And what a study, if you’ve been doing Judges with us on Good Morning Girls!
I love how timely God always is in that, in church the Sunday that we are closing Judges, the message was from Zechariah 8, and the sermon was titled “Reasons for Hope in Times of Trouble”. Oh how troubling the times we live in can be; how troubling the times where the Jews of Zechariah’s time was too.
Zechariah writes about God’s promises to a people who were living in punishment (this is generations after Judges; generations who have rejected Him over and over until there is no other way but for them to be living under judgment for their rejection of Him). God promises to be jealous for His people (v1-17), to return to Zion (v3), to bring peace (v4-5), that He is able to do as He promised (v6), to save His people (v7-8), to make them a blessing (v9-13), and to do good for them (v14-17).
This verse – repeated a few times throughout the book – rebuked me for being resentful and reluctant to persevere in this study. The subject matter of Judges is hard enough to dig into on one’s own; but I’ve felt discouraged, like I’m talking to myself in this study… this verse reminded me that I am ultimately accountable only to God, and I am the one who will miss out on His revelation through His Word, by doing what is right/convenient in my own eyes.
I am sorry for having skipped days and being tardy in posting. As Paul wrote, may I run the race with perseverance, and fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.
It seems aptly ironic that chapter 17 today is about men – a Levite, particularly; a man who is meant to be set apart as a servant of God – who use and abuse a woman.
Judges is a harsher book than Joshua, as I am learning. Some days it’s so harsh that I don’t want to reflect on it (i.e., SOAK it in). Compared with the dark news of this week (the Philippine Supreme Court’s ruling to allow a dictator/thief/murderer a hero’s burial; Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections), it was darker times that the Israelites lived in during Judges – and it was because each man did what was right in his own eyes. Oh how the world is becoming more and more like that, as we see with the choices that people around the world make with their vote.
It’s with sad relief that I look at the end of this book, and yet with its end I see hope. Because after Judges come better days and better leaders (for a time). And so there is hope for our present and future too. Our God is sovereign, even when we do not understand why He allows the distasteful and horrible to happen.
Also seems apt to look at these verses not only in application to Israel at that time, but to current world events too:
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NIV
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”