Cousin Versus Cousin

“And the men of E’phra-im gathered themselves
together, and went northward, and said unto
Jeph’thah, 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.”  Judges 12:1.

Some of the bloodiest wars and conflicts have involved relatives who hated each other with a deep vengeance. It was World War I that the czars of Russia’s family and the German king’s group were in fact blood related. The British throne had its back ground in Germany.

The Thirty Years War in Europe family against their own kind. It was there that the separation was between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics.

During two of our upheavals in the United States there were two well-known separations of families. Our own Revolutionary War saw this happen. In fact, Benjamin Franklin, the patriot, had a son who was a British convert. These two never saw each other again once the Revolution began. It was said one third of the people were for the colonists, one third was for the British, and the other one third did not care who won. It was relative against relative.

The next example of relative against relative, was in the Lincoln War.  It is now known as the Civil War, and was especially true in the border states of Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia. I have read that Abraham Lincoln’s wife had relatives who were in the Confederate Army. Their names I do not know but I suspect their last name was Todd. She was originally from the Lexington, Kentucky area.

During WWII England had many British spies who worked for the Nazi organization. It was not a solid front against Hitler’s Germany.

During the western Indian wars when the United States was stealing land and water from the plain Indians they hired red men to scout out against their own people. Every nation has its own traitors within it. In fact, loyalty is only a word that very few people possess.

Loyalty is a word which few men are able to hold and maintain. Generally, loyalty is applied when there is some advantage to the person who claims loyalty.

The church is a primary example of people who fuss and fight among themselves. It seems that the Baptist and Church of Christ groups are notorious for dividing. Often Protestants groups are the Roman Catholics – who are not a solid group. This is so! In many places they cannot agree on economics and social orders. Some are liberals and some are conservatives.

In the year 2016, the Republican party has become an example of a division. 16 or 17 candidates raised their hand and publicly said they would support the Republican nominee. That was a lie. Some hate Donald Trump and he will not receive their vote.

The riots of the summer of 2016 are proof that blacks will strike out against other blacks. It is mainly black young people who are on welfare that cause the trouble.

The Bible has many examples when rebellion has sprung up among the twelve tribes.


WORDS BEFORE BATTLE

One characteristic is that before there is war – there are words. Sometimes, the remarks cannot be understood but if you have a trained eye then you know what is about to happen.

Smart people will take note what has been said and what is being spoken. In today’s world cyber warfare is absolutely essential for survival.

The book of Proverbs which is basically concerning business tells the reader to choose closely your words. In Proverbs 1:1-3, it states what to seek.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king
of Israel;
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive
the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and
judgment, and equity.”

We know that Jesus mixed among people who were happy at certain times; but this was not his major strength. In fact, He was very serious-minded when the time came for a comment about a given subject. The Son of God would give answers to various remarks made by others. This man from God used several techniques. One was to ask a question to seek a response. You asked Jesus a question; and He would respond with a question.

In Matthew 22:17-20, it is one example of this method.

“Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful
to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said,
Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Shew me the tribute money, and they brought
Unto him a penny.
And he saith unto them, whose is this image and
superscription?”

These two methods are illustrations of how the Good Master started a conversation with people around him.

In this day and time, we are surrounded by word sounds that have no meaning. The following are some examples of the emptiness of thought:

Songs that repeat words again and again,
• Preachers who have no substance to their sermons,
• Politicians who lie to their constituents,
• No capacity to learn in school – only test emphasis,
• Promise we will perform a certain act,
• Patriotic remarks that are false, and
• Disrespect of moral values.
Later on after Jephthah the prophet Isaiah in 9:17, said this:

“Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young
men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless
and widows: for everyone is an hypocrite and an
evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this
his anger is not turned away, but his hand is
stretched out still.”
The point must be brought up that words have little or no meaning among the average person. It has been my habit in recent years to listen very briefly and then, shortly thereafter –  leave the area very quickly. To listen to these people is a waste of time: their words only clutters my mind.

 

SECOND BATTLE

In chapter II of Judges, we are told how Jephthah fought and conquered the evil forces of Ammon. The shout of victory was short lived because among his cousins, the tribe of Ephraim, there was criticism.

We should remember Ephraim was not of the original tribe of Jacob – but was a child of Joseph.

The men of Ephraim came to Jephthah and they made an accusation that they had not been called to help in the fight. It would seem these men of Ephraim came to Jephthah to cause trouble as set out in 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.”
There are certain people who enjoy causing conflict among others. Notice the threat stated by these men to Jephthah to burn his home.

This outcast answered them in a truthful way. They had been called but no answer came from this tribe. No response. Read this in Judges 12:2.

“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.”

When others will not help in God’s work then there is only one thing to do. We must ourselves act. This is what Jephthah did according to Judges 12:3.

“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?”
The fight was on. Jephthah saw that the talk was of no value now because all the people of Ephraim wanted to do was criticize the men who fought to save the nation of Israel. From one tribe their view was absurd. Because now the men of Gilead were boxed into a corner. The question arose, what evil men would do this to their military savior?

The answer is simply that they were: Evil!  Demonic!  Even though they were the Jews that gave them their freedom.

Now Jephthah began to make war from what Judges 12:4, sets out for us to read.

“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.”

The Jordan River was wider then than now so when Gilead took the fords or breakers the advantage became for Jephthah’s men. In fact, the men of Ephraim were at a disadvantage because when asked to pronounce a special word it became impossible. This clearly is set out in Judges 12:5-6.

“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:
then they said 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 the Ephraimites forty and
two thousand.”

The slaughter was catastrophic for Gilead. 42,000 men died because their leader stupidly made a poor choice of words.

This is an illustration why we should be slow to speak in every given situation. Talk is cheap. Words can bring about results that we would rather not know about. As we look around it can be quickly observed words will show weakness.

In our day and time Hillary Clinton is a congenital liar. Her husband was nearly removed from the Presidency because the truth was the opposite of what he said. Hillary Clinton’s former boss, the muslim-leaning socialist, Obama – struggles to tell the truth. Maybe it is not a struggle; but it is a way of life for both of them to lie.
CONCLUSION

Here are some for you to consider.

1. Keep your words to a minimum,
2. Keep your options to yourself,
3. Be willing to make war when the situation demands,
4. Be willing to confront evil when it charges you, and
5. It is through strength and will that evil can be met.

His passage should teach us some very critical ideas that God instructs us to follow.

KEEP THE FAITH!

LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS

“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning,
safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.”

 

 

GERALD K. FUGIT
DiggingOldWells.com
September 25, 2016

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