Chormah

“And the sons of the Kenites, the Father-in-Law of Moses, went up from the City of Palms with the sons of Judah, into the wilderness of Judah which is in the arid country of Arad. And he went and settled with the people. And Judah went with Simeon, his brother, and struck down the Canaanites who inhabited Tsephath. And they devoted it to destruction and called the name of the city, ‘Chormah.’”

(Judges 1:16-17)

We now find Judah returning the favor to his brother Simeon…again the singular leaders being representative of the armies that follow them. Thus, they go up from the ruins of the City of Palms (we know that city better as Jericho — Deuteronomy 34:3) and move toward the city of Zephath, putting it to the ban — destroying the city and every living thing within it. Hence, the name of the city is now changed to Chormah, which means, “destruction” or “empty chasm.”

Often people struggle with the brutal nature of the Jewish invasion of Canaan and particularly with the notion that God commanded the people to kill every living thing in those cities that were put to the ban. Yet, we know that the people of the land were immoral (Leviticus 18:24-25) and that God was driving them out because their immorality had reached its peak (Genesis 15:16). Thus, what we see here is a picture of final judgment from which there will be no escape — God’s wrath will be poured out in full upon those who refuse to repent and turn to him for mercy.

Some might object on behalf of the children as they cannot repent and leave the cities of the Canaanites on their own. Yet neither can any man or woman repent of their sins on their own strength or of their own will. There must first be a change wrought within them by the work of none other than the Holy Spirit. From beginning to end it must be God’s doing and the scriptures are clear that there will be many who are judged with full justice and will face the justice that they rightfully deserve. And if you may feel you may be in this boat, the scriptures are clear in their response to your plight: repent and believe, for all who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.

The sad thing is that we as Christians are often so silent about this reality. We often wish not to offend, but are we prepared to be rebuked for our silence as people we love find themselves under eternal wrath? Yes, faith must be God’s doing, but shall we not tell others? Whose conscience will one’s judgment be on if we fail to tell that one about Christ? If we speak with clarity of Christ then the burden is no longer upon us. May we share and share boldly and, who knows, God may use us as a tool to bring one of his elect to himself. There is no better felling in the world. Yet, will you act?

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