Monday, February 4, 2013

JUDGING JUDGES

Suggested Reading: Judges 1 & 2

(click scripture link to read online)

The Roman Cardo at Beit She'an National Park, Israel. Around 1100 BC, Canaanite Beit She'an was conquered by the Philistines, who used it as a base of operations for further penetrations into Israel proper (Judges 1:27). During a subsequent battle against the Jewish King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa in 1004 BC, the Philistines prevailed. 1 Samuel 31 states that the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of Beit She'an. Portions of these walls were excavated on Tel Beit She'an recently. King David was able to capture Beit Shea'an in a series of brilliant military campaigns that expelled the Philistines from the area, pushing them back to their coastal strongholds of Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, Gaza, and Ashdod. During the Iron Age II period, the town became a part of the larger Israelite kingdom under the rule of the Biblical kings David and Solomon (1 Kings 4:12 refers to Beit She'an as a part of the district of Solomon).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Judges 2:10

When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.

This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. It should be a warning to us that our faith in God is only one generation away from near extinction. We must invest heavily in the supreme task of communicating the Word of God to future generations. (Crossroads wants to help – click here to check out the new “KidSpace” channel at Crossroads 360)

These two chapters are an overview of what is to come for Israel. Judges tells us of seven cycles of moral corruption from within and subjugation from without by the nations around them. After 40 years of victories under Joshua, Israel now suffers defeat after defeat, also deliverance after deliverance. The very last verse of Judges provides the answer to this inconsistency of serving the God of their fathers. Judges 21:25 tells us that “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” At first glance it sounds good, but this is spiritual anarchy. This is a recipe for disaster. We must do what is right in God’s eyes according to His Word to us.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You’ve given me the desire to read Your Word daily so that I may know what is right in Your eyes. Again and again I pray for the grace to hear Your voice as I read, and then walk in the light that You provide for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! (as I pray this, I’m thinking of 1 John, chapter 1. click here)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I confess that I felt somewhat discouraged in reading today’s chapters. So I thought, “I’ll turn to the next book in our readings, which is 1 Corinthians. There in chapter 1 I read much to encourage me, but I also read of divisions in the church. In chapter 2, there was encouragement, but chapter 3 told me that people are people. There was envy, strife, and they were behaving, “like mere men.” God’s mercy and forgiveness was given over and over to Israel when they repented and cried out to Him. I’ve cried out to the Lord agaIn and again since I first decided to follow Jesus 60 years ago as a 16-year-old. He’s forgiven me and restored me. I’ve done an overview of Judges, and I discovered that the people were living right before God most of the time. That gives me reason to be hopeful. Again, the first chapter of 1 John is my “go to” chapter for my life. Here it is again (click here), and then I’ve taken the time this morning to read 1 John chapter 2. (click here) I’m greatly encouraged now. Judges 2:22 gives the reason God placed Israel in the midst of the ungodly world. It was a test! I pray for grace to pass any test that comes my way today and every day. I can testify to the power of Christ, that while I may not be graded at 100%, I definitely, because of Jesus, am passing my exams.

Yours for a passing grade, perhaps even honours (I study God’s notes – His Word – daily, and there I find the right answers),

David

Beit She'an theatre.

 

24 thoughts on “Monday, February 4, 2013

  1. All have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. We have need of a Saviour. Jesus is the hope and the salvation for this world. Praise God we don’t have to go it alone. With Jesus, this life, this path, makes sense. Praise God for His goodness and mercy towards us! Amen.

    • What a wonderful way to start the morning….I love it and the pictures are fabulous…David did we visit Beit She’an when we were in Israel on the Nov. tour? The pictures bring back so many good memories. May Gods Blessing be on you forever.
      from Claire

      • Vivienne and I were also with you on the yellow bus in November 2012!
        Shalom,
        Graham.
        PS I still think that Claire was the oldest pilgrim on that particular Holy Land trip.

  2. Good morning David
    Very very encouraging words for me also -I sure need it daily
    Blessings to you & Norma -Jean with daily prayers

    AMAZING GRACE

    Zeljko

  3. I didn’t think there were tests with this Blog! …. But really, I am thankful for the lessons! It is so true about “spiritual anarchy” when people, individually or collectively, do what is right in their own eyes. It is horrible to see what has happened in history, as a result of this line of thought. I pray for spiritual clarity of reasoning, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, such that I may perceive differently from the biases and values that surround us, which shed only darkness.

    • I agree David…it is hard to read some of what went on in history, and how many turned away from the Lord. There is so much clamoring for our attention today too, that would wish to lure us away from the Lord, believing in false gods and living life our way. We do need to be praying daily for wisdom and discernment….to hear His voice and stay in The Word!

      Thank you David M. for helping us do just that…stay in the Word!
      Are you still at the Mayo Clinic?

  4. I am confused because we just finished Joshua in the OT, and should be switching now to 1 Corinthians in the NT. Instead, we have gone to the next OT chapter of Judges.

    But I am certainly not complaining because today’s reading and message was excellent! It explains so much about why God has tested Israel and about our need to keep God in our lives, pass to the next generation, and keep God alive. I look forward to learning so much more from Judges.

    I will mark 1 John 1 as a reference point in my bible as a reminder about being cleansed by the blood of Jesus to forgive our sins. Amen!

    • Hello Beverlee. Because there are 39 books in the Old Testament and only 27 in the New, sometimes we need to cover two OT boos back to back. We will be in 1 Corinthians soon!

  5. I just finished re-reading the books of Proverbs and many times there is the verse that warns” There is a way that seems right to man but the end there of leads to death. God is loving in disciplining disobedience. Thank you for your replies, fellow bloggers and David your example!!!!! God Bless everyone! Reynold thanks for bringing the beautiful pictures to life.

  6. I praise God for today’s reading and thank you David for directing us to 1 John. May we continue to read THE WORD each day, especially on days it is difficult to hear what we have to learn about ourselves. Praising God for salvation in Jesus and that he understands when we falter.

  7. Hi David
    Thanks for directing us to the children’s programing KidsSpace,l thought it was really good,and a great way to entertain and teach our little ones about JESUS. It will be a wonderful way to introduce them to lighthearted and fun ways to laugh and sing and enjoy learning more about their Heavenly Father. Children are like sponges, so let’s soak them in this kind of programing! Thanks Crossroads 360!

  8. Hi David and bloggers, I haven’t been on for awhile due to the death of my mother and sickness. Praise God He’s healing, and strengthening. I have tried to keep up though and have been praying for all needs.
    I wanted to add to the Crossroads 360 comments. At Christmas time I showed my 6yr grandaughter the site and it has become her favourite thing to do. She especially loves The God Rocks. She has learned most of the songs and sings them all the time. She loves the humour and particularly Jasper and Chip. She watches it before school and after school. She is sharing with her friends the programs. I am thankful as a member of crossroads that some our dollars goes to this programing. Please pray for this ministry and revival in our hearts and in Canada and the World.
    God is so gracious to me in that I live with my daughters family and I have the great privilege of being my grandaughters care giver during the day since she was born and to be able to share daily Gods love with her. Please pray for renewed strength for my body as since I was sick I’m still very tired.
    God bless you all and David my prayers and heart are with you in this time.

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