Ten Years

Text: Ecclesiastes 11:10

Every hour, day, and year that passes is forever lost. It is impossible to “add a single hour” to our lives (Matthew 6:27). Recent milestones have caused me to reflect on ten years passing – a lot can change in a decade. This lesson will focus on five different ten year periods in the Bible and see what lessons we can learn from them.

Losing Patience in God’s Promise

  • God gave the “seed” promise to Abram (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 15:4-6), but it was not immediately fulfilled – after 10 years, Sarai and Abram devised another plan (Genesis 16:1-3); this was not God’s plan (Genesis 17:15-16); it would have negative consequences (Genesis 16:12)
  • We must have faith in what God has promised (Hebrews 11:6)
  • We must patiently wait for His promises (Hebrews 6:12) – faith alone is not enough, it must endure (Hebrews 10:35-39)
  • We must not invent our own means of accomplishing God’s plan (Romans 10:1-3)

Maintaining Peace Against Enemies

  • Elon judged Israel for 10 years (Judges 12:11) – it is significant that nothing is said about these years; after the people sinned, judges delivered Israel from oppressors and maintained peace (cf. Judges 3:7-12); this indicates that this was a time of peace and faithfulness
  • If possible, we must be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18) – focus on being at peace with God (Luke 2:14)
  • When battles do come, fight with the sword of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 10:3-4; Ephesians 6:17)
  • Always be on the alert (1 Peter 5:8; Acts 20:28-30)

Developing Strong Relationships

  • Naomi and her family moved to Moab – her sons married Moabite women and they lived there 10 years (Ruth 1:4); when her husband and sons died, she told her daughters-in-law to leave (Ruth 1:3, 5, 8); Ruth refused to go (Ruth 1:14-18) because she developed a close relationship with Naomi and had gained faith in God
  • We must be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
  • This is an ongoing effort – strong relationships do not happen automatically (cf. Titus 2:4; 1 Samuel 18:1)
  • Based on our faith in God (2 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 2:17)

Continuing in Apostasy

  • Menahem reigned as king over Israel for 10 years (2 Kings 15:17-18) – he was a wicked king; assassinated previous king (2 Kings 15:13-14); in his anger he killed the inhabitants of Tiphsah, including the unborn babies (2 Kings 15:16); he made peace with Assyria in order to maintain his rule (2 Kings 15:19-20)
  • God sees all that we do – “in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 15:18; cf. Hebrews 4:13)
  • Learn from the sins of others (Ezekiel 18:14) – Menahem followed in the footsteps of the wicked kings before him, rather than learning from their sins and choosing to do right
  • Do not compromise with the enemies of God’s people (Ephesians 5:11)

Turning to the Lord

  • Judah enjoyed 10 years of peace during the reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14:1) – he did good and taught the people to obey the Lord (2 Chronicles 14:2-5); he used the time of peace to fortify defenses and strengthen the army (2 Chronicles 14:6-8), yet he still trusted in God (2 Chronicles 14:9-12)
  • We must obey the Lord (Colossians 3:17) – “Blessed are they that do His commandments” (Revelation 22:14, KJV)
  • Teach others to follow the law of God (2 Timothy 2:2; Matthew 28:20)
  • Strengthen your defenses – learn how to accurately handle the word (2 Timothy 2:15) because it is our sword (Ephesians 6:17); put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Conclusion

  • A lot can happen in 10 years – for good or bad
  • We need to be sure we are using our time for good (Ephesians 5:15-16)

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