Re:Verse passage – Judges 3:11-30 (day five) “But when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.”
I am indebted to commentator Michael Wilcock for help with understanding and explaining the Hebrew language. Verse 15 is not telling us that Ehud was a “lefty” per say. Instead, the language is telling us that he could not use his right hand. Deformed? Paralyzed? We don’t know. This language is telling us that most people (including Eglon) focused on his limitations. What we do know is that Ehud was faithful/trusting and used what he had been given to serve God. The “withered” right hand allows him access to an enemy leader. It also further demonstrates the power and purposes of God. The Israelites must trust God in using someone they themselves saw as limited and an unexpected hero. Sound familiar?
Isaiah 53- “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
1 Corinthians 1- “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”
Re:Verse passage – Judges 2:11-20, 3:5-11 (day seven)
“All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals…”
Words of warning and words of sobering truth. Words of challenge and caution (for those that have an ear to hear). FBCSA has two significant and potentially life-changing opportunities for the next generation in our church- Youth Camp and Vacation Bible School. The Lord will entrust our church with the task of evangelism and discipleship to teenagers and children. Will WE be faithful to serve, lead, share, minister, and love the next generation? “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?”
We have been given at least these two chances. Let’s pray! Let’s volunteer! Let’s be faithful to the Lord and to the next generation!
“One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.” Psalms 145:4
Re:Verse passage – Judges 1:1-2, 8-13, 20 (day five). “Then Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me into the territory allotted me, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I in turn will go with you into the territory allotted you.” So Simeon went with him.”
As we begin our study of Judges, I am reminded of several thoughts and insights from Jerry Bridges. “God wants us to walk in obedience—not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self.”
“It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are “defeated” by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms “victory” and “defeat” to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms “obedience” and “disobedience.” When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may, in fact, be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey.”
The book of Judges is about God’s desire for obedience and His rescue and redemption. A good lesson for me to continually consider- my obedience and desire to serve and follow the Lord.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 9:13-31 (day five)
“And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.” It was Solomon’s wisdom that pointed people to God- brilliant, remarkable, clear, approachable. How about us? When we brush up against others, do we point them to God? Do our actions, attitudes, and words cause others to see a supernatural influence in our hearts and minds? When they see and hear us, do we look and sound like the Lord? (Loving, gracious, merciful, patient) It is a tremendous opportunity for God to use the gifts, personalities, talents, resources, and intellect He’s given us for His glory and the good of others!
Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 (day five) “Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God;” I wonder if Solomon heard the “wisdom” of the queen’s words. She is declaring that Solomon’s position and possessions all belong to God. To use a good bible word, Solomon is a “steward” of the Throne and Kingdom of God. I wonder if we understand that we are also called to be (just like Solomon) stewards of our positions and possessions. It all belongs to or comes from God. He has blessed and given us them- jobs, resources, children, friendships, etc. “The earth is the LORD ’ S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” Ps 24:1.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 (day five) “As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,”
There is a “corporate” facet to the Christian life. God addresses a people. A nation. A body. But there is also (more importantly) a very personal and intimate facet to the Christian life. I must trust. I must follow. I must repent and believe. I have a friendship and relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the Christian faith, there are no “coattails”or “grandfather clauses”. Each of us is accountable and responsible for our faith and for our growth. Just as the Lord spoke to Solomon, He speaks to each of us- “As for you…”
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:1-10 (day five)
“On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel.” Isn’t it interesting that the scripture says that the people were “sent (away) to their homes”. In my mind, I can picture a group that didn’t want to leave. They kept “congregating”. Not in a hurry to get to lunch. Not thinking about the to-do list. Just soaking up the moment and experience that has gone on for days. Why? Because they had a personal and powerful encounter with the Lord. Ever had those moments? Ever anticipate those moments? There is something captivating about being with other believers and (personally and corporately) experiencing God’s power and presence. Don’t want it to end. Don’t want to leave. Want to linger. Want to share that experience and enjoy the fellowship that it fosters. May our Worship and Bible Study gatherings leave us in that kind of awe because of God’s presence and power through His Holy Spirit.
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Exodus 33:11
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (day five)
“Now, O my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.”6:40.
The opportunity to communicate with each other has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades, thanks in large part to technology. Cell phones, FaceTime, Instant Messages all make it easier these for communication to happen. Yet, there are still moments when communication becomes hindered and/or impossible. Loss of signal, dead battery, cell phone turned off, lost, or left behind.
One of the great hopes and pleas in Solomon’s prayer is that God would hear his prayer and the prayers of the people (notice it’s both Israel and foreigners- but that’s another blog).
God’s capacity to hear us never fails. No lost signals, no dead batteries, always listening.
Does that bring you joy? Does that give you hope? Does that cause you to want to share your heart and thoughts with Him?
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (day five)
“The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel.”
There are several promises of God found in our Re:Verse text this week. A place for the temple. A person to rule. The next King. And the covenant God made with Israel. God kept every one of them. God keeps all His promises. Are there promises that you need to discover or remember? God’s promised presence. God’s promised power. God’s promised peace. God’s promised wisdom. God’s promised forgiveness. (Just to name a few). Search the scriptures, remember His faithfulness and you will find a living God who has kept every promise He has made, who is worthy of praise and trust.
“The promises of God reveal his particular and eternal purposes to which he is unchangeably committed and upon which believers can totally depend.” – BibleGateway.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 5:1-14 (day five).
“All the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, that is in the seventh month. Then all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark.”
Can you sense the unity? Can you sense the community? Can you picture the full participation of the leaders and people gathering for this time of worship and celebration? There is something tangible and overwhelming about being with God’s people. God’s presence. I am reminded of this truth most Sunday’s these days. At least one family or member will make their way back in person to worship or Bible study for the first time in a long while (some over a year). I love just watching and listening to them react after worship. Excited. Inspired. Emotional. Encouraged.
When it’s time (God will guide each of us in His timing) to gather in person, will you come with joy and expectation? We are praying our gathered times will be marked by His overwhelming presence and a real sense of unity and community.