Good friends are hard to find and valuable. Good-time friends are many and worthless. July 4, 2010
Judges 12 1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. This is the same tribe that accused Gideon of the same thing. Gideon, a man of peace , appeased them. Jephthah will not .
Too many people are almost perpetually angry , Ready to take offence and accuse . We are God's kids and we should have His Nature . God is love and peace and joy. He is patient and kind.
James 1 19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God . God tells us to be swift to hear: listen and understand . That applies to many things in life: Too often we think we know what another is saying, when we do not .
James 1:19b Be slow to speak. Until we fully understand what another is saying, We can not respond wisely . Love is not rude, and it is rude to interrupt . He does not want to hear another point of view. He is afraid that he might be wrong. One who interrupts in a discussion is afraid that he might hear something convincing.
James 1:19c Be slow to wrath. Proverbs 14 29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. A wise man is not easily angered, irritated, exasperated, or aggravated. He has the Peace of God produced in Him by the Holy Spirit, and can be at peace with people.
James 1:20 The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. What need we have to watch and pray against evil tempers! May the Lord incline all His people to follow after things which make for peace! Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary. The Ephraimites were an angry people , and they will pay a great price for that anger.
2 And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. 3 And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? When I really needed you, I called. You didn't come .
They wanted in on the victory , But didn't want to fight the hard battle. People come in good times. Battle gets hard, they go. Too often true in churches
Cause no, no, nobody knows you When you're down and out. In your pocket, not one penny, And as for friends, you don't have any. When you finally get back up on your feet again, Everybody wants to be your old long-lost friend. Said it's mighty strange, without a doubt, Nobody knows you when you're down and out. www.lyrics007.com/Eric Clapton Lyrics/Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out Lyrics.html
4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites. (NIV) 4 … "You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh." Insults are not acts of love; they are hateful and mean and of no value. Sometimes they get you hurt .
5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so , that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; 6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand .
Proverbs 13 10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Godly humility does not create strife. Humility will listen to another point of view. Humility will concede that "I may be wrong." Humility will hold its tongue when it should. And when humility speaks, it speaks Truth in love. The Ephraimites should have said, " We were wrong not to have come when you called; please forgive us .
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. A short and violent rule! This was not a time of peace and prosperity. I misspoke last week and said three years.
8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem. The NIV translated abroad to be "Outside his clan." He used his large family to form alliances with other tribes. Good allies are a blessing in time of trouble.
11 And after him Elon , a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. 12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. 13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. 14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. 15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.
Primary lesson this morning: Good friends are hard to find, and very valuable. Good-time friends are easy to find, and worthless. The Ephraimites wanted to be good-time friends to Jephthah, but were rejected. They got mad, hurled insults, and 42,000 died.
Proverbs 17 17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 18 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.