Posted by: arieliondotcom | March 8, 2013

Providence of Tolerance

GOD is in complete control of everything. Even in those situations that seem no loving GOD would allows it. He does for some good we will not see until we pass through the curtain of death and are able to understand the answers on the other side. That’s the point of the Book of Judges which we begin today. The Providence of Tolerance means GOD is always in control, but like the oceans which He tells “thus far and no farther”, there is some leeway in what He allows though (such as in flooding) that sometimes seems tragic. Our only difficulty is insisting death is the end and that we can understand before then. But neither of those statements is true.

Moses is gone. Joshua is gone. So the people rightly ask the LORD “Who should lead us into battle now?” Nothing has changed there. The tribe of Judah (which is, by the way, the tribe JESUS Christ will belong to as son of Mary and adopted son of Joseph many years from now) is the answer. Judah will always go first. Judah, symbolized by a lion but whose name means “Praised (or Praised One)”. Roaring praise of GOD leads the way into victory! And they take another tribe with them to help. (That’s significant because the tribes will fight between themselves soon).

That first victory with no leader other than the LORD Himself begins with an odd little story. They defeat a pagan king and cut off his big toes and thumbs. This sounds barbaric, and it is, because it leaves the victim alive but helpless and marked for life. Why would the LORD allow His people to practice such cruelty? The victim tells us himself: he has done this to 70 kings himself and had them beg for scraps like dogs under his table. What he did to others GOD brings on him. GOD allows this because it is teaching a greater lesson JESUS will teach much later: You will be judged as you acted. Even with the Grace of GOD, even with Salvation, there are consequences to our treatment of others. Unfortunately, Israel is going to learn this the hard way. The Providence of Tolerance. The LORD is still in charge but allows Israel to treat the pagan as the pagan had acted as judgment on the pagan and as a warning to Israel: they were already imitating pagans and GOD is a GOD of retribution. If you do the crime, even as a Believer, you will do the time. For Christians, JESUS paid that charge for us for eternal Life but our behavior still has consequences.

More and more frequently the tribes of Israel are not completely destroying the enemy that resisted them. They are absorbing more and more pagan culture into themselves and this will prove to be, literally, deadly. It’s so bad that what may be JESUS Himself appearing in a pre-incarnate form goes to them and gives them the message that they have broken their vows to be faithful to Him so He is no longer bound to bless them. They start down the slippery slope. So when that generation, all who had crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land died, the new generation who had been exposed to the pagans, adopted the pagan ways. Rather than being exclusive to GOD they began betraying GOD with idols the way husbands and wives on daytime “reality” shows today betray each other with other relationships. Once Moses & Joshua were gone the people left the enemies they were to drive out alive & made them slaves instead but became enslaved by the sins they let survive.

Why would GOD allow this since He was in control and knew, even had Moses prophesy, that it would happen? Because of the Providence of Tolerance. He allowed them to sin to be disciplined and see they cannot be holy without Him. This begins a roller coaster that is the Book of Judges, ebb and flow like that tide we spoke about before with some waves of disobedience more destructive than the other but always receding in GOD’s Mercy when GOD raised up a judge, male or female, to bring them back to Him. Judges 1-3

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