This week’s devotional was written mostly by my husband Ron. He’s a great writer so I hope you enjoy!
Wow! God’s Word is fascinating, instructive, and turbulent – all in the same instant it seems. There are plenty of big messages here. Mankind always seeks a great leader but it is the Holy Spirit through prayer that speaks to all issues. Personally, I prefer a nice and quiet prayer time with the Lord. But it is obvious to me that when God’s people “cry out” to Him, out loud with a few decibels behind it, He seems a bit more inclined to move sooner and with a bit more divine vigor. Interesting God we serve.
It seems to me that the take away message of the passage is the connection between obedience and defeat. I am not so inclined to call these Israelites a bunch of ding dongs (Hostess snack cakes) or unsophisticated dupes, knowing the condition of my own heart. In America, we are surrounded by so many good things, and so many fun or interesting distractions, that even those things can end up as idols, leading to time away from the Lord and stealing our affections. While it is not an absolute, the amount of defeat we experience in our lives might serve as a barometer of our obedience. Like David in the Psalms, we can ask the Lord to search our hearts for answers.
Don’t miss the connection between obedience and peace. And I can assure you that as I am writing this, I am wanting to brand this concept into my forearm so that I don’t forget!
May the Lord embolden every parent in the church to teach their children/teens about being unequally yoked! (Judges 3:5-6) For every story: “I married a pot-smoking World Wrestling Federation junkie and got him saved!” there are 50 other stories that you rarely hear about where the spouse just gave up or resigned, attends church regularly on Easter only, and the result of binding the ox and the donkey together is ugly and apparent 10 or 20 years later.
Last point in this passage: There is something vital to be learned about warfare, and God’s will on warfare (Judges 3:2), specifically spiritual warfare, and the primacy of prayer.
Ron’s been helping me out this week and wrote the commentary on Judges. I think I might be out of a job after this! Wow! He did a great job! The comments on Psalms and Proverbs are his as well. Here’s my small contribution to this week’s devotion.
My mother and I recently had the privilege of attending a Passover Seder. The Seder is a special meal that Jews eat during Passover. There are several different foods consumed in a particular order along with the retelling of Jewish history; mainly the Exodus from slavery. They eat bitter herbs as a reminder of the bitterness of slavery, Charoses (a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon) as a reminder of the brick and mortar the Jewish slaves were forced to make, a roasted egg as a symbol of life, a vegetable (usually parsley or celery) dipped into salt water to remind them of the tears of slavery, a piece of roasted lamb symbolizing sacrificial offering, and 4 glasses (or sips) of wine as a reminder of the four-fold promise of redemption.
There is one more part of the Passover meal that astounded me. There are three matzoh (unleavened bread) that are put between the folds of a napkin. These remind them of the haste in which the Israelites fled Egypt. There was no time to let bread rise. During the meal, the first and last piece of matzoh is consumed, but the middle piece is broken, wrapped in white linen, and hid. Later the children get to hunt for it. When non-Christian Jews are asked why they break the middle bread and hide it, the response is often, “It’s just a fun tradition to keep the children busy.” But we know differently. This is the part of the Passover meal that Jesus was observing in Luke chapter 22. He was breaking the middle piece of bread and telling his disciples, “This is my body, broken for you.” He attached meaning to this long-standing tradition of broken bread that they did not understand. This is where we get the Christian sacrament of communion, but I think next Easter season, my family and I will begin celebrating a Passover Seder in our home.
Can I get real for a moment? Wouldn’t we like the Lord to just get rid of all evil right now? Like yesterday? I mean, man! There is a lot of it! And it is everywhere! And it has such an effect!
Ahh. I have to submit that realm, like all others, to God’s sovereignty. So the Psalmist has it right. It is good to give thanks and recount all that God has done for me.
Isn’t it amazing what God does with some of us, the weak he can make as strong as an ox? Some of you are similar to a tree… producing fruit, a shade to those who are weary, and through many seasons something very strong for others to lean on.
It is good for me to be reminded that the Lord is far bigger and far more amazing that anything in nature that amazes me. The first full pictures of the earth from the moon revealed the stunning beauty of the earth. Stunning and amazing to me. God’s easy handiwork for Him. A Bacteria Flagellum is a microscopic bacteria that has an outboard motor, drive line, u-joint, bearings and propeller. It is beyond fascinating to me. For God it is routine design… fun creativity. It is good for me to be reminded about who God is and who I am not.
Verse 1: As a husband let me just say this: I have a great wife (which is a blessing from the Lord) and little else needs to be said.
Verse 2: If you wish to do an interesting study, look up all of the proverbs with the word “fear” in them. The “Fear of the Lord” is a vital concept. Unfortunately, those who take the wrong path many times do despise God, more so Christ, and often they will despise you for your commitment to Christ.