JUDGES 3:1-6 – Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.”
THEME OF THE DAY: WHAT IS BEHIND ALL TESTING OF GOD’S CHILDREN? In the Christian life, no believer likes trials. No one likes to be tested. Why? A couple of reasons. First, trials and tests always contain pain. It could be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Or maybe a combination of all three or two of them. Regardless, when God tries and tests our faith, there will be suffering of some kind. And we don’t like that. Another reason we shy away from testing is the fear of falling in the trial or failing the test God sent. That is why the necessary spiritual discipline of self-examination is largely lost in modern Christianity. We don’t take the time to be searched by the Spirit through the Word because we may not like what is revealed. But the reality in the Christian life is we will be tried and tested. It must be. God has said it will be.
In today’s scripture, God is testing Israel. It is intense. It contains suffering. It was necessary. Read the first two verses and see the test included warfare. God will use any means He knows to try and test His people. And if we are going to be successful in both, we need to know what God is doing in both. When we grasp what is behind all trials and tests of God, we will be quick to not only want to pass them, but rejoice in them as opportunities, not painful obstacles. So, what is behind the testing God gave His people in today’s scripture? The exact same thing behind all our trials and tests – to determine our obedience to God which equates to our loving God.
The Lord created us to be in a dependent, submissive, and obedient relationship with Him. It is the only way to be happy, contented and fulfill our created purpose. When Adam and Eve sinned, this relationship was broken. All humanity became sinfully independent of God, rebellious toward Him, and constantly living in disobedience to Him. What resulted for humanity? Misery, death, lack of contentment, and no desire or ability to obey God which means to love God. Then comes the Gospel of the Lord Jesus that not only restores our relationship with God, but also gives us the desire and ability to obey God which is to love Him. And what do trials and testing now do for the children of God? They give us the ability to prove to our God we actually love Him, and that attitude makes all the difference.
So, instead of complaining about trials and testing, let’s praise the Lord for them. They are not obstacles in life but opportunities to prove our love for God by obeying Him in the trials and tests.
PRAYER: “Father, thank You for testing my faith and obedience for it affords me the opportunity to prove my love to You.”
QUOTE: “God not only demands our obedience, but He deserves it for who He is and what He has done for us.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,