You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Manasseh, [Manashsheh] Ephraim; ['Ephrayim] and
Ephraim, ['Ephrayim] Manasseh: [Manashsheh] and they together [yachad]
shall be against Judah. [Yahuwdah] For all this
his anger ['aph] is not turned away, [shuwb] but his hand [yad] is
stretched out still. [natah] KJV-Interlinear
devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, And together they are against Judah. In
spite of all this His anger does not turn away, And His hand is still stretched
Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph. They are brothers and related to each other more so than to the other tribes. Their territories shared a common boundary as they were neighbors and they helped each other in times of trouble throughout their history. They were the two principle tribes of Samaria.
But as described in the previous verse, their brotherly love will turn to brotherly strife, and their help for each other will turn to treachery and hatred.
And at the same time they will, even though they hate each other, unite against a common enemy, who is Judah.
The northern nation of Samaria was negative toward God and as such, their only reason for existence was due to their common resentment and hatred of Judah. This began when the whole nation of Israel split, shortly after Solomon.
Samaria continued in its anti-God attitude and was therefore sent punishment in the form of the Assyrian invasion under Tiglath Pileser. Only some of the outlying lands were taken, leaving the two principle tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, untouched.
The nation continued in its anti-Judah attitude and yet another invasion occurred from the combined attacks of Syria and the Philistines. This is mentioned in verse 11.
Samaria still continued in its hatred of Judah and yet another judgment was sent in the form of internal strife and anarchy, which we have just studied.
This led to the last and final judgment against Samaria, where they were invaded by Shalmaneser and Sargon. This resulted in the total obliteration of the nation as its entire population was either killed or enslaved and deported. Thus the end, the permanent end, of the northern nation of Samaria occurred, and it ceased to be a nation.
Israel received warning after warning and yet it disregarded God and the prophets that God sent.
And so this principle applies to both nations as well as individuals. Ignore God and you can expect punishments. Light ones at first and then more and more with heavier and heavier consequences until God finally removes you altogether.
But so long as you are still here, then you have the opportunity to change. But that has to come from your own decision to change and then actually do it, and then actually keep on that path of change, lest you drift back into your spiritual faults and the judgments resume.
All anti-God, anti-truth, anti-Christ, anti-spiritual attitude, anti-Gods mandates attitudes are a form of arrogance and evil pride. They have no strength in themselves and their only accomplishment is in their being crushed to oblivion.
All of your difficulties in this life, assuming that you are an unbeliever, are designed for one thing and one thing only. And that is to get your eyes on Christ and to the point of faith for salvation.
Once you have believed, then all of your difficulties in life are designed for one of two things.
First, if you are negative toward Gods mandates and purpose, then they are to get you to repent and onto a daily study path so that you can learn and grow up in your spiritual life.
And second, if you are on track, then those difficulties are there to reinforce your spiritual growth, to help you keep your eyes on Gods purpose and your inadequacy without Him, to help you keep your arrogance in check and otherwise promote and propel your advancement to spiritual maturity.
How do you know if your difficulties are suffering for punishment or suffering for blessing?
Well, that depends on your compliance or lack of it, with Gods design for the spiritual life.
God has laid out a specific process for spiritual function.
Do you confess your sins on a regular basis in order to get yourself into fellowship?
Do you pursue a daily study under instruction?
Do you listen or read and learn, and then ponder what you have learned?
Do you memorize verses, in order to help your learning retention?
Do you pray on a regular basis? Do you even know how to pray?
Do you apply the moral spiritual principles of life to your own daily life?
Do you support Gods teaching and spiritual process?
Are you selfish, self-centered, greedy, know more than God knows, opinionated, prone to discord, have a better plan for yourself, indifferent toward Gods rules and procedures, critical of others rather than self, figure that you know enough already, are better able to teach yourself, and so forth.
Self-examination is a part of Gods process, and if you can do that objectively then you can know where you stand in Gods plan and process.
If, however, you are subjective and not open to the truth of yourself, then you will never arrive at the right conclusion regarding yourself.
Gods hand is always stretched out, executing some form of action. Whether it is to help or to discipline, really depends on you.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.