Background for Today’s Discussion
I’m going to do my best to disseminate what I believe God was showing me today in my time reading and reflecting. I did something different today. Today is the 19th of Elul, 5781 in the Hebrew calendar (the one that sticks closer to Biblical timing and not the world’s). As such, when I asked for my instructions for the day, I was told to read the 19th chapter of every book in the Bible. As I’m sitting here typing this now, I have made it through Judges 19 so not all the way through but this I believe was the stopping point I needed for now to write this article.
In Judges 19, you get similar story lines that come together from the previous books in the Bible. The parallels are so similar it’s almost as if some of the stories were happening in one dimension, and Judges 19 is bringing them all together in a different dimension. I’m not saying that’s what happened, I’m merely saying that that’s how similar these story lines really are.
In Genesis – Joshua (all the 19th chapter), we have the story lines that follow Sodom and Gamorrah (Gen 19). Exodus is the story of consecrating the people to hear God’s voice speak to them on Mt. Sinai, Leviticus 19 deals with how to treat each other properly. Deuteronomy and Numbers also talk about ways to treat each other in case of accidental harm to a person and also how to further consecrate ourselves. Joshua 19 finally deals with dividing the remainder of the land, of which Joshua takes a city in the mountains of Ephraim.
Cue Judges 19 and we have a story of an unfaithful concubine of a priest who lives in the mountains of Ephraim (the same place Joshua is from). He goes down to retrieve his concubine who has run to Judah in Bethlehem. He is delayed a bit by his father-in-law in Bethlehem but eventually on the return home stops in Gibeah (a city of the tribe of Benjamin) to stay, where he finds another man from the mountains of Ephraim to take him in.
From there, basically the exact same scene from Genesis 19 unfolds with a slight twist. Immoral people from the town come to the place where the traveler is staying and the immoral (read that demonically possessed) people from the town knock on the door to try to sleep with him. Instead, he gives his concubine whom he had just come all the way from his home to retrieve and they abuse her. Now, this man had travelled all the way from the mountains of Ephraim to Bethlehem and was on his way back for this woman. He loves her and the story says as much. But he chose to give her up for this abuse to appease the demonic influence in the town.
In the morning, he returns home with her and sends a gruesome message to all the tribes of Israel to discuss share in the outrage over what had happened at Gibeah. The tribes of Israel confer together and decide to camp against Benjamin at Gibeah to remove the evil from among them.
During this, they ask God if they should go out against them and they choose to camp outside Gibeah. For two days they receive the answer that they should and for two days they are massively defeated. On the third day, God gives them the same answer – they did not lose faith in God’s plan to fight though they had many casualties and early defeats.
On this third day, God says that they should go out and that God will give them into their hands. Again, they go out and they start to be defeated. But this time, instead of staying on the same battlefield they draw Benjamin out from their fortified city of Gibeah and bring them to the highways (the Bible talks often about following the ancient paths, the high ways – this is a metaphor for the ways of God but they were also physical places). When they drew them out, and Benjamin decided to follow them believing they had the final defeat in their hands, God slayed the army of Benjamin at the highway.
The Point of the Story
I was perplexed at first but I felt that God was saying that we need to stop fighting the demonic forces of this world on their own turf, where they are most comfortable, and draw them out away from their fortified cities and towns through following the ancient paths ourselves. We will seem most vulnerable to them at that point, their pride will draw them out to the position they believe is most vulnerable and in that moment, God will defeat the forces in battle.
What does this mean in terms of application to our day-to-day?
Most of us believe that we should be fighting the evil of this world within the systems of this world. We build businesses, non-profits, take jobs in government, participate in the day-to-day workings of the system and we believe that in this, if we are light in this system that God will reach hearts.
It is true that God can and has reached the hearts and minds of people in this manner. But the real truth is that we have lost many more casualties to the world’s way of thinking through this than we have gained those who see God’s way as an alternative.
When we choose to be a part of this world’s system, we are saying that it has legitimacy and others should believe that it has legitimacy as well. The truth of the matter is that Jesus said that ALL authority had been given to him in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18) and therefore there is no legitimate system of this world that has any authority over Him.
We need to be separated. We need to follow the ancient paths. We need to claim that God is our king – not just on Sundays at church, or while you’re doing your worldly job, or some other thing that is a part of this system – we need to become completely separate. We need to make ourselves completely vulnerable and allow God to truly provide for us and use this as bait to draw the demonic influences to that vulnerability. When they see it, they will attack because their pride will not allow them to stop from taking more power they cannot be satiated unless they have done evil (Proverbs 4:16).
In this, God will not only prove to you the truth of His Word that He will provide for your every need, but He will also slay the dragon and prove the direct alternative to the rest of the world as a testimony to His power. Babylon will fall when this takes place as well. Not by our strength but by His. We say that God gets all the glory, but does He really? How is he glorified by simply watching His people remain enslaved to a system that He did not create nor does He want for His children simply so that they can scrape by?
The answers are not in fixing this world’s system. The answer is in allow God to remove the necessity of this world’s system by believing the Word of Truth and living it.
Here is what you’ll hear next from those who want to steal this word from you. “Jesus was a carpenter and since he worked, I need to too.” This is a lie. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus was a carpenter. It says that he was a carpenter’s son on earth.
In fact, there is no record of Jesus doing any what we would call traditional work anywhere in the Bible. He says himself that all He did was what His father showed him to do (John 5:19-21). What about his disciples they were fishermen. Yes, they were before they became disciples of Jesus. Then they laid down their nets and allowed God to provide for them.
Repent – change your mind. Let the Word of Truth actually convince you of the Truth and live according to it. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.