MAY 10 - Don’t Give It Back! Judges 11:23
Scripture Reading – Judges 10:1-11:40 / John 6:25-59 / Psalm 59:1-8
I’ve heard it said that more wars and disputes have taken place over the tiny country of Israel than any other place in the world. I don’t know the surety of that statement but I can safely say it has been a very disputed land ever since God promised it to Israel. As long as Israel served God, they would possess the land. If they forsook God and served other gods, they would lose dominion over the land.
Israel struggled with their commitment to serve and worship God alone. They would be faithful for a generation and then forsake Him with their idolatry. This became their spiritual pattern but while in apostasy, God would raise up a leader (judge), calling them back to righteousness.
After 18 years of Philistine and Ammonite oppression, God raises up Jephthah as a judge to lead Israel. The Ammonite king took issue with a territory of land that he accused Israel of stealing. He sent word to Jephthah and demanded the land be given back peacefully. I loved Jephthah’s response, “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?
Jephthah was unwilling to surrender to the enemy what God had given to them! The land was a promised inheritance for Israel – it was secured and conquered by God. Think about it… what right does the enemy have to demand repayment or demand return on what God has given to us? Why should we forfeit our heart, desire and soul to an enemy whose desire is to kill, steal and destroy? He bullies his way into our lives, playing with our emotions and will. He threatens our health, finances, relationships and peace as he wields fear and hopelessness before our defenseless hearts.
Like Jephthah, the next time the enemy asks you to forfeit the blessings of God in your life, be sure to tell him to mind his own business because your life isn’t his business anymore. Jesus fought for your freedom, paid for your forgiveness, and has transformed your life. You are God’s child and you aren’t giving anything back!