Re:Verse passage – Judges 7:1-11 (day six)
By the numbers there simply is no way. We look at the odds, we realize the deck is stacked against us, and we wilt in the face of the enemy.
And the Lord says,
I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea. Isaiah 43:16
As God whittled down Gideon’s number of warriors, God’s victory was never in question. Deliverance was as certain as the rising sun. It didn’t matter the number of warriors, one or a million, God’s victory was sure. He is the way maker; he makes a dry path through the sea.
What did Jesus say?
I am the way…
Take heart, I have already overcome the world.
Christian, your victory is sure.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:36-40 (day six)
So, that night God did as Gideon asked. Judges 6:40
God doesn’t punish doubt, he nurtures faith.
Gideon was on a hero’s journey, one that required a growing faith in God. Along the way, we see God graciously nurture his faith in midst of uncertainty and doubt. God could have ignored Gideon’s request, or chastised him for his lack of faith, but he didn’t. He profoundly and graciously did what Gideon asked.
Now, we know that doesn’t mean God will always do what we ask, but what it does mean is God is eager to nudge our faith along. We all are at different places on our journey of faith. Rest assured God wants to help you, not hurt you.
Jesus said, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find…” (Matthew 7:7)
God’s answer to Gideon, is what I think Jesus meant. So, when facing doubt, don’t be hesitant to go to God out of fear you are disappointing him. He wants to reassure you and nudge you along your journey.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:22-35 (day six)
The narrator gives us a closer look into their idolatry; at just how incongruous their lives were. While they were the people of God, he did not even enter into their thinking when they awoke to find their altar to Baal destroyed. They were too caught up in their anger and hatred to even discern why Gideon erected an altar to their ancestral God.
Jesus had a lot to say about incongruity. He said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24)
Practically speaking, isn’t the Christian life the gradual undoing of incongruity by God’s grace through Jesus? Destroying our altars to false gods, so that we can live unshackled, fully devoted to him? That’s our best life.
What altars is he taking down in yours?
Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:1-16 (day six).
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Judges 6:14
It sure doesn’t seem like the Lord is with us! Do you know what it is like out there? (Judges 6:13)Gideon responded to his visitor with a complaint, and an observation. Things were not well. If only God would do something.
Little did Gideon know that God did intend to do something…by commissioning him to be the deliverer..
We tend to complain in just the same way. When things aren’t well, or not going the way we would like (big or small), we often look to others to take action, when often enough the problem and solution is staring us in the face.
Just as God sent Gideon to do something about their situation, could it be he is also sending you?
Re:Verse passage – Judges 4:4-23, 5:7, 24-27 (day six)
On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song. Judges 5:1
[Totally shocked Aaron didn’t jump on the opportunity to write about the song! But, I will!]
Perhaps, the most natural and powerful thing to do in light of God’s deliverance is to sing! We don’t add to God’s glory when we sing; we rejoice in it. We reflect it. Maybe that is what it means to be made in the image of God. Maybe it means we are storytellers (in how we live and speak) of God’s glory most extravagantly seen in our own deliverance.
So, remember you were designed to be a story teller. You were made to sing!
Re:Verse passage – Acts 2:42-47 (day six)
…all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:47
When you read these verses, does it put a smile on your face? Can you imagine the joy they experienced with one another? Not to mention the extraordinary display of God’s power?
We were meant to delight in one another, to express goodwill towards each other. It’s joy in Jesus and one another that drew the attention of others in those early days. And what they saw they had never encountered anywhere before.
I imagine, what was true then, is true now.
Let’s enjoy one another!
Re:Verse passage – Judges 3:11-30 (day six)
But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. Judges 3:15
Their cry for deliverance was not a cry of repentance. They didn’t make things right. They didn’t confess their sin. They didn’t throw out their idols. They didn’t turn to God in faithful obedience. None of those things.
And yet, God delivered them still.
God’s mercy does not wait for us to get our act together.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
Aren’t you thankful.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 2:11-20, 3:5-11 (day six)
Judges is the preamble to 1 Samuel. It is there that God tells the last judge, Samuel, that the people hadn’t rejected him in their demand for a king, but God himself.
That’s it central message after all: the people rejected God as their king over and over again. Every test was another opportunity to declare God as king. Every test was another act of mercy. And they failed.
But God didn’t.
Each time they would fall deeper, his mercy would reach deeper still.
He is the King of mercy.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 1:1-2, 8-13, 20 (day six)
I don’t imagine any of the tribes were defiant, at least not in the beginning. They didn’t set out to disobey God outright. Likely, it was a gradual decline; subtle diversions, cut corners, postponements (“I’ll get serious about that later.”) Like petty crime, no one would really notice (or even care), unless they were really looking.
Even the smallest diversions can descend into the deepest chasms, the kind that even when you look back you can’t see where you started from or where you are going.
In their wildest imaginations, they never dreamed they would forget God, and fall in love with gods of their own making, but they did.
…and so do we.
“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…”-C.S. Lewis, The Screw Tape Letters
“Who will rescue me from this body of death?! Thank God! The answer is in Jesus!”- Paul, Romans 7:24-25
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 9:13-31 (day six)
11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” 2 Chronicles 1:11-12
While we can lament Solomon’s waywardness, that is not the purpose of this closing chapter on Solomon’s reign. With the chronicler’s emphasis on his political and economic wisdom, along with his astronomical wealth, it serves one purpose-a declaration that God keeps his word.
At the very beginning of his reign, God promised Solomon wisdom, wealth, and influence, and he kept his word. The people reading this history (a few hundred years later) had returned to a dilapidated city and a leveled Temple, they needed reminding that God is a promise keeper; that they weren’t forgotten.
So, don’t let your circumstances rob you of hope. Our God keeps his word; he is making good on his promises. Already we are a redeemed people through Jesus, and one day he will finish what he started. That’s a promise.