APRIL1 READINGS…Judges 3:31-6:40
In today's readings we are introduced to two more judges of Israel. The first is a prophetess named Deborah...needless to say this was a strange situation in that day and time to have a woman be a judge in Israel. Deborah heard from the Lord and told the Barak to call out 10,000 warriors to go and attack Sisera, a Canaanite commander. Barak said he would only go if Deborah would go with him...he was not trusting the word of the Lord to give him victory. Deborah told him that she would go, but that it would cost him the glory of the victory and God would give it to a woman. The Lord indeed gave Jael, the wife of Heber, the glory as she killed Sisera by driving a tent peg through his temple as he slept. Deborah judged the land for forty years and there was peace.
After Deborah the Israelites again did great evil in the sight of the Lord. For seven years the Lord allowed the Midianites to treat the Israelites in an extremely cruel manner...the people cried out to God for help. Once again, our God is a God of mercy and grace...so He moves to call His next judge of Israel. He comes to a young man named Gideon who was threshing grain, and the Lord addressed him as a "mighty hero" and told him that the Lord was with him. Because of the oppression of the Midianites and his social standing in a small clan, neither of these made sense to Gideon. God promised Gideon that He would be with him...to make sure it was the Lord who had called him and promised him victory, Gideon tested the Lord with two signs. The Lord also required Gideon to prove his faith...He commanded him to go and tear down his father's altar to Baal, and Asherah pole...which he did. The people of the community were so inflamed that they wanted to put Gideon to death. Gideon's father showed great wisdom and challenged them to let Baal defend himself...which of course he could not. This is a lesson to us...we do not need to fear false gods, for they are not gods at all. In Christ we don't even need to fear the enemy of our souls, Satan...for Jesus has won the victory over him. We see in this first part of the account of Gideon being judge that God is willing to show Himself when we genuinely are seeking Him.
Please share your thoughts and insights from today's reading as there is much to talk about. I hope you are enjoying your journey through the Bible...it will be a great blessing to you as you continue.
TOMORROW'S BIBLE READING... Judges 7:1-9:21