This is The Encouraging Word, featuring the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilson, and today we talk about being Sleepless in Judah. Sleepless in Judah, that'll make sense in just a minute as Dr. Wilson opens God's Word together.
Just know that we are open the phone lines at 866-899-WORD to pray with you anytime, or meet us online at www.tewonline.org. Now, Dr. Wilson. Alright, let me put this all together.
You ready? Here we go. Jesus comes in the clouds at a time that only God knows. All believers are taken up into the air to join with all believers who are already with Him. All unbelievers now have to be subject to the unholy trinity. So who is the unholy trinity? If the holy trinity is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the unholy trinity is the devil, that old serpent, Satan himself. Number two, the man of lawlessness, 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, Revelation chapter 13, known as the Beast, will be revealed.
And number three, the false prophet, the other beast. When we come to study the book of Daniel, it is very important that we understand that Daniel is based upon the consequences of what has already been. We cannot just plunge ourselves into a study, a definitive study of prophecy without understanding where we've come from and why God is doing what God is doing. If we don't understand why God allows some things to happen, we're going to have an awful time trying to understand God.
I think then the question why becomes most pertinent does it not? Why would God punish the Israelites like this? Why would God allow a wicked king like Nebuchadnezzar to invade their land? Why would God allow Jehoiakim to be such a useless king of Judah? Why would God punish people like this? How does it make sense?
After all, God is a God of love. And you'll remember that last week we went back into the Abrahamic covenant and we moved through Ishmael and Isaac. We looked at the promise of a son and land of slavery, of reward and deliverance and fulfillment in the Old Testament. We tried to understand Jacob and his twelve sons, the twelve tribes of Israel, and how that Joseph was delivered into slavery but God had a plan for him.
How that he found himself in Potiphar's house and interpreting the dreams that that had come about. You'll remember how we found ourselves in the heartbeat of God's servant Moses. Three forties evenly divided 40 years in Pharaoh's court, 40 years in the wilderness according to Acts chapter 7 and verse 25. Why 40 years in the wilderness? Most of us believe that Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness after 40 years in Pharaoh's court just because God wanted to train him and prepare him. That's true. That was 40 years of unbelievable seminary training.
No question about it. But I'm also going to say to you that we must not forget that he spent 40 years in the wilderness because according to Acts chapter 7 and verse 25, Moses took the life of an Egyptian trying to carry out the will of God according to the way he wanted to do it and not according to the way God wanted to do it. So his 40 years wandering around getting prepared to lead the children out of out of bondage was not just God's training for him but it was God's punishment on him. If we don't understand that we're not going to understand why God would deliver the children of Israel from bondage after 400 years, march them across the Dead Sea, do all these unbelievable things and then sentence them to another 40 years of wandering around the wilderness.
How do these things make sense? And besides, didn't I read somewhere that the children of Israel were God's chosen people? Why would God do this to his chosen people? And so we find ourselves with Moses camped outside the fortress looking across the river to the Promised Land and yet God said to his servant Moses, Moses you brought them this far but you are not going to go into the Promised Land. Why would God do that? This is Moses God's choice servant. How could God take a man so far?
How could he place a wonderful delicious bowl of chocolate ice cream in front of him and then tell him that he is prohibited from eating it? Well because Moses was a product of his past. He sinned against God. God doesn't tolerate sin.
God punishes sinners. And so we find that Joshua's raised up. This is the same man who camped outside the walls of Jericho was the one who made that proverbial pronouncement that is ricocheted across the world from one corner to the other. Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. And so it is that the children of Israel began to sin.
They sinned grievously against God even though they were delivered into the Promised Land. And so what do we have? We move through the period of the judges in the Bible. We find ourselves plunged into over 300 years of darkness.
Why? Because God's people chose to disobey God and they gave themselves up to idolatry which means that they put everything and everyone else ahead of their sense of worship and of their prioritizing of God. And so the last of the judges appears on the scene. Samuel. You'll remember in 1st Samuel chapter 8 and I want to read to you 1st Samuel chapter 8 if you'd like to turn there. 1st Samuel chapter 8. Here's what the Bible says.
Very important to understand Daniel. 1st Samuel chapter 8. When Samuel grew old he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. Verse 3. But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. Have you ever been in a family where mom and dad loved the Lord but sons and daughters don't?
You've got a case of that right here. Here was Samuel. Remember Samuel. Speak Lord for thy servant heareth. He has a man that God has placed his hand upon him and he has sons and the Bible says they turned aside to dishonest gain they accepted bribes and they perverted justice. So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and they said to him you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways.
Here it is. Now appoint a king to lead us such as all the other nations have done. Now folks watch me. God commands us never to demand of him that we become like everybody else.
Young people a word. God demands of those of us who love the Lord that we never demand of him that we become like everybody else. God says listen because you are my chosen and because you belong to me you not only are going to be different but you must be different. Well here's our lesson and we're going to find this all coming to a climactic expression in the book of Daniel. You see the Israelites these were the elders of Israel.
This was the Diaconate. These were the pastors and the preachers. These were the Levites.
These were the spiritual men of wisdom gathered together and they said listen we're going to blame your sons for what is happening. What we want now is we don't want to have God's people to rule over us. We want to have a king just like all the pagan lands. That was not part of God's plan.
Let me show you verse 6. But when they said give us a king to lead us this displeased Samuel so he prayed to the Lord and the Lord told him listen to all that the people are saying to you. It is not you they have rejected but they have rejected me as their king. Who was king of Israel?
God. And here were the chosen people of Israel once again they were turning their thoughts away from God and they were saying listen we want a king just like all the pagan lands. God said that's not part of my plan. Samuel who was a godly man fell upon his face before God and he said oh God these people are rejecting my counsel. God said hold on Samuel they're not rejecting your counsel they're rejecting me.
It's amazing how God has a way of putting certain things into the right perspective. And the Lord told him in verse 7 listen to all that the people are saying to you it is not you they have rejected but they have rejected me as their king. Verse 8 as they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day forsaking me and serving other gods so they are doing to you. Now listen to them but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do. What is Daniel chapter 1 and verse 1 say?
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah Nebuchadnezzar came in and paralyzed pummeled and pulverized the nation of Israel. What did God say back in the time of the judges? God said listen you don't want to do things my way I want you to know that I'm God I'm Jehovah I'm Jehovah Jireh I'm the king of kings and the Lord of Lords and if you demand that you need to conform to the standards of all those around me and you're not willing to be different I want you to know that I'm going to give you a king and I'm going to show you what will be done as a result of your demand. Folks I don't have any definitive basis upon which to make the statement but I'm convinced today that somewhere deep down in the heart of a God that loves us not because Americans are any different I cannot help but wonder in my heart that the nation of America makes demands for certain type of leadership God says I'll give you that leadership and I'll show you what will happen as a result of what you want. It's amazing how popular the polls have become. Let the people speak even in America today my beloved friends there is such incredible confusion.
This country is not a democracy we are a constitutional republic but I will guarantee you beloved friends that this nation that has been founded and grounded upon the Word of God that the people of this Republic are so bent on this word democracy that they cannot differentiate between the principles and the precepts upon which we stand and so the people demand and God says I have founded you upon my principles and precepts I will give you what you want but you'll live with the consequences. Please forgive the interruption we will be diving right back into 1st Kings chapter 11 in just a moment but Dr. Wilton insists I interrupt when we're getting connected on podcasts and radio and things like this where there's not a visual opportunity we want to make sure you know we're here for you. It's like the phone number on the screen when you're watching us on TBN or Daystar. We want you to know this is not just a presentation it's a conversation and if the Lord has stirred your heart let us respond with that either put resources in your hands it'll help you grow or perhaps just pray you through the next whatever that might be. We stand ready to connect at 866-899-WORD that's 866-899-9673 any time day or night to talk or listen or pray or connect with great resources or we can do that as well on our website at www.tewonline.org that's www.tewonline.org. Now back to today's message Sleepless in Judah with Dr. Don Wilton. It has become rather significant to me as I begin to study prophecy. It concerns me deeply when I hear politicians from the top down saying let's put these things behind us and now let's get on with the people's business. The people put us here and we are now called to administer the business of the people.
I have a question to ask. In a nation that is founded upon God is not the primary business of the people. Morality. Is there a suggestion in America today that morality, principles and spiritual well-being is not the business of a nation founded under God?
What do you mean? We need to now get on with the business of the people. It seems to me remarkable that here during these times that the Israelites demanded of God that they should have a king and so the kings began to arrive. First of all there was Saul from the tribe of Benjamin according to 1st Samuel chapter 9. Then there was David blessed of God who sinned grievously in the sight of God who committed adultery but was forgiven of God. Then there was Solomon. Oh Solomon, Solomon, Solomon started so well but his wives turned him away from God and into idolatry. Look with me very quickly at 1st Kings chapter 11. You've got to understand this in order to understand Daniel. 1st Kings chapter 11 and verse 1.
Now this is a staggering statement folks. If ever there's a statement for monogamous relationships we're going to find it here in 1st Kings. Remember now the people demanded a king. God said I'll give him a king but I'll show you what will happen when you get what you want. And so we have Saul, then we have David, then we have Solomon who started well. Solomon pleased God but look at verse chapter 11 of 1st Kings.
King Solomon however loved many foreign women beside Pharaoh's daughter and he lists them. Verse 2, they were from nations. Are you ready for this? Are you ready for this? Very important folks don't miss this.
Don't miss this. Listen, they were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites. You must not intermarry with them because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods. Nevertheless Solomon held fast to them in love. This was quite a man here folks. Look at verse 3. He had 700 wives.
No wonder he looked tired all the time. He had 700 wives of royal birth. He had 300 concubines.
Wait a minute, here it is. And his wives led him astray. Why? Because they were wives? No, because they were from foreign lands and their allegiance were to foreign gods. They didn't believe in God Jehovah. Young people just a word here.
I'm going to guarantee you something. You marry someone who doesn't love the Lord Jesus Christ and the chances are that you are going to be led astray. You'll become one of those statistics.
People say, boy remember that young person. How they used to live for the Lord and now they know where. There is no one who will drag you down quicker spiritually than an ungodly spouse. Don't do it. It's why the Bible says thou shalt not be unequally yoked.
Simple as that. We're coming back to this point. Young people you come and ask me to marry you. The first thing I'm going to ask you and your boyfriend or your girlfriend or fiancee, I'm going to talk to you about the Lord before we discuss anything about weddings because I don't want to part to myself in what God's Word says we need to watch out for and I've seen too many ruined lives.
Now folks I may become unpopular with some parents because I refuse to marry their sons and daughters but I'm not going to do it. We're going to talk about spiritual things. We got to base what we do on what the Word of God teaches us.
By the way there is hope. Listen to what the Bible says in verse 4. As Solomon grew old his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God as the heart of David his father had been.
And then we have a listing. I wish I had time to do an exegesis of this brother Steve. Then we have a listing of the specific nature of the gods.
He followed Ashtoreth. The goddess of the Sidonites and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord. He did not follow the Lord completely as David his father had done. Remember Daniel chapter 1 and verse 1. In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came in plundered them invade them pulverized them took away and destroyed their temple carried off all the holy things from the temple of God and carried them off into the temple of his gods. Then he went out according to decree and he chose for himself young men from the nation of Judah and he found for himself four by the name of Daniel and he found for himself Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego.
Why? Because he wanted them to become likened unto the foreign gods. The plot thickens.
The plot thickens. Therefore God became angry. He divided their kingdom in chapter 11 verse 9. The Lord became angry this is 1st Kings chapter 11 verse 9 with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord the God of Israel who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods Solomon did not keep the Lord's command. So the Lord said to Solomon since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees which I commanded you I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Folks this is where we have the divided kingdom. God intervening and so you have the raising up of Rehoboam very cruel in the southern kingdom with the capital of Jerusalem. You have the raising up of Jeroboam in the northern kingdom with these capital at Damascus. The Bible tells us about that and into all of this there come three powers who begin to vie for control and for authority. You get Egypt in the south you get Assyria in the north and you get Babylon in the east.
Poor Israel. God had warned them repeatedly about associating with godless nations. Deuteronomy and I must just read this to you and then I'm going to move on to chapter 2. Deuteronomy chapter 17. Turn there quickly. Deuteronomy chapter 17 and verse 14.
Listen. When you enter the land your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it and you say let us set a king over us like all the nations around us be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. Remember the difference between God's divine will and God's permissive will? Remember God is now allowing the appointment of a king? That's God's permissive will. What is the function of God's permissive will? God allows certain things to happen in order to get us to do his divine will.
May I put this into modern day terminology? God sometimes allows us to take a major detour in order to get back on the right track. Listen to what happens. In verse 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers.
Do not place a foreigner over you who is not a brother Israelite. The king etc etc. Look at verse 18.
Very important. When he takes the throne of his kingdom he is to write for himself. Couldn't call any scribes any secretaries.
He had to do this himself. This is an instruction that God gives based upon his permissive will related to the divine appointment of a king to rule over Israel. This king is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law taken from that of the priests who are Levites.
It is to be with him and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. Oh there's so much more great Bible teaching to come and we'll pick up where we left off right at the same time tomorrow with Dr. Don Wilton but before we get away perhaps the most important words from our pastor are coming up next. God has spoken to you hasn't he and you ready to give your heart to Jesus.
I'd love to help you right now. Would you pray this prayer with me and accept Jesus into your heart and life. Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that Jesus loves me and died for me on the cross. Right now I repent of my sin and I confess my sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come into my heart and save me today and forgive me for myself in Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. If you've prayed that prayer we'd love to get alongside of you and celebrate with you and send you some literature and help you as you begin to grow and I want you to know that I love you very very much and by the way don't leave don't go away whatever you do is I'll be right back. If you've given your heart to Jesus you need to let someone know and how about letting us know let us put some great resources in your hands free resources as you begin your life walking with Christ in a fresh new way.
You can call us at 866-899-WORD that's 866-899-9673 or meet us online at www.tewonline.org that's www.tewonline.org. Also a great place to discover what it means to be an encourager. Hello my friends I want to speak to you personally today from my heart to yours.
I don't think there is ever a better or more important time for us to respond to our world by standing up for righteousness. Now with this in mind I would like to invite you to become an encourager ministry partner. You see together we can impact lives both now and for all time and all eternity. The encouraging word is a viewer and listener supported ministry and to know that you are standing with me financially enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God has called me to do. So please call the number and just simply say I want to become an encourager.
Thank you so much for helping me. That number again is 866-899-9673 or meet us online at www.tewonline.org Preacher Wilton thank you for your prayers and your messages throughout the world. I have always enjoyed your words and how you break it down and explain it so I know exactly what you're saying. I was brought up as a child going to church and was saved and baptized at a camp at a church in North Carolina. I have never faithfully given my tithes on a regular basis but I prayed about it and I feel that I got an answer from God when I got your letter about contributing to the encouraging word. I feel like it would help me to know that I was helping to spread the Word of God in Jesus Christ throughout the world. Thank you for this opportunity. God bless you, Dr. Wilton, and your work.
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