Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Mar 30, Judges 3-5

Today's readings are Judges 3-5. Tomorrow's are Judges 6-7. 

Some will find these chapters interesting and challenging.

The first thing we learn is that the nations allowed to remain among the Israelites will have a purpose; they will teach coming generations how to fight! God wants His people to be adept at war! Then comes a breathtaking series of events in which God's people turn their backs on God, fall under oppression by another nation, cry out and are delivered through a redeemer. 
  • The King of Mesopotamia, Cushan-rishathaim, takes them. God sends Othniel as a judge to free them. 
  • Eglon of Moab takes them. God sends Ehud as a judge to free them again. 
  • Shamgar saves them from an unknown king. 
  • Jabin takes Israel. God makes Deborah a judge. Deborah and Barak deliver Israel. 

Deborah's case is a curious one. She is clearly the leader of Israel. Barak defers to her in making strategic decisions and she clearly has the authority to make them. Barak doesn't want to fight unless Deborah leads them. Deborah gets credit for the victory then rightly gives glory to God. Some call Barak passive claiming Deborah had to step in because Barak defaulted. Yet, Hebrews 11:32 names Barak among the "Hall of Faith" faithful.

Throughout all the conflicts we see in these chapters, we also see the incredible grace and patience of our Lord as He continues to refine and sanctify His people, blessing them, even when they are unfaithful and follow after other gods, which they seem to do far too frequently. 

We may not be oppressed by kings like Jabin. But each of us has a tendency to place things other than God in a place of higher priority and importance than Him. It's really easy for us to portray the same behavior and patterns Israel demonstrated. Praise God our sanctification is in His hands. The lesson we have to learn is the same lesson God is teaching the Jews; there is always a price to pay for unfaithfulness. God will deliver but there may be pain and suffering in the meantime. 

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