To be honest, I have not given much thought to the Ukraine-Russia war. I have followed a few news reports about it just to stay abreast of what is going on. But I really wasn’t concerned or showing much interest in it, until recently.
Recently, something started bubbling up in my spirit concerning this conflict but for days I was not sure why. This gnawing in my spirit became so dominant that I finally had to stop, after being awoken out of sleep around 11 p.m. last night, and prayed to God about this disturbance that was in my spirit concerning this war conflict. What is it that God wanted to speak?
For about an hour I tossed and turned in bed trying to go back to sleep. When I realized I was not going to get any sleep not unless I allowed God to speak to me concerning this matter and whatever was on His heart. So, I asked God, "what is it? What is it that you are trying to show me that I am not understanding or even ignoring?" It was then that I felt led to go read the next chapter in my Bible reading in the book of Judges. So, it was then that I got up, headed downstairs to my home office, and sat at my desk to read Judges chapter 11.
I usually do not take notes while I am reading my Bible, just for the purpose of reading. But the moment I sat down, I felt compelled to take notes while I read this chapter. As I read, the following was released in my spirit.
the son that was rejected
In verse one, we are introduced to Jephthah, the son of Gilead. In his community, Jephthah was known for two things. He was considered a mighty (great, valiant, brave) warrior within the nation of Israel. He was also known as an illegitimate child of his father because he was not the son of his father’s wife. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute (Judges 11:1). As a result of this illegitimate ancestry, when Jephthah and his brothers grew up, his brothers rejected Jephthah, to prevent him from inheriting their father’s inheritance and forced Jephthah to leave his family’s home (Judges 11:2). What a betrayal.
So, at the hands of Jephthah’s brothers and the leaders of Gilead, Jephthah flees his home and leaves his rightful post. Once he departed from his home, he ends up in a city called Tob. And there a caravan of men joined him and willing submitted themselves to the leadership and authority of Jephthah (Judges 11:3).
Some time passes and the nation of Ammon rose against the Israelites to fight against them (Judges 11:4). During the invasion, the Israelites did not have a worthy leader in command that was able to successfully lead them against the Ammonites. There was not one mighty warrior in their camp that was able to deal with and overthrow the Ammonites. So, the leaders of Gilead gathered among themselves and decided that they needed to send out a search party for Jephthah, in order to convince him to return to his homeland to fight and rescue them from the hands of the Ammonites (Judges 11:5).
Now, we have to remember a few months earlier, the people of Gilead and its leaders wanted Jephthah out of their region despite his giftings, calling, or abilities. At the time, the value of Jephthah’s brothers’ inheritance was more worthy to them, than the purpose of Jephthah’s position, role, and status in his family, in his city, or in God’s Kingdom. When the Gileadites failed Jephthah by rejecting him and forcing him to leave his post. The nation was rejecting the appointment of God that was serving a greater purpose for God’s nation and its people. By rejecting Jephthah and forcing him to flee, they could not see at that time the impact that decision would have on their future – the sudden attack by the Ammonites. It was not until later that they came to see and understand the value Jephthah actual was to their people and nation. Therefore, they were desperate for the return of this brave and mighty warrior to his proper place in his father’s home to fight for their nation and lead them to victory against the Ammonites.
jephthah's response to his nation
Now that God’s people were desperate. They needed a deliverer to deliver them from the hands of the Ammonites. But would Jephthah agree to return or would he leave God’s people to their own self-destructive fate?
So, we see in verse 6 of Judges chapter 11 that the leaders of Gilead plead with Jephthah to come back and lead his people against the Ammonites. Now, I find it interesting how the Gileadites had no use for Jephthah when it seemed to them that everything was going well for them. When it appeared they had no enemies – no major conflict before them. But at the moment, when their enemies rise against the nation of Israel and they had no fearless leader in place to stand up and lead the people against the brutal threats and attacks or a leader who could led them into war. They had no choice but to search for the one capable leader that they unitedly ran off because they felt that Jephthah was not worthy based on his
So, how did Jephthah respond to the Gilead’s leader's request? Verse 7 said that he asked the Gilead leaders
1. God remains and affirms His covenant with His people (Judges 2:2).
2. The Israelites’ leaders, whom God had appointed over them dies (Judges 2:8).
3. The death of God’s chosen leader results in a generation coming up that does not know God (Judges 2:10). Meaning, very few leaders, none or very few of the parents, and most of the adults among God’s people stopped teaching their children, the young people about their God. (Compare to Deuteronomy 6:7).
4. Yet, the leaders, parents, and adults adopt the practices and worship of the other pagan gods among the people of the land that God instructed them to destroy but they did not when they took over the Promised Land (Judges 2:11-13; compare to Exodus 20:3, Judges chapter 1).
5. This lack of obedience on God’s people's part leads to them provoking God’s anger against them. The people’s actions and lack of obedience and deficiency in faithfulness result in leaving God no choice but to discipline His people (Judges 2:12; compare to Hebrews 12:6-11). In such situations, God disciplines His people in three ways.
god will respond with justice and judgment
Therefore, God could not continue to protect, bless, and show His people favor due to their behavior, their sin. Whenever God removes Himself from the midst of His people, this always leads to God turning His face away from them, removing His protective hands from upon them. Resulting in their enemies coming in and plundering them. Verse 14 says it this way. “… Then the anger of the LORD turns against Israel, and He (God) gave them (God’s people – the Israelites) into the hands of the plunderers (God’s people enemies) …. Why? Because of their actions, their behaviors, their sins, their disobedience.
Like it or not. This is God’s way, His justice when we are completely in the wrong and refuses to repent, refuses to turn away from our, not His, but our wicked ways. When we refuse to listen to the voices of His chosen vessels. When we choose to outright disobey the commandments of the LORD – breaking our covenant individually, as a family, as a congregation, or as a nation with the LORD. God will respond with justice and judgment (Judges 2:14-15).
God raISes judges
Vicious cycle of sin
Let’s turn to Judges chapter 6, verse 6. As we read Judges chapter 6, we see God’s people, the Israelites, fall back into their vicious sin cycle. It says in verse 1, “… the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.” Of course, this eventually leads to God’s judgment upon His people, which leads to the Midian plundering everything they had for seven years (Judges 6:1-5). So, what did the Israelites do? After much persecution, they begin to cry out to the LORD to deliver them from the hands of their enemy the Midianites. But here is the problem with their outcry.
The reason why they keep recycling into old sinful habits, behaviors, customs, traditions, and practices – make sure you get this. THEIR CRIES WASN’T ONE OF REPENTANCE. No. They were not truly repenting from the heart to God. (Compare to Psalm 51:17). They just wanted the persecution, the oppression by their enemies to stop. Their cries to the LORD were due to their anguish toward the Midianites and what the Midian were doing to God’s people. They were not crying out to God because they truly realize they have sinned against a mighty and just God. (Compare to 2 Corinthians13:5). They were mad and fed up with their poverty-stricken state, their losses, their insecurities, and their life of normalcy being taking away. They wanted to go back to what was normal. Therefore, they wanted God to put an end to the Midianites' tyranny. Because the condition and the position of their hearts were not right, God had to remind them of why they were in the situation they were in the first place. Was it because He had failed them or because He was incapable of protecting and taking care of His people? Certainly not! Their condition, their plight was the way it was with the Midianites because of their own historical records, their own accounts, their own deeds, their own actions. (See Judges 6:8-10).
What can we learn
Yet, we the people, are choosing to mix the ways of the world with our worship of God, in order to fit in with a pagan society and call it exclusive worship. How cynical.
We have forsaken our first love and call evil good and good evil. And yet, God, out of His love, grace, and mercy, raises voices that speak about such matters from the throne of God – from His nature and His heart so that His people can be delivered. And yet, just like the Israelites in the book of Judges, God’s chosen people. Today, God’s people will not listen to His voices. Instead, they continue to do what is right in his or her own eyes. Resulting in God’s people sinning to a point of no return and provoking God’s anger. And therefore, in His righteous anger, He must respond. He must shake His house. And what does not or no longer belongs must fall out. But what is sorrowful from the heart, will remain.
The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).
This page will focus on providing the Body of Christ words of the LORD, that He has spoken through Deaidre. Regardless of the nature of the words of the LORD below - whether there is a word that teaches, reproofs, corrects, or trains, it is all for the purpose to build up the Body of Christ so that each one of us is made righteous, adequate, equipped for every good work.