The Sin of Meroz

“‘Curse Meroz!’ said the Angel of Yahweh, ‘You must surely curse those who dwell in it, for they did not come to help Yahweh, to help Yahweh in the midst of the mighty ones!’”

(Judges 5:23)

It is debated as to where Meroz is located. It is believed that it is located in the tribal region of Naphtali, in the mountains northwest of the Sea of Galilee. What is more significant is what they failed to do and who it is that is laying a curse upon them. The first part is that they did not rally their troops to aide in the battle. It is because of their unwillingness to get involved that this curse has been laid upon them and they are remembered even today as the tribe guilty of failing to take a stand when it was urgent to do so. In fact, even in the American Revolution, British loyalists were spoken of as being guilty of the “sin of Meroz.” And, indeed, they were.

The second is that the curse is attributed to the Angel of Yahweh. We have already discussed that He is the pre-incarnate Christ, the second member of the Trinity, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the curse is attributed to Him. Thus, God himself is uttering this curse upon Meroz for Meroz did not rise to the call. It is a reminder to us that God does not take it lightly when we do not heed his call. Yet, how often the church is guilty of the sin of Meroz.

Reflecting on the language of the previous verse, there is the matter again of the “mighty ones.” The verbiage is different than in the previous verse, but the idea is much the same. God has descended with his heavenly host to wage war against his enemies. The natural order has aligned itself with its creator and the people of God are called upon to join in the battle. Yet, because Meroz was blind to spiritual things, they could not see the armies of God that were being lined up in their favor. How often the people of God are blind like Meroz or like Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6:17) and they do not rise up and stand against the wicked…to our shame and detriment. May we not fall guilty of the sin of Meroz, but may we always rise up and defend the cause of Christ in every context we may find ourselves.

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