Alliances

* Alliances can lead to compromise

This verse shows the great challenge Israel had to face; becoming alliances with them.  The most dangerous problem for Moses and Joshua was not Jericho’s hostile army, but the ever-present temptation to compromise with the pagan Canaanite religions and cultures. (NLT)

Numbers 25:1 – While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men defiled themselves by sleeping with the local Moabite women.

* Alliance with those who follow God

The leaders of Succoth and Peniel refused to help Gideon, probably fearing Midian’s revenge should he fail (Gideon’s army was 300 men chasing 15,000).  They should have realized that victory was certain because God was with Gideon.  But they were so worried about saving themselves that they never thought about God’s power to save.

Because of fear for ourselves, we may not recognize God’s presence in other people and therefore miss God’s victory.  Then we must face the often bitter consequences of failing to join forces with those God has chosen to do his work.  Because God will prevail with or without you, be quick to join others who are engaged in his work.  Lend support with your time, money, talents, and prayer. (NLT)

Judges 8:5-9 – When they reached Succoth, Gideon asked the leaders of the town, “Will you please give my warriors some food?  They are very tired.  I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”  But the leaders of Succoth replied, “You haven’t caught Zebah and Zalmunna yet.  Catch them first, and then we will feed your warriors.”  So Gideon said, “After the Lord gives me victory over Zebah and Zalmunna, I will return and tear your flesh with the thorns and briers of the wilderness.”

From there Gideon went up to Peniel and asked for food, but he got the same answer.  So he said to the people of Peniel, “After I return in victory, I will tear down this tower.”

* Alliance dangerous with unbelievers

Although Jehoshaphat was deeply committed to God, he arranged for his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of wicked King Ahab of Israel, and then made a military alliance with him.  Jehoshaphat’s popularity and power made hi attractive to the cunning and opportunistic Ahab.  This alliance had three devastating consequences: (1) Jehoshaphat incurred God’s anger; (2) when Jehoshaphat’s grandson died, Athaliah seized the throne and almost destroyed all of David’s descendants; (3) Athaliah brought the evil practices of Israel into Judah, which eventually led to the nation’s downfall.

When believers in leadership positions become allied with unbelievers, values can be compromised and spiritual awareness dulled.  The Bible often warns against teaming up with unbelievers.   (NLT)

2 Chronicles 18:1 – Now Jehoshaphat enjoyed great riches and high esteem, and he arranged for his son to marry the daughter of King Ahab of Israel.

* What to ask before entering into an alliance

We court disaster when we enter into partnership with unbelievers because our very foundations differ.  While one serves the Lord, the other does not recognize God’s authority.  Inevitably, the one who serves God is faced with the temptation to compromise values.  When that happens, spiritual disaster results.

Before entering into partnerships, alliances, ask: (1) What are my motives?  (2) What problems am I avoiding by seeking this partnership?  (3) Is this partnership the best solution, or is it only a quick solution to my problem?  (4) Have I prayed or asked others to pray for guidance?  (5) Are my partner and I really working toward the same goals?  (6) Am I willing to settle for less financial gain in order to do what God wants? (NLT)

2 Chronicles 20:37– Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat.  He said, “Because you have allied yourself with King Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy your work.”  So the ships met with disaster and never put out to sea.

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