Thursday August 12th, 2010
Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
Bashan was a kingdom that existed in the mountains east of the Jordan. It was famous for it’s oaks and for the giants who lived there. Og was their king. When Israel was in the wilderness and getting closer to the promise land, Og decided to march out against them. He lost. Bashan is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. Almost every time it is listed, it is referring to the victory of the Lord over them. This verse is one of the few metaphorical mentions. The other metaphorical mentions talk of bringing Israel back to Israel (It was settled by Manasseh after the victory as one of the tribes east of the Jordan) and as a hiding place for the enemies of God (my guess is that they are going to hide there and ask the rocks to fall on them). As a territory east of the Jordan, it also represents a compromise in the Word of God, which instructed the Israelites to claim the territory west of the Jordan. It surprises me that God sometimes honors our compromises. He lets us get away with disobedience for a time, but eventually, we will realize that the compromises we make weaken us and comes against us in the end. The tribes east of the Jordan were the first ones conquered when the Assyrians attacked. In fact, they were often the battle ground against the Assyrians. Even though we may get away with compromise in out lives today, we shouldn’t be fooled. We never get away with only partly following the Word of God. He may not strike us down right away like He did to Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 15) He may let us live there for generations like He did to Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben. (who all staked their territory on the East side of the Jordan) but if we compromise and settle for good enough, we will never see great. We will always struggle to maintain good enough. Those who live closest to the edge are the most endanger of falling off.
Consider you are in a river. Your boat has sunk, and you found a branch to hold onto. You can flop yourself on the branch so you are no longer sinking. Who, in that situation, would think that is good enough? You would only cling to the branch until an opportunity comes that you can make it to shore. But some people in this world think that whatever they have with God is good enough. They’ll just float down the river of life a little longer hanging onto the floating brach they found. What they don’t know is that there is a waterfall down river. What they don’t notice is that the current is quickening. What they don’t realize is that a branch, separated from the rest of the tree, will not save them. It is as if they are only interested in winning the battle against Bashon, and not the war. The inhabitants of the Holy Land were never fully driven out. This mistake has hurt Israel again and again. What compromises in your life will hurt you if left as they are? We all have some housecleaning to do. Get rid of it, before it grows and bites you. It always starts as a small temptation that you think you can handle, but it grows. Check out James 1:14-15.