♣ Spiritually Malnourished
“The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel and because of Midian, the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number – both they and their camels could not be counted – so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage. And I delivered you from the hand of all who oppressed you and drove them out from before and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed My voice.’” – Judges 6:1-10
DESPITE ISRAEL’S DISTRESS of insecurity and deprivation through Divine judgement, she was still God’s chosen nation; that didn’t alter the fact that they were the apple of His eye. Nevertheless, Israel frequently suffered the loss of joy’s deliverance from Egypt’s bondage and the enjoyment of their inheritance because of disobedience and their neglect to fear the Lord and worship Him alone. Inheriting this vast land, they were confined, through fear, to inhabit safer and secure dwellings from their enemies. The reality of what took place was a travesty of the benevolence of God graciously bestowed on them. They were commanded to worship and serve the Lord only. Had they harkened to the voice of God, they would have known perpetual blessing and peace. Instead they were plagued and oppressed by a nation they had once overwhelmingly defeated two-hundred years prior (Numbers 31:3-11).
“They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey” (verse 5). Have we not confessed that this has sometimes been the case in our Christian walk? We always remain God’s children once regenerate, but we are not guaranteed to enjoy the spiritual blessings if we allow sin to have sway in our lives. We are to reckon our selves dead to sin, to not let sin reign in our bodies (Romans 6:11-12). If we desire the joy of our salvation, then sin must be considered dead; we must part with it, or suffer the loss of the enjoyment and assurance of our salvation. Yielding to sin prevents our growth in grace. Matthew Henry (in context of the subject) stated, “God had promised to increase Israel as the sand on the sea shore; but their sin stopped their growth and diminished them, and then their enemies, though otherwise every way inferior to them, overpowered them with numbers.” As many will disagree to what Oswald Chambers said, there is great truth that we cannot afford to ignore: “Either God or sin must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue. If sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed.” Of course, there are going to be the theological-clever clogs that will dispute otherwise, that the seed of God shall not die in the truly regenerate – and that is true, but flirt with sin and yield your body to it and watch the life of God in your soul diminish!
We do not have to succumb to the pressure of sin; we have the power to say no every time. Do we believe that? Is not the grace of God sufficient for absolutely everything? Is not Christ in us greater than any power forged against us? Either we believe that or the Apostle Paul was the greatest huckster and jokester in all of Christendom: “In ALL these things we are more than conquerors…” It’s never the case that the grace of God fails us, but rather, we have failed to take hold of the grace of God and prove it in the most trying situations.
Yielding to and cherishing sin will spiritually deplete us and leave us malnourished. There is to be no compromise, no resigning of sin for a ‘rainy day’, but the abandoning of oneself to God.
Neglect of prayer and rich time alone with God, will also spiritually starve us – no matter how much time we may spend in fellowship with fellow believers. Do we cultivate aloneness with God, or does our faith need the constant input of others? Falling short in this area doesn’t alter the fact we are His children, but we miss out in revelling over the joy of belonging to Him. Are we enjoying the privilege of our adoption? Has the Spirit made it real to us? Have we opened the door to Christ and known intimate fellowship and communion with Him (Revelation 3:20)?
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline…” (Revelation 3:19). “Those whom I love” – these are words that pierce the heart with God’s undying and everlasting covenantal-love. Such were the words spoken to a lukewarm church and how often it depicts the Church in her spiritual condition, but we have the promise that “a bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3). How often we can relate to David who yearned for God to restore the joy of his salvation.
Someone may feel that too many years have been wasted where sin, self and the heart plagued with lusts have devoured what little spiritual life there was left, but take this promise to God, contrite heart, that He will restore (beyond your understanding) to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten.
Posted on July 24, 2013, in ♣ Devotional and tagged adoption, aloneness with God, Amalekites, Amorites, assurance of salvation, benevolence of God, bondage, cherishing sin, Christian walk, communion with God, dead to sin, deliverance, deprivation, devotional, disobedience, distress, Divine judgement, God's grace, God’s chosen nation, growth in grace, inheritance, insecurity, Isaiah 42:3, Israel, Joel 2:25, joy of salvation, Judges 6:1-10, luke warm, lukewarm church, Mark Anthony Williams, Matthew Henry, Midianites, neglect of prayer, no compromise, Numbers 31:3-11, oppressed, Oswald Chambers, plagued, regenerate, restore, Revelation 3:19, Revelation 3:20, Romans 6:11-12, sin, spiritual blessings, Spiritually Malnourished, the pressure of sin, the voice of God, Yielding to sin. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.