Monday, March 30, 2009

Compromise - and Wrath!

There is a strange phenomenon that biologists refer to as "the boiled frog syndrome". Put a frog in a pot of water and increase the temperature of the water gradually from 20oC to 30oC to 40oC…to 90oC and the frog just sits there. But suddenly, at 100oC, something happens: the water boils and the frog dies.

Today we start reading the book of Judges.

I have to tell you - I find this first part of Judges deeply disturbing.

First chapter is largely review, but toward the end it shows one compromise after another after another. God said to take the land over, and utterly kill every single inhabitant. The people had a hard time doing that entirely, but they would let the people stay and make them into their laborers. Good compromise, right?

"The parallel of it all in the Christian life is that we, like Israel, are delivered by the grace of God from the bondage to sin, but as we drift away from the joy and thrill of our spiritual experience we tend to get more worldly and many slip back into a life that is more about the idols of the world than about the Lord and his will. We cease to hate the sins that we left, and do not pursue taking to ourselves all that we are redeemed to experience in the godly life. This can lead to all kinds of negative experiences in life that call for repentance and renewal. Some people are like this book and go through the cycle over and over just like Israel did. What is the problem? It is lack of hate. What a paradox! The key to a life of love with consistent obedience to God demands the balance of hate for what God hates." (Judges Commentary by Glen Pease)
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In North America, we have made compromise into one of our most cherished cultural values. We call it "Tolerance". Under that banner, all kinds of sin is accepted. Shall I give you a list? Prostitution, adultery, fornication, pornography, homosexuality, bestiality, perversions, murder (as long as the baby is not born yet) every kind of pagan practice, witchcraft, idol worship (both modern and ancient)... the list goes on and on.
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It took the people of Israel only two generations to fall into every kind of pagan practice that God forbade and they claimed they would never do.
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11 -15 "The People of Israel did evil in God's sight: they served Baal-gods; they deserted God, the God of their parents who had led them out of Egypt; they took up with other gods, gods of the peoples around them. They actually worshiped them! "
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What was God's reaction?
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"And oh, how they angered God as they worshiped god Baal and goddess Astarte! God's anger was hot against Israel: He handed them off to plunderers who stripped them; he sold them cheap to enemies on all sides. They were helpless before their enemies. Every time they walked out the door God was with them—but for evil, just as God had said, just as he had sworn he would do. They were in a bad way. "
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Compromise with God's standards leads to His wrath. There is no pretty way to say it.
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Man, I liked Joshua better than Judges already!

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