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AND the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why have you served us thus, why didn't you call us, when you wanted to fight with the Midianites? And they began to chide him sharply (Jdg 7:22-25; 8:1).
And we get into that next week. The problem we had with Ephraimites because he didn't call them. Well, he had called them, they didn't respond but that's all part of next week's story.
And we'll move on in the book of Judges and getting to that interesting character of Samson also next week.
Shall we stand.
Important things to remember from tonight's lesson. Number one, God has a work to do, He's calling for your help. Noninvolvement in the work of God will bring a curse upon your life. When God does His work, He wants it done in such a way as He receives the glory from it. God doesn't want you front stage taking vows for his performance as people are so often prone to do. Taking credit for what God has done, taking glory for what God has wrought. God does not want to share His glory. He wants the glory for the work that He has accomplished. And that is why He goes to such ridiculous measures. That's why He refuses such ridiculous instruments so that the instrument isn't prone to glory in himself but can only glory in God who has done His work. God uses unlikely people and weird situations to accomplish His work in order that men will glory in God rather than in the genius, the brilliance or whatever of men as we are so prone to do.
Learn the lesson of serving the Lord. Don't turn from Him to other gods. "For as long as he sought the Lord," the scripture said concerning Asa, "God made his way to prosper." As long as you seek the Lord, God will be with you and bless you. But if you forsake the Lord then He will forsake you. You'll go into captivity; you'll be oppressed by the enemy. Many of our problems are brought on by ourselves. We have been guilty of forsaking God and it only invites trouble. Walk with the Lord and He will walk with you. And may you walk with Him this week. And may you experience His power, His presence and His spirit as He works in your life and as He works through your life, His works in this needy world. May God make you an instrument of His love, that through you others might experience God's love for them as you show God's love to them.
Shall we turn in our Bibles to the book of Judges, chapter eight?
The Ephraimites were troublemakers. And in chapter eight we find them giving Gideon a bad time. But we see with what splendid diplomacy Gideon deals with these Ephraimites. They came to Gideon and they began to chide him sharply because he had not called them to go with him against the Midianites. Now it is interesting to note that they came to him after Gideon had the victory and it was assured that Gideon had the enemy on the run. Then they came to him and said, "Why didn't you call us to come out and help you against these Midianites?" And they really began to give him a bad time, "chided him sharply." But Gideon said, "Well, what have I done compared with what you have? Actually you captured the two kings. And really, what have I done in comparison?"
Well, Gideon only wiped out a hundred and twenty thousand of them. And so, as yet, very diplomatically he handles the situation very well. These guys are hot-tempered. They come and they start making this ridiculous kind of an accusation. And Gideon, I feel, handles this situation very, very well. Perhaps a little bit too well as far as the Ephraimites themselves are concerned, because later on they tried the same trick with another fella Jephthah and he didn't handle it so well. But Gideon was very gracious in his dealing with them.
Verse two, He said, What have I done in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? (Jdg 8:2)
In other words, you guys came in and the gleanings that you got, the leftovers, are really better than the vintage that we took.
And have, God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: what was I able to do in comparison to you? Then their anger was abated towards him, when he said that (Jdg 8:3).
So, it was just a very gracious thing on the part of Gideon. I look at Gideon and I must admire the man. There is, I feel, a true humility in this man, admirable quality. When the Lord actually called him to lead the Israelites against Midian you remember, he said, "Lord, I can't do that. My father's house you know is really nothing and I am the least of my father's house. Who am I to do this?" And yet, he was the kind of fellow, when convinced of the call of God, went at it in a very sincere way. Now he could really be glorying in the victory of the Midianites, take this as an opportunity to really, you know, pride himself. It wasn't so.
Now, perhaps he learned and learned well, the fact that God wanted the glory in the battle. You remember that's why God narrowed his army down. That's why God cut them down from twenty-two thousand to three hundred, in order that God would get the victory for whatever was accomplished.
So Gideon came to Jordan, he passed over, with three hundred men that were with him, who were faint, still they were pursing the enemy (Jdg 8:4).
For there was still some fifteen thousand of the enemy still alive. They've wiped out a hundred and twenty thousand, fifteen thousand were still alive and so he's pursuing. That's pretty brave thing, with three hundred guys you're chasing fifteen thousand, you know. That's all right as long as they're running but what if they turn around? And it's really a very commendable thing that he is still doing but his men are tired at this point.
Now an interesting thing to me is that there are still three hundred. Up to this point he hasn't lost a single man in this battle. God has done a pretty thorough job in wiping out the enemy, and no wonder Gideon was not about to take the credit and is willing to let other men glory but he wouldn't glory himself.
And so they came to the city of Succoth and they said to the men of Succoth, "Hey, give some bread to my men because they are faint and all." And they said, "Look fella, is the enemy in your hand? No way, just fifteen thousand of them go by, there's only three hundred of you guys and we don't want to be guilty of helping you because if we help you, then if you be defeated by them, they'll come back and get us. And so they refused to feed Gideon's men.
And Gideon said, "When I return with their heads, I'm gonna drag you guys through the cactus." And so he went on to the next city of Penuel, and he asked the men of Penuel, he said, "Give my men some food, they're fainting and we've still got the enemy to wipe out." And they said, "The enemy isn't yet delivered in your hand. We're not gonna help you."
Gideon says when I come back from the victory I'm gonna tear down your tower. And he with his three hundred men pursued them, the remainder of the Midianites, about fifteen thousand of them, and they wiped them out.
Verse ten, there is already fallen about a hundred and twenty thousand that drew their sword. There were about fifteen thousand that were now in Karkor where their leaders Zebah and Zalmunna.
So Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in the tents on the east of Nobah, and he 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. And Gideon the son Joash returned from battle before the sun was up, And they caught a young man from the city of Succoth, and he said: Describe to me the leaders of your city, [the mayor and the city council] (Jdg 8:11-14).
And so the young man described for them the elders, the leaders of the city and so he went into Succoth and he took these guys and drug them through the cactus, through the thorns and the briars to teach them a lesson for their failure to help them when they were in need. Then they came to Penuel, and they broke down the tower of the city and smote the men of Penuel for their failure also to help them in their time of need.
Then he said to these two Midianite kings, "Describe for me the men that you killed over near Mount Tabor."
And they said, "Well actually, they look sort of like you, good-looking, they sort of look like sons of God."
Gideon said, "They were my brothers. If you would have spared their lives I would now spare yours but you killed my brothers." And so he said to one of his young boys, he said, "Rise up and kill these fellows." Well, his boy was quite young, probably a teenager and he was, well you know here are kings and for me to just kill them and so his boy hesitated.
And so the two kings said, "Fall on us, you know. Go ahead" And yet he hesitated to do it. And so Gideon himself killed the two kings of the Midianites that he had taken captive.
So then the men of Israel [verse twenty-two] came to Gideon, and they said to Gideon, Rule over us, you, and your sons, and your son's sons (Jdg 8:22):
In other words, they wanted to set up now a dynasty and a monarchy. They wanted now the family of Gideon to become the king over Israel and his sons and his grandsons. But Gideon shows remarkable character. Here he is, you know, the popular movement. "Gideon, draft Gideon for the king."
And Gideon answered them, I will not rule over you, and neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you (Jdg 8:23).
So I see very much in the character of Gideon as a very commendable thing. He did absolutely the right thing. "The Lord rule over you. I'm not going to nor my son." And so Gideon then asked the men for his share of the victory in the loot. He said, "I'd just like the golden earrings."
Now these Midianites were Ishmaelites and they all of them had gold earrings, pierced ears with a gold ring in their ears. And so they dumped them all on Gideon. And man at the price of gold today he would have been a wealthy man because it was seventeen hundred shekels of gold that these earrings weighed when they tossed them all in. A hundred and twenty thousand earrings that would be a pretty good hit really on the gold market today.
So Gideon them made an ephod out of these (Jdg 8:27),
It's sort of a gold kind of a robe out of them. But this gold robe that he made became a snare. It became a tourist attraction. People used to travel down to Gideon's house to see this golden ephod that he had made out of the earrings of the Midianites. And the people began to worship it. They made it sort of an object of worship; thus, it became a snare unto Israel. Now I don't think that Gideon had that in mind at all, that the people would make sort of an idol out of this golden ephod that he made from these earrings but nonetheless the people did. Now at that point, I think, was where Gideon did make a mistake. When he saw how the people were, you know, sort of revering this gold ephod he should have just tossed the thing in the fire, melted it down and made a gold brick or something. And so if he was guilty of any mistakes it was this: his allowing the ephod to remain after the people had made an idolatrous kind of a symbol of this ephod.
And thus the children of Midian were subdued, and they did not lift their heads up against the Israelite. And there was quiet in the land for forty years during all of the days of Gideon. And Jerubbaal [who is Gideon and he received that name when he knocked down the altar of Baal that belonged to his dad] the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house (Jdg 8:28-29).
Now he was a pretty prolific guy, he had seventy sons begotten for he had many wives.
And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name was called Abimelech. And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah which is of the Abiezrites. So it came to pass, that soon after Gideon was dead, the children of Israel turned again, and went whoring after Baalim, 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 of their enemies on every side: And neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, or Gideon [in namely in this], that according to all the goodness which he had showed in Israel (Jdg 8:31-35).
Next is the explanation of Book of Judges Chapter 9
In recent months Americans have watched in stunned disbelief as the new terrorist organization “ISIS” has pushed its way across Iraq. They have made there presence known by filming their acts of brutality and posting the videos all over the internet. They have filmed beheadings, mass executions and in some instances they have buried people alive.
In recent months Americans have watched in stunned disbelief as the new terrorist organization “ISIS” has pushed its way across Iraq. They have made there presence known by filming their acts of brutality and posting the videos all over the internet. They have filmed beheadings, mass executions and in some instances they have buried people alive. This is obviously a massive fear campaign directed at their enemies (The United States) in order to force us to submit to them; after all the word Islam itself means submission.
This is the obvious conclusion that can be made as in recent weeks we have seen imminent threat warnings, and even propaganda campaigns depicting ISIS members standing in American streets. Many people are referring to ISIS as nothing than another false flag operation waiting to happen, and others still are claiming the video of James Foley being executed is a fake. This would not be surprising as the global elite have a long history of false flag operations. The question then remains; what is the purpose of ISIS and how did they become such a formidable force so quickly?
Many people are aware by now that the Obama administration has a direct hand in funding and arming the ISIS militants. The common narrative is that the terror group was armed in an effort to aid the administration in toppling syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Of course, if you remember back in the early years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars there was something called“Project New American Century,” which was essentially the blue print for the current wars we are now seeing develop in the Middle East. The plan entailed overthrowing the entire region and replacing current regimes with those that would be more friendly to world government interests. Syria and Libya were the next targeted countries and sure enough, it wasn’t too long after Obama was elected that they were looking for justifications to use military force in these two countries.
Its important to remember the “PNAC” because the origins of ISIS, according to Brandon Turbeville, go farther back than just the Obama administration. In fact, Turbeville claims that ISIS is the creation of not only the CIA, but was also funded by NATO, Saudi Arabia and Turkey as far back as 2007. The main target of PNAC was ultimately Iran, and as it turns out, ISIS was created by the Gulf Cooperation Council for the explicit purpose of eradicating Iran’s influence in the region. Turbeville also claims that ISIS was being paid by these entities for the explicit purpose of breaking down resistance against U.S. forces during the Iraq war.
Here is where it gets real interesting because the real purpose of the Iraq war has been constantly debated between liberals and conservatives. Many diehard George Bush supporters believed full heartedly that it was necessary to attack Iraq in order to protect us from terrorists, while many other people believed it was all about oil. Well I am sorry to say that while there are legitimate concerns about Islamic terrorism, the reason for invading was all about oil. In fact, it was about how oil was going to be sold and traded. The U.S. dollar retains its status as the world’s reserve currency because of a deal brokered between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis would keep the dollar artificially inflated through the oil trade while the U.S. would provide the Saudi kingdom with military protection. The reason the U.S. invaded Iraq was because Saddam Hussein was threatening to drop the dollar and trade oil in Euros. Also, according to the author of the new book “The Oil Card” James Norman, Saddam Hussein was also planning on developing oil deals with the Chinese. This is where it gets real interesting.
James Norman, as a guest on George Noory’s Coast to Coast AM, claims that everything going on in Iraq is all about a power struggle between the U.S. and the Chinese. Mainly, the real purpose of the U.S. military sitting on Iraqi oil isn’t for the purpose of us developing it, but rather to keep the Chinese from doing so. That sure puts a whole new spin on things, doesn’t it? Actually, its more than that. Norman explains that the U.S. is trying to keep the nation destabilized in order to prevent that oil from being developed by anyone, period.
In other words, ISIS is purposefully being used in order to keep post war Iraq from becoming stabilized. Why would the United States want to prevent a nation that has the potential to produce 115-300 billion barrels of oil from doing so?
Admittedly, I am speculating from this point on but I think you will agree that what I am about to say makes sense.
The Obama administration is the most anti-oil administration we have ever had. They are on a stone cold mission to eradicate the use of fossil fuels as they claim they are the biggest cause of the fictitious “global warming.” In fact, if you remember early in the Obama administration, science Czar John Holdren said that one of the goals of the Obama administration is to de-industrialize the United States. This goes right along with Obama’s current plan to bypass congress in signing a “global warming” treaty with the U.N. These people are planning on redistributing our wealth to the third world in payment for a fabricated climate debt.
These people are actually attempting to eliminate the use of oil in order to gain control of the worlds population. Looking at it from this perspective, it becomes easy to understand why the U.S. would attempt to prevent this oil from being developed and sold. Also, Obama has a history of making huge investments in green energy technologies, at the tax payer expense no less. By preventing this oil from being developed he is keeping oil prices artificially high, which in turn would create the needed reaction where people are demanding a solution.
Like I said, I’m speculating a little but by making logical conclusions with given facts. The bigger point to be made here however is that things are never what they seem to be, and behind everything going on in the geopolitical landscape is an agenda someone is trying to hide.
Joel fascinates me, as he speaks of the day of the Lord in the past, and the day of the Lord in the future ... and this was 800 years before Christ was born. I sometimes wonder if God reveals to those who are righteous.
Date written: Probably 835 to 805 B.C.
Joel fascinates me, as he speaks of the day of the Lord in the past, and the day of the Lord in the future ... and this was 800 years before Christ was born. I sometimes wonder if God reveals to those who are righteous.
Date written: Probably 835 to 805 B.C.
Purpose: Picture a terrible plague of locusts engulfing the land. The sky is darkness; a sound like nothing you have ever heard builds to a deafening roar. The crops are laid to waste. Nothing can stop this advancing army ... there is nowhere to run. They devour everything, stripping the land bare, and the wake of devastation is overwhelming! That is the reality into which Joel speaks ... and imagine how it would feel to be told that what you just endured was but a tiny foretaste of something more fearful to come ... the great and terrible Day of the Lord!
Blow the trumpet!
Sound the alarm!
The Day of the Lord approaches ... It is close at hand.
There is but one response ... our only hope ...
Rend our hearts and return to the Lord ...
No one will be able to escape this moment; the nations of the earth are on a collision course with their Maker ...
YET, in the light of who God is, let us consecrate a fast and cry out. Perhaps the Lord will turn and leave a blessing behind. Joel's name means, "Yahweh is God." He is delivering a STOP IN YOUR TRACKS message! Joel knows something about this God, and were we to cry out, he has already seen the answer, and it is equally mind blowing!
There is no question as to the outcome ... God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.
Peter saw the initial outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost as being fulfillment of Joel's words (Acts 2:16), but we know that to be only the beginning. There is much more ... much more to come. Everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved! When the day comes, whose side will you be on?
Key verses: "Yet even now, declares the Lord, 'return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; rend your heart and not your garments.' Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him" (Joel 2:12-14).
":It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions ... And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered" (Joel 2:28,32).
Radical Islam expert Brigitte Gabriel says ISIS is capable of anything from shopping-mall shooting sprees to nuclear attacks in the U.S. and believes the best way to ward off calamity is for Americans to wake up their elected officials and demand they “throw political correctness in the garbage can” and confront the radical threat as it truly exists.
She also revealed the one common link motivating the worst terrorists in the world today: the words of the Quran.
Gabriel was a victim of terrorism in her native Lebanon. She is founder and president of ActForAmerica.org and is author of numerous books, including “They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It.” She said the danger to the U.S. posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is significant but the threat is nothing new.
“We know that radical Islamists have been trying to attack the United States,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what organization they identify with, whether it’s al-Qaida or ISIS or whatever name du jour that’s exciting and dominating the news. Since President Obama became president, we have arrested on American soil 226 home-grown terrorists. And that was before ISIS.”
She does acknowledge a significant difference with ISIS: the deep pockets of the terrorist army. Gabriel said those kind of resources can finance a whole lot of trouble for the U.S. and other Western nations.
“ISIS has their hands on biological weapons. They have captured the oil fields. They have their hands on nuclear material. And they certainly have the money to be able to buy the technology to put missiles together with nukes on top of them or be able to smuggle something into our country. We cannot afford to let our president, even though he is blind to the issue, to let the issue go ignored,” said Gabriel, who added that ISIS can strike a devastating psychological blow to Americans with far less complicated plots.
“It doesn’t take a mega-attack. All they need is a few crazies to strap bombs to their bodies and walk into malls in different states across the United States. That would literally strike terror in the hearts of Americans,” she said.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Brigitte Gabriel:
The Obama administration and many other public officials and organizations are taking great pains to insist ISIS does not speak for Islam or any other religion. Gabriel Islam and radicalism are seamlessly intertwined throughout the past 1,400 years.
“They are basing their actions on the words of the Quran,” she explained. “What IS is doing right now is no different than what Prophet Muhammad himself did.”
Gabriel added, “They are using scriptures from the Quran. For example, Quran 8:12 talks about striking fear into the hearts of disbelievers. Therefore, they cut off their fingers and toes because they disobeyed Allah. So what ISIS is doing is no different than what any other group or devout followers of the Quran will do.”
She said the U.S. has seen the rise of numerous radical Muslim groups just since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Gabriel pointed to mass executions and stonings in Afghan soccer arenas by the Taliban, the al-Qaida beheading of Daniel Pearl, the terrorist beheadings of Nick Berg and 35 other people in just one year in Iraq and the horrific murders, rapes, abductions and church burnings carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“When you look at these different groups across the world, whether they are Al Shabab in Somalia, or Boko Haram in Nigeria, or Lashkar-e-Taiba in India, or Hamas in Gaza, or Hezbollah in Lebanon or al-Qaida, the name doesn’t matter,” she said. “They all are operating out of the same manual, sharing the same ideology and the same goal.”
They_must_be_stoppedSpeaking of Hamas, Gabriel said the recently announced cease-fire in Gaza is nothing but a chance for the terrorists to regroup and eventually pose a greater threat than before.
“Israel has got to decapitate Hamas and destroy its infrastructure,” she said. “Otherwise, Hamas is going to come back stronger than ever. It may take them a year, two years, three years. They’re going to come back, and we’re going to see the same thing.”
“They Must Be Stopped” is New York Times bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel’s warning to the world: We can no longer ignore the growth of radical Islam – we must act soon, and powerfully.
Act for America is hosting its annual security conference in Washington, a three-day event beginning on Sept. 11. Gabriel said elected officials need to understand the gravity of the terrorist threat facing our country and the urgency with which it must be confronted. However, she said it’s up to the American people to make sure Washington takes notice and takes decisive action.
“The American public must come together and put pressure on our elected officials to throw political correctness in the garbage where it belongs and start speaking the truth about the threats we are facing,” Gabriel said. “(We need to) remind our elected officials as to the importance of securing the United States, securing American lives, protecting American cities and doing what is right to fight evil.”
Part of that, she said, is working to thwart the rise of home-grown terrorists. She said rudderless young people are especially attracted to the cause.
“What we’re suffering in the West today is the lack of structure in the family, the lack of guidance. Many families are broken. Young people feel disenfranchised,” Gabriel said. “What Islam offers is a way to tell you how to live your life, down to the simple things and to how many times you can wash your hands and how many times to pray and everything to that detail. That’s what they’re attracted to.
“A lot of people are also resentful of America. A lot of the youth are very easily drawn to very attractive recruitment videos on the Internet,” said Gabriel, noting that ISIS is even recruiting people most would consider the least likely to join its cause.
She said, “Right now ISIS is focused on recruiting women on the Internet, offering them safety and security and stability and a home life if they would come and marry a jihadist and take care of a jihadist’s needs.”
This is about “Debunking”, and could prove a useful tool !!!
Make sure you watch the video as well – this is very informative !!!
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