Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"The Ambush"

Judges 20.29-30, 37, 42 Amplified Bible

So Israel set men in ambush round about Gibeah. And the Israelites went up against the Benjamites on the third day and set themselves in array against Gibeah as at other times.”

“And the men in ambush quickly rushed upon Gibeah, and the liers-in-wait moved out and smote all the city with the sword.”

“Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel and fled toward the wilderness, but the battle followed close behind and overtook them; and the inhabitants of the cities destroyed those [Benjamites] who came through them in their midst.”

Sin, sexual sin in particular, is very tricky business. It’s impossible to sin just a little, especially for any length of time. The devil’s strategy includes plans for your complete destruction. Don’t be fooled. Sexual addiction is a progressive problem... it always gets worse. You can be easily lulled into tolerating an acceptable level of sin only to discover there’s no such thing. You are quickly swept into the power of your enemy, engulfed by the flames of fire you meant only to touch.

The tribe of Benjamin had two military victories under its belt. This day would be no different. Benjamin fighters would chase and defeat the men of Israel as before. But this time Israel set an ambush. As Benjamite warriors left Gibeah to pursue fleeing Israelites, those in hiding sneaked into town and burned it to the ground. The smoke of their victory signaled Israel to turn on their attackers. Benjamin was caught in an ambush, surrounded on almost every side. Benjamin’s soldiers were out of options and “fled toward the wilderness” where they were slaughtered by more Israelites secretly waiting there for them.

Sin has a way of drawing us outside the protective walls of our inner city of conscience. While chasing our pleasures, something inside of us dies. We violate our integrity. We are no longer who we claim to be in Christ. We stray too far from home and get caught in a spiritual ambush between our sinful desires and the loss of self. We’re forced into the wilderness where we die at the hands of our souls’ enemy. The “wages of sin(Romans 6.23) and Satan’s plan are the very same thing... death!

There is another way. Stay put. Don’t be fooled by the temptations of the evil one. Never play with the fire of sexual sin. Refuse to be lured into open interaction with the enemy. That’s a set up for a spiritual ambush. There’s nothing for you out there. Press into Jesus. Stay close to center of His will. Avoid the boundaries of permissive behavoir. Don’t peer over the edge of holy living to imagine a life of sin. Flee immorality. Run to  Jesus. He’ll fight your battles for you.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord
will bring you today... The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14.13-14 NIV

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