"The tribe of Benjamin, however, failed to drive out... The tribe of Manasseh failed to drive out... The tribe of Ephraim also failed to drive out... The tribe of Zebulun also failed to drive out... The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim with a message for the Israelites. He told them, "I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you. For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. Why, then, have you disobeyed my command? Since you have done this, I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you." When the angel of the LORD finished speaking, the Israelites wept loudly. So they called the place "Weeping," and they offered sacrifices to the LORD. After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them." Judges 1:21,27,30, 2:1-6
Oh Lord, A day of weeping. A somber message. Please prepare our hearts to hear from You today. But Lord, not only hear but respond. Here we are, willing, available, open for You to mold our hearts to Yours. Conform our hearts, our attitudes, thoughts, desires to Yours. Make us love what You love and hate what You hate. Give us a glimpse of Your glory for You say that those who know You will display strength and take action.
You know 3 am calls are never good. We get those once in awhile. We got one the other day of a student sharing things they had never shared before. Horrific events of the past. Another life deeply effected by the pain of sexual abuse. Sexual immorality is in our face. Right now, orgies are becoming common place on college campuses, 5 year olds being sold for sex by their parents every night in Cambodia and girls being trafficked all over the world, even here, 10 year old boys being raped at Penn State discovered, 50 million dead from abortion 5 times the amount killed in the holocaust. And sexual sin has massive fallout.
We can see the massive effects of sexual sin from Abraham and Sarah. God said He was going to give them a son. But instead of trusting Him, Abraham has sex with Hagar resulting in Ishmael, the lineage of many Arab people today fighting against the Jews in Israel. 4,000 years of fallout.
The Israelites didn't obey. They didn't tear down the altars. The things raised up to worship rather than God. And what happens? Jesus shows up! I love when we get a glimpse of Him in the Old Testament. There He is and He comes with a message of correction. Ugh. Wouldn't that be awful. Of all the things I would love to hear God say if I were to see Him face to face, being asked "Why, then, have you disobeyed my command? " would not be something I would want to hear.
But I believe He does say that to us today. Just like what was said about tribe after tribe, Neither did _______ drive them out... We would be listed among them. It would be said of us, "neither did the _____ generation (what generation is this now-a-days?) drive them out but allowed sexual immorality to live among them, to be tolerated. (Side note: I am not talking about the convictions of how people dress, but rather what the Bible calls sin-rape, homosexuality, sexual immorality, pornography...)
When are we going to say enough? When are we going to let the holy anger burn and not quench it in our hearts and let passivity rule? When are we going to stand up and say No More. Not in my generation you don't. When are we going to take on the giants of government, media and education and call for a sexual revolution?
Why did these tribes not fully obey God? I imagine taking over a city is hard work (never really tried it, so I'm imagining here ;) ), perhaps they would rather go to their game nights, decorate the city and watch their favorite show on tv. Just like taking over a city takes intense energy and the cost is high, so does saying No More to sexual immorality in our generation. Passivity must be rejected.
For me, I want to do something but I often get stuck in see the hugeness of what needs to happen that I fail to see how important each step is. I end up thinking a little thing is not that important so I end up doing nothing. So a lifetime of giving into this attitude has robbed me of wisdom of how to act in this area. So here are my few ideas of what can be done to reject passivity and stand up and say No More.
* PRAY! Every revival was started by prayer. You can pray daily. You can gather others to pray weekly, daily or monthly. (Our students pray from 7-11pm once a month-if they can do it, surely you and some other friends can too.)
* Write. Letters, emails, blogs, facebook posts calling for a sexual revolution (surely there's a better name than that though). Demand for higher punishments for pedophiles (most of them, if they are given any time in jail are only sentenced to a few months to a year). Call for stricter standards of what goes on commercials (seriously, think a 10 year old boy seeing Victoria's secret commercials is sexually healthy?) and so on. Make a fuss about the books read in schools that make having 2 mommies seem ok and normal.
Ya know, I bet there is some great strategies of how to take over a city that could be implemented into a sexual revolution for morality. If you have other ideas please share.
What would it look like for you to take the land? To destroy the altars (the things people worship) of our culture?
For so long we have seen the effects of them being thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you." And when the Israelites eyes were opened to this, they wept loudly and took possession of the land allotted to them. How will we respond? Will we weep yet do nothing? Will we not feel a thing, hardened by sin? Or will we weep and take possession?
What would it look like today to take a step toward NO MORE!?
I hate writing such heavy stuff but quite honestly I am fet up with being passive about tolerating sexual sin. I am encouraged reading my friend Angi's blog, who ended writing about the same thing today. Check it out.
Oh Lord, please motivate us with Your motives. Not judgement but not passivity. But rather a willingness to tear down the altars. Show us specifically what to do, what step each of us can do toward saying No More. Lord, this world will never be perfect till you destroy it with fire and bring Your kingdom, but Lord that doesnt mean we shouldn't stand up for righteousness. Lord you say that in the end many will die, be martyred because they stood for what was right. Put that resolve in us. Let Your purity be seen through our generation.
Glimpse of Glory in Judges