King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Thursday, April 02, 2020
Chapters: Judges 8-9
Message: Fight For The Persecuted
Hello My Friend,
In 2019, it was reported that eleven Christians died every month for refusing to denounce their faith in Christ. If we were to take a deeper look into that number, it would probably be much higher than that because Christian persecution has increased steadily, and not all of it is documented. While vengeance belongs to God, we all must be prepared and willing to step up and fight for our fallen brothers and sisters in Christ. We must understand that we are at war, there are going to be some casualties, but if we hold on to our faith, and help those in need, God will always lead us to victory, even if we die in our faith, we still live in Christ.
“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” – I Peter 3:14-17.
After God used the three hundred men to defeat the Midianite army, there were three hundred and twenty thousand men who died in that battle, fifteen thousand escaped, Gideon and his army pursued after the rest and the two kings who escaped. Although, tired and faint, they would not stop until they were captured.
“Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks. Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.” – Judges 8:10,18-23.
“for as the man is, so is his strength.” These kings were saying if Gideon wanted them dead, then be a man and do it himself. The world loves to intimidate us, to test us to see if we are going to face them by our faith or run in fear. They think we talk all bad, but will we do what we say. Does God want us to fight and kill the enemy? In some cases, yes, that is what the military are for. Our best defense is not necessarily our brawn, rather our words, God’s Words, in fact, (Hebrews 4:11-12). “the LORD shall rule over you.” We may have governors or presidents ruling over our land, but it is God who ought to be ruling over us. You see, one may thing that it is the governments duty to provide for and protect its people, but it is not. While we are to obey the law of the land as long as it does not interfere with God’s rule. The government was designed to make sure that our rights are not violated and we are not taken advantage of, it is not to tell us how to live. “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:22-24.
With so many people dying for their faith, you would think Christians who are free to worship would take their salvation more seriously, but the sad truth is that they do not. For forty years Israel was at peace, that was while Gideon was alive, as soon as he died, they forgot all that God had done to for them.
“Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.” – Judges 8:28,30-35.
“that the children of Israel turned again,” Why are people so quick to turn on God the second the man of God passes away? The truth is, they never had a sure foundation to stand on. Jesus calls them out for who they are, faithless souls coming just to be fed. They have no faith in God, but they see the blessings that come from those who do have faith in Him. As long as their flesh is being fed by the leader, they will follow them, not God, but once the leader dies and they need to start looking to God, they turn away quickly. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – I Corinthians 3:12-15.
“Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal,” Let me tell you just how unkind the people were to Gideon’s family. As soon as Gideon died, one of his seventy-one sons, the ungodly idol worshiping one, had all the rest of them killed so that he could make himself a king. And this was all backed up by his mother.
“And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem. And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.” – Judges 9:1-2,5-7,16,20.
“and made Abimelech king,” And this is how, we as a nation fall into a wicked and corrupt society. There are three things that fuel this world, lust, greed, and covetousness, people are never satisfied with what they have, always wanting what someone else has, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Abimelech paid the men of Shechem to help him kill his brothers so he could take the throne his father refused. However, God was watching all this, waiting for the right time to get vengeance, it took three years, but God got justice for the innocent blood that was shed.
“Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren. Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.” – Judges 9:23-24,50-55.
“Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem;” That evil spirit is the same spirit that is behind all evil, and it is the devil himself. And I believe this is why God has not cast the devil into hell just yet, there is too much evil left in this world that God uses the devil to avenge for His people. Let me tell you, there is not one soul that receives Christ as their Saviour that Jesus does not fight for or get vengeance on. The life of a true God fearing Christian is one that comes with a lot of persecution, but we must not let that discourage us, we must hold on to our faith. Why? One day we will suffer no more, and live forever with Jesus. The ones who persecuted us will suffer for the rest of their lives.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:4-8.
Today’s Prayer: God, It truly is amazing that You have not sent Your Son already as the world is becoming so dark and wicked. However, You are patient in that not one soul who believes in Your Son should not perish, but have everlasting life, and until that time You have Your faithful witnesses here to keep spreading the Gospel, to find those lost souls. Lord, You know that there is evil all around us, and that Your people are being martyred more than ever, we are tired, faint, and worn out, but we keep going, pursuing the enemy so that we can lead as many as we can to Your Son. Lead us and guide us, put Your hedge of protection around us, give us Your strength to stand by our faith, and let us boldly proclaim Christ, and not be intimidated by the devil, and his minions who are out to stop us. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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