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Monday, June 30, 2014

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 53

The Natural Man Receiveth Not the Things of the Spirit (continued)

Occupy the Land (continued)

When Joshua became old and his time was short to lead the armies, God instructed him to divide up the land between the tribes of Israel, even though there was still much land to be possessed. Now we know that the generations to follow did not drive out the enemy from their land; the Book of Judges is the sad history of that. Their failure can be summed up in two statements found in Judges 3:7, and in Judges 21:25. "And the children of Israel did [the] evil in the sight of the Lord."  "...every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

1. "And the children of Israel did [the] evil in the sight of the Lord ..." [Hebrew = "the evil"]. "The evil" was the forbidden evil of idolatry, "the evil" of settling down and intermarrying with the Canaanites, which led to their serving the gods of the Canaanites, and this ultimately led to slavery and great bondage. We find the New Testament counterpart of "the evil" in Colossians 3:5, which tells us that "covetousness," the greed of the natural man, the deifying of self, the preeminence of self, is the source of idolatry. And the other reason for their failure to possess their inheritance and drive out the enemy confirms this: 2. "... every man did that which was right in his own eyes." This statement is the last statement in the Book of Judges, and it sums up the whole history of God's people failing to possess and occupy the land of their inheritance. Every man did what was right in his own eyes; in other words, each one of God's people allowed their natural man to govern their lives. Their natural man got tired of the war and their natural man began to reason that there was an advantage in allowing the enemy to dwell with them in the land. Consequently Judges 1:28 tells us, "And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out." Their natural man's reasonings caused them to forget the lesson they had learned at Ai (Joshua 7); for Israel was only strong when they wholly depended upon the Lord, and did not mix in any way with the inhabitants of the land.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 54)

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