Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The intrinsic significance of the fifth and sixth cycles of Israel’s miserable history (8:33—10:5; 10:6—12:15) consists of Israel’s forsaking God and joining herself to idols. This means that Israel divorced God, her legitimate Husband, and went after many idols.
Man’s forsaking of God began in Genesis 3. God created man with a spirit so that man could contact Him, receive Him, and take Him in as life. The tree of life in the garden signified God Himself as the embodiment of life for us to contact and receive. God warned man not to partake of the other tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for eating of the fruit of that tree would issue in death. However, from the beginning of man’s existence, Satan has been seducing man to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the embodiment of Satan himself. To take the tree of knowledge is actually to marry Satan and divorce God.
This forsaking of God and joining to Satan is the strongest factor behind the chaos in human society. Due to man’s forsaking of God and joining to Satan, the entire world, including every nation, society, and family, has become chaotic. Immediately after man forsook God and joined himself to Satan, chaos came in. The first manifestation of this chaos was the first murder, which took place in Adam’s family when Cain slew Abel. From that time onward, there has been chaos in every nation, society, and family.
Gideon’s failure was due to his forsaking of God and his joining himself to Satan. In his success he was joined to God, but in his failure he joined himself to Satan. When he joined himself to Satan, the issue was murder. He also indulged in the flesh, coveted, and committed idolatry. This issued in the corruption of his family and the entire society of Israel.
Even religion is part of the universal chaos. The world spoken of in Galatians 6:14 is not the secular world but the religious world. Christ died to save us from the religious world (1:4). In man’s eyes religion is good, but in God’s eyes every kind of religion is a section of the satanic world. In principle, the situation in today’s Christianity is the same as the universal situation of the human race—it has forsaken God and joined itself to Satan.
We have also had periods of chaos in the Lord’s recovery. It seems that in the recovery there are cycles of rebellion about every ten years, involving struggles for power to fulfill ambitions. The recent rebellion among us had two roots— unforgiven offenses and unfulfilled ambitions. The intrinsic significance of all these rebellions is forsaking God to go along with Satan. Satan fell because of ambition. To go along with Satan is to enter into the ambition that was present in Satan when he fell. He wanted to ascend to the throne; he wanted to be like the Most High (Isa. 14:13-14). Hence, to forsake God and join with Satan is to enter into the intrinsic ambition within this evil one.
The result of rebellion has always been chaos, with the rebellious ones causing damage to themselves. The churches that joined the recent rebellion have become barren and have even decreased in number, while the remaining churches have increased.
In family life, whenever a husband and a wife love the Lord and reject everything other than Him, their married life will be wonderful. But once a husband or wife begins to love something else in place of the Lord, their married life and family life become chaotic.
We have no right to divorce the Lord; we have no basis to forsake Him. We must take Him, love Him, honor Him, respect Him, regard Him, exalt Him, and cling to Him, rejecting Satan to the uttermost. Then we will be blessed.
This principle can be applied to the entire human race, to every nation, to every society, to every family, and to every individual. If we love the Lord and hate Satan, we will be blessed. However, we will only get into trouble whenever we change and begin to love something other than Christ. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah.” Blessed is everyone—nation, society, group, and individual— whose Lord, Head, King, and Husband is Jehovah.
At this point, let us turn to Judges 8:33—10:5, which covers yet another cycle of Israel’s miserable history.
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