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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Recovery of Spiritual Power #1   T. Austin Sparks

Started Sep-13 by PAULFROMNYS; 139 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-13

   

The Recovery of Spiritual Power

by T. Austin-Sparks

 

Chapter 1 - A New Apprehension of the Cross

 

 

What we have particularly before us in this connection is the book of Judges. We have sometimes thought this book the most tragic book in the whole of the Bible. I am not quite sure whether that is so. Perhaps Malachi is not far off, but certainly Judges is one of the most tragic books in the whole of the Bible. It is the book of failure and utter weakness.

In the book we have the content of which is perhaps the fullest unveiling and presentation of spiritual weakness in all the Scriptures and we are going to learn the secret of spiritual power by looking at this book of weakness, to see the causes of the weakness. You know that the book is spread over a very considerable period of history. It represents three hundred years of the life of the people of God. Three hundred years which, but for the few breakings in of the Lord in mercy (which are bright patches in the dark story), were years of the most pathetic condition spiritually, among the people of God. There are bright patches. We have eagerly laid hold upon them: Gideon, a beautiful thing, but all too short; Deborah, a great thing but not lasting long. Others, until you come to the greatest of the Judges, Samson. That brings you to the end and it speaks for itself.

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)

Sep-13

PAULFROMNYS said:

What we have particularly before us in this connection is the book of Judges.

This looks interesting having recently thoroughly studied the book of Judges, along with Joshua and Ruth with a lot of other saints. There is much light to be gleaned from the book of Judges. The last verse gives the tone of the book.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

No king means they would not have Jehovah as their King.

PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-14

   Fred:   No king means they would not have Jehovah as their King.

   Paul:  Every individual enthroned in their own GOD given lives.  The fruit of their separation from GOD drove them to GOD, but only for the needed deliverance, after which they continued acting independently/contrary to GOD.   All we like sheep is so clearly evident in Judges, as is GODs effort to make it plain to His own.  But this work was abandoned when Israel opted for a king as other nations.

In reply toRe: msg 1
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-14

   

The conditions in this book historically and literally are full of symbolic suggestiveness of spiritual meaning. I think we shall not stay to go through the book and note these conditions. We recognise that the one feature of the book is weakness and failure; starvation conditions existed. Poor Gideon! He is threshing wheat behind a wall in a corner. The food of the Lord's people having to be locked in, in a hidden place lest the eyes of the Midianites should light upon it and it should be taken away. The food question is certainly a very acute one.

The fighting force of the Lord's people was simply destroyed by the destruction on the part of the Philistines of the smithies, so that they should not make any weapons of war with which to fight. There was no fighting power in Israel and for the most part they were unable to offer any resistance to the prevailing conditions. There is weakness. Now, we want to know why; what is the cause of it? And of course you have the all-inclusive answer to that enquiry when you make what may seem to be quite a trite observation that Judges follows Joshua. This may not convey very much to you on the surface. What was Joshua? A people through Jordan with all the assurance that God could give them... they had nothing to fear, they had no reason to doubt, but before ever they got into the land, the heart of the Canaanites went out of them. The Lord was with them and He had given the land into their hands. All that was necessary on their part was to exercise triumphant faith and enter fully into His secured position, and on the strength of a thing already done, to dispossess every other inhabitant as a rival to the Lord and His people.

In reply toRe: msg 4
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-14

   

But one stipulation constantly reiterated was the governing feature and factor of that possession. It was that they were to utterly possess, and that they were to destroy all that was in the way of their possessing. That was the thing that the Lord made very clear to them, that they were to go on and on and as they went, to leave nothing remaining of that which was opposing to God. Destruction of all such was to be absolute, complete, final, and while they proceeded according to that stipulation, nothing would be able to stand in their way, God would continue to be with them and power would be their abiding possession and characteristic. That was Joshua, "Go in and go up and possess and utterly destroy all those nations."

Judges follows. Take it up at Judges 1:19: "The Lord was with Judah and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain, but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had chariots of iron". The Lord was with him just as far as He could be with him. The Lord is with us as far as He can be with us. Take the statements:

In reply toRe: msg 5
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-14

   

"He could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had chariots of iron" (1:19).

"And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem" (1:21).

"And Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-Shean" (1:27).

"They put the Canaanites to taskwork and did not utterly drive them out" (1:28).

"Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites" (1:29).

"Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho" (1:31).

"They did not drive them out" (1:32).

"Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants" (1:33).

"And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country" (1:34).

In reply toRe: msg 6
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-14

   

Nine times there is a statement that they did not, or could not, drive them out. That is the all-inclusive explanation of the book.

Why could they not drive them out? Not because it was divinely impossible, not because the Lord had not secured the land for them, not because the Lord's part of the contract had broken down, but if you read on you find that this first chapter is a summing up of chapters which follow. It is subsequent history brought together in a kind of summary and as you read on you find that these could not, which all speaks of weakness; the result of their having made compromise with the people in the land. They had come into a kind of standing amalgamation with them. They had ceased to regard them as such as were to be utterly destroyed and they thought that they might get the same thing by making compromise, and having made compromise in the land, and becoming weakened by their compromise, enemies from outside the land came upon them and the Philistines and others overpowered them.

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