. He was granted wisdom, courage and bravery to take the children of Israel to war and win.
A true Hero who is in the Spirit of God will:-
(i) Have a Spirit of Prophecy – Othniel called the children of Israel together and judged her for turning away from God. God gave Othniel a strategy he didn’t judge the enemy he dealt with the children of Israel who knew of his goodness. God will bring judgement in the house of God and not to the ungodly.
(ii) Call to Repentance – In order for their sins to be forgiven they had to Repent. Repent and make your crooked path Straight. If year after year the same cries are being made the same troubles are being faced you need to go to the root of the problem. Is your Woe as a result of sin? One must revisit the wrong and make the wrong right. If you conquer the enemy of sin, then you have the ability and authority to conquer every other enemy in your life!!
(iii) Speak Reformation – they came together in one accord to go forward.
(iv)Call to war – being a people who knew nothing about fighting and war they would have been defeated if they attempted to take on the enemy in the condition they were in. But a true Hero being in the Spirit of God will take even those who are not trained to fight and conquer the enemy
The Measurement of Good Success:-
1) They were victorious over their enemy. God led them to break the neck of the enemy. The neck supports and controls the movement of the head if the neck is broken the head will fall. Today as a Child of God you have the power to break the neck of sickness, abuse, adultery or anything the enemy throws at you.
2) They lived in peace for forty years. There was no more trouble nor grief nor lamentation. When God delivers you out of your storms look forward to the Peace that will come. When God raises you up as a Hero out of a house of confusion and contention know that disobedience and rebelliousness must leave and Peace will reign.
Othniel was from the conquering Lion Tribe of Judea. When a lion grabs its’ prey he holds onto its’ neck. When the enemy looks at you and think you are just an ordinary person you need to let them know, If God is with me who can be against me, I come from the Tribe of Judea and I have the Power and Authority to break the neck of the enemy!! No situation shall overtake me!!
“Hail, Hail Lion of Judea, How Powerful you Are”