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Wow, the past 3 months seem to have flown by... It's now April 1 and we are officially 25%, or one quarter, of the way through the Bible! Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back! High-five God! Your marathon pace is going great!
Okay, women rule in today's readings in Judges!! :) Deborah basically tells Barak that he's being a wimp, so she'll help lead the military victory, and does. Below is a map someone put together of the whole Deborah / Barak v. Sisera battle, with Mt. Tabor in the middle highlighted being a focal point of the battle:
And then Jael, who is likely not an Israelite, finishes off Sisera, the commander of the enemy army of the Israelites, with a tent peg! Don't mess with Deborah or Jael! Below is a painting by Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (yes, also a woman) from the year 1620 titled "Jael and Sisera":
Before this fateful scene above, an image is below for Judges chapter 4 verses 17 & 18: "Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because Heber's family was on friendly terms with King Jabin of Hazor. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don't be afraid." So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket."
In Judges chapter 5 we read the wonderful song of Deborah and Barak, and it is of note in verse 31: "Then there was peace in the land for forty years." Quite a song! Below is artist Gustave Dore's engraving of Deborah's song:
Bob Deffinbaugh with Bible.org's commentary on Joshua chapters 4 & 5 today titled "The Prophetess Deborah" is at this link.
Today in Judges chapter 6 verses 1 we read - "Again the Israelites did what was evil in the LORD's sight." It is so interesting to see the back-and-forth relationship of the Israelites with God in the Old Testament. The Israelites did evil. They cried out to God. God saved them. Then... The Israelites did evil again... And I wonder - are we so different from the Israelites today? Should we be? Could we be? How? I do believe that through a growing and loving relationship with Jesus, we can be spared of this back-and-forth relationship with God. I believe this is the only Way. Let us not have to spend our lives running back and forth to "caves" as we will see below... Let us only run into the arms of the Jesus!
An image is below for verses 1 & 2: "So the LORD handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites fled to the mountains, where they made hiding places for themselves in caves and dens."
Today read about Gideon and the fleece. We also read about how the angel of the Lord comes to Gideon and tells Gideon he will save Israel out of Midian’s hands, because he is being sent by God. In verse 15 Gideon replies, “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” You’ll notice how this reply of Gideon’s is reminiscent of Moses’ reaction to God’s call to serve in Exodus chapters 3 & 4 – “Why me? How can I?” etc. etc. And I think it is very useful for each of us to note that God often calls the seemingly lowly – like Moses and Gideon – rather than the seemingly mighty to act for him. This should be encouraging to us! I wonder if you and I are sometimes like Gideon and Moses? I wonder if perhaps we are being called to do something incredible for God in our lives, and we are making excuses like Gideon and Moses made excuses? Should we instead act in obedience to God’s call and trust that he will lead us? If God has called us to something, shouldn’t we have enough faith to believe he will give us the strength and wisdom needed for the journey? What is God calling you to do in your life that you are not doing? Are you making excuses like Gideon and Moses did? Will you instead move forward in faith and obedience to God in this holy calling in your life?
Worship God: Today's readings in Judges reminded me of Third Day's song "You Are Mine:"
Have you God's? Click here and be His!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.'" Judges 6:39 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not put the Lord your God to the test.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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