Judges 1:19-36 – Don’t Get All Shocked by Trump – He is Us!

Posted: July 25, 2017 in 07-Judges
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Judges 1:19-36
Israel Fails to Fully Conquer the Land

A few days ago, I wrote a blog in which I wondered where all the great leaders have gone. The decay in leadership of our country over the past generation has led us down the path where in the most recent presidential election our choices were limited to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A few elections ago, we bemoaned our choice between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Back then, a lot of people called it the choice between the lesser of two evils. By 2016, we only wished that we could have had that choice compared to the real lesser of two evils, Trump vs. Clinton. The funny thing was that in this past election, particularly the Republicans, of which I am one, spent so much time trying to make Donald Trump a morally superior candidate to Clinton. They had to be very vociferous in this attempt. They were blasting all over Facebook about those who attempted to deride Trump. They would say that any dissent toward Trump would result in Clinton winning the White House. Any thought of voting third party would guarantee Clinton’s election. They were so afraid of a Clinton victory (and her liberal agenda, which of course frightened me as constitutional purist and Republican) and so enamored with the Trump mystique that they failed to see how completely amoral that Trump himself is. Trump’s ethics depend on the situation and what makes him look the best. His need for self-satisfaction is the whole reason that he ran for President to begin with. Trump has no external moral compass and will reverse position on any issue as long as it preserves the best possible image of himself. Trump, the dealmaker, will do, say, act whatever way that gets him the prize that he wants. I pray that he does not screw things up too badly while in office (which many people fear on both sides of the aisle) and I pray fervently that someone with principal will rise up in the Republican Party to take his place by 2020.

But the thing is, why it came to down to Trump as the “moral” alternative to Clinton. These two are simply the product of the society in which we live now. We are a nation that is descending into moral relativism and running away from God. We no longer are a nation that fears God. We are a nation of gods. Each one of us now determines what is right. Morality is a moving target. There are no moral absolutes. The reason that Trump is where he is today is that we glorify bullies. We may talk a good game about why bullying is wrong in schools but we elected Trump. We have glorified him since the 80s when we burst on the scene as a brash young real estate developer who made his fortune by bold moves and grabbing what he wanted based on the vagaries and loopholes in the tax system. He was bold, arrogant, and bragadocius. We loved him for it. We loved his arrogant bullying type of personality. Now in his seventies with all this adoration for his self-centered approach to life, we wonder why he is a person that would lie to your face to get what he wants. We wander why he is almost child-like his “I know you are but what am I” antics with those who disagree with him. He is simply a reflection of the society in which we live and we should be aghast at who we have become.

We have become a society that breeds Donald Trumps. We have become a society that is all about what I can get for myself. We have become a society where what I want is what I want and I have a right to my own way of doing things regardless of what that means for society. We have become a society that blockades the state of North Carolina for having the temerity to tell someone that they must use public restrooms that correspond with their God-designed and God-given sexual identity of birth. We have become a society that wants to change the nature of nature. We have become a society that says what has been morally wrong for eternity is now not wrong but rather that all of eternity was wrong. We are a society that produces teenagers that see that a man drowning is entertainment rather than a real person in need of assistance. We have become a nation that glorifies the objectification of women as sexual objects and then we wonder why our ten year old daughters dress like adult women going to a night club. We wonder why our children think now that having a baby out of wedlock is a badge of honor. Trump is not some aberration of society. The reason that Trump got elected is because Trump is us. We are Trump and he is us. He is the product of our state of society. Situational ethics, lack of moral absolutes, each of us being our gods and determining what is right and wrong for ourselves is who we are now.

It is that idea of how we became a country whose presidential election choices have hit an all time low back last here with the choice between Trump and Clinton and how Trump is simply the product of our times is what I thought of this morning when I read this passage. In this passage, we see that once Joshua passes on, the Israelites begin to descend in to a relativistic attitude of life. They no longer are concerned with obeying God but rather with what was easiest for them, whatever made them feel good:

19 The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron. 20 As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak. 21 The Benjamites, however, did not drive out the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites.

22 Now the tribes of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz), 24 the spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, “Show us how to get into the city and we will see that you are treated well.” 25 So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family. 26 He then went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day.

27 But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land. 28 When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely. 29 Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to live there among them. 30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or Nahalol, so these Canaanites lived among them, but Zebulun did subject them to forced labor. 31 Nor did Asher drive out those living in Akko or Sidon or Ahlab or Akzib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob. 32 The Asherites lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land because they did not drive them out. 33 Neither did Naphtali drive out those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for them. 34 The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain. 35 And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but when the power of the tribes of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor. 36 The boundary of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond.

In this passage, we see that tribe after tribe failed to drive the evil Canaanites from their land. Why didn’t they follow through and completely obey God’s commands? Reasons may have included:

• They had been fighting for a long time and were tired of war. Although the goal was in sight, they lacked the discipline and energy to reach it.
• They were afraid that the enemy was too strong
• After Joshua’s death, power and authority was decentralized to the various tribal leaders and the tribes were no long united and of a single purpose.
• Spiritual decay had infected them from within. They thought they could handle temptation and be more prosperous by doing business with rather annihilating the Canaanites.

We, too, often choose to tolerate sin rather than drive it out from our lives. We may know what to do but just don’t follow through. This state of affairs results in a gradual deterioration of our relationship with God. Victory comes from living according to His purpose and from being willing to fully obey Him.

So, we in America may want to complain about a man like Trump and Lord knows he is a doozy. He is about as morally bankrupt a man as we have ever had in the White House (and I say this as a person who believes in the fundamental ideas of the Republican Party). Trump makes Bill Clinton look like a boy scout. At least Slick Willie would spin his actions in the best possible light so as to align his actions with some sense of moral center. However, Trump just doesn’t care. He doesn’t know what a moral center is. He will do what he pleases and will denounce and detract those who do not get out of his way. The liberals that hate him are so much the same too. If you support Trump even in the slightest way, you are a bigot not to be listened to (think Samantha Bee and her nightly diatribes on her show on TBS – oh man I am so tired of her!). Trump and his detractors are all products of our society. We may hate Trump but he is what our society has become. There is no moral center to our nation anywhere and we are surprised and shocked when our choices for president are between two morally bankrupt candidates and we elect the one who shouted the loudest though saying nothing of value.

We must pray for our nation. We are becoming ancient Israel that descending into moral depravity and worshiping themselves and other gods rather than the one true God. We may look at the Bible and say we are a better nation than ancient Israel but we are headed down the same path.

I pray that our nation will return to God and that there will be revival in our nation. May we see that Donald Trump is not an aberration and that he is a reflection of who we have become and maybe awaken ourselves from our moral slumber. Maybe Trump is what we need to realize that our nation is adrift in self worship and needs to reclaim the moral absolutes of the Bible and realize that the Bible is not intended to hold us back. The Bible is there to reveal that God wants the best for us if we just obey Him. The Bible is there to let us know that we are not our own gods and evidence after evidence of every society is that when they turn from God that they ruin themselves.

May all believers pray for our nation to have new leaders rise up from among us and to provide the moral leadership that our country needs to lead us back to God. Then Trump will have served his purpose in God’s plan. To show us who we have become and we did not like what we saw in the mirror. May Trump chase our country back to God by his own ugliness that is a reflection of our own ugliness.

Amen and Amen.

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