Judges 3:1-4 … to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; … And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
Why would God give them victory as promised over all of their enemies and yet leave some enemies in the land? The answer is given in the above mentioned text.
The enemies were given to prove or test Israel. God’s people needed to learn about war. Living where there are no enemies and no war could easily lull one into complacency and spiritual laziness. There needed to be the opportunity to disobey to prove the obedience.
Today you are saved totally by grace. Sin has no more dominion or power over you. Romans 6:14. You are a new creature, old things have passed away and behold all things are made new. 2Corinthians 5:17.
So why is there so much temptation? Why doesnâ€™t God take away the very desire to sin? Why do we still see so much in front of us every day that would cause us to doubt God, His Word, and our desire to serve Him?
I believe the answer is in this passage of Scripture. For our faith to be strong it must be tested. So God allows many things to happen to prove to us that we have truly placed our faith and trust in Him. It is easy to say you believe until the testing comes. But if after the test your faith comes forth as gold it will cause great glory for God and His kingdom.
Secondly, too much of the Bible talks of spiritual warfare. We are told to put on our armor. Ephesians 6:11-17. We are told to fight the good fight. 1Timothy 6:12. We are to endure hardness as good soldiers and not to be entangled in the affairs of this life. 2Timothy 2:3-4.
Thirdly, we need to stand the test of temptation to say that we love God and His word more than we love other things that this world can offer us.
Now let’s make a practical application. You are not of this world but you are still in this world. John 17:15-16, 1Corinthians 5:9-11. God wants you to choose of your own will to love Him and serve Him no matter what is going on around you. No matter what is offered you He wants you to choose Him and love Him. There is the test. Yes, there are lots of trees in the Garden of Eden. Will you go straight to the “one tree” that He told you not to eat of.
Secondly, we need to learn to stand and fight. Christianity is not for wimps. He is not for the sissy. It is not for the weak who can not control themselves. It is for the brave and strong. True Christianity is for the man of conviction that is willing to risk all for His love and faith. Stand and fight like a man.
Satan and the world do not believe in God or the Bible. They see it as a crutch for the weak. They want to bring you down to their level. It will help them feel better about themselves. They will feel far less condemned if you will simply give up what you believe and live “normal!”
So prove the truth, pass the test, show them that there is a higher calling. There is something worth living for besides what the world offers. The test is on. Will we today honor God in whatever we do?