3 He was followed by Jair of Gilead, who led [judged] Israel twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair. 5 When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.
Short refresher after Friday’s reader’s comments, addendum, and Mother’s Day weekend.
Last Thursday, after the death of Gideon, we read Israel once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Instead of a foreign people, one of their own, murderous Abimelek ruled Israel as a king as their punishment. Those who had initially made him king, the people of Shechem, turned on him and he killed them all. When Abimelek attacked another city a woman dropped a millstone on his head. So no one could say a woman killed him, he had his armor bearer kill him. After his death those who had been supporting him all went home.
56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal [Gideon] came on them.
Then God raised up another man to be the Judge of Israel and they had peace once again, this time for 23 years.
1 After the time of Abimelek, a man of Issachar named Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 He judged Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.
If events were to follow past patterns we would read next, Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Instead we have our verses of the day where Jair of Gilead led [judged] Israel twenty-two years. Between Jair and Tola Israel had 45 years of peace. However, after Jair’s death the pattern repeats itself.
6 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, 7 he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who that year shattered and crushed them. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites on the east side of the Jordan in Gilead, the land of the Amorites. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim; Israel was in great distress. 10 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.”
I want to stop here and ask if this sounds familiar in your own life or in the lives of loved ones or of people you know. You know what I mean, people (including each and every one of us) who follow God, who are thankful for all Jesus has done for us, then they (again including each and every one of us) drift away and start doing what is right in our own eyes. Showing an incredible arrogance as if we know better than God how we should live our lives. Then, when things eventually begin to go awry as they always do, we call on God to help us. to save us from our own folly, from our own sin, from our doing evil in the eyes of the Lord.
Here is the bottom line, He will save us if – and only if – in our heart of hearts we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior believing He died on the cross paying the ransom for our sins, died and rose again to ascend into heaven. And we repented of our sins in our heart of hearts then we are saved. However, if we are faking in any way shape or form our belief on what Jesus did and our repentance you are in grievous trouble. Here is what Jesus had to say about this.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Then Jesus went on to make His point even stronger saying
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Only you and God know the real condition of your heart. Make sure when Jesus looks into your heart when your last day comes that He already knows you and knows He is your Lord and Savior. Make sure.