Sunday, January 29, 2017

Joshua 18

Read Joshua 18 to find out more about Shiloh and the tribe of Benjamin's allotted land.

Sitting in church every Sunday doesn't make you righteous.  Speaking behind the pulpit doesn't make you godly.  Professing your love for Jesus doesn't reveal if He's actually in your heart or not.  The Benjamite people of Gibeah were located close to the tabernacle, but they still chose to do very evil things.

What I find interesting about Shiloh is its close proximity to the tribe of Benjamin's lot.  Shiloh is where the traveling tabernacle was finally set up.  This is where a home for the Lord's dwelling place was made.  How cool for the Benjamite people to get to live so close to God's house!  They were probably first to hear of amazing things that went on in the tabernacle.  People taking pilgrimage to Shiloh for feasts and sacrifices probably did a lot of business with the tribe of Benjamin.  Travelers might have even been hosted in local homes come nightfall for safety and warmth.  What a wonderful opportunity for the Benjamites to fellowship with the pilgrims who were seeking closeness with God.

So why did the tribe of Benjamin get nearly wiped out (Judges 20) even though they were able to see, discuss, and serve the Lord so easily?

The enemy can still talk to God.  We know that Satan has limited access to Heaven (Job 1:6).  Lucifer himself, once lived with and served the Lord.  The Benjamites lived close to the tabernacle or the Lord's dwelling place, yet despite knowing of its demise, their town of Gibeah later mirrored Sodom's evil actions.

It doesn't matter if someone has been on the receiving end of the Lord's blessings (rain falls on the just and the unjust), they serve in church, and claim to be God's child: this doesn't reveal what's in their heart.  Wherever there are sheep, the enemy will send out wolves in sheep's clothing.  Evil people pretend to be good all the time.  They might have served alongside you or hosted a Bible study or led you in worship.  But wolves aren't there for righteous reasons.  The devil's pawns are there to try to infiltrate, ruin your witness, cause chaos, draw you away from righteousness, and away from the Lord's protection (Matthew 7:21-23).

The Bible tells us "...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 6:7 NASB)  Don't let your guard down just because his dad is a preacher, or he always goes to Sunday and Wednesday service, or he feeds the homeless.  If you're supposed to have anything to do with this person, let the Lord lead you.  Remember, "even Satan masquerades himself as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)

We must use this as a reminder to walk circumspectly around EVERYONE.  If you're single and that interested person says they love the Lord, make sure you look for spiritual fruit.  When it comes to business,  even though they have the Jesus fish emblem on their card, make sure you check in with God before you shake hands.  Do not place that worship leader/pastor/elder up in an elevated position to derail God's plans for you.  Looking godly doesn't mean someone has Jesus in their heart.  Like Lucifer, the Benjamites lived in close proximity to the Lord, yet they still rebelled.

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