Category Archives: Judges

Judges 7-8; Mark 12; Psalms 52, 42

Depression can really wreck havoc in my life if I give it more reign than it deserves. It happens to the best of preachers who preach every Sunday and then have to face a depressed filled Monday.

My soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. – Psalm 42:6 NASB

What makes me a bit unique is that I have become comfortable coming to God and giving Him my despair. It is like I am looking at my depression outside my body and reporting it and giving it to God. While most will turn and run away from God, hence the 60% of ministers who commit adultery, why hide the problem from Him? I love how the psalmist points the way to healthy boundaries and relationships. Of course, there are the days where even when I run to God, somehow I do not sense He is there.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” – Psalm 42:9 NASB

Notice how I still call God my rock – my place of security, stability and strength? At the same time I am honestly bringing my feelings to God even though it looks like He might have forgotten me.

Yet Gideon said to them, “I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his plunder.” (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) – Judges 8:24 NASB

I know that I want the Holy Spirit to directly speak to me – not through emotion-filled revivals – just to know that He is there. When I do not wait for Him, I will begin to neglect the simple things He has asked me to do, like worship. Other things begin to fall by the wayside too, like prayer and church fellowship. Reading the Scriptures might seem boring and humdrum some days but it is better than creating something more flashy and exciting, like an ephod. I have to be in a place where I trust that God knows what He is doing.

Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah; but all Israel committed infidelity with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household. – Judges 8:27 NASB

When my life get this bad, when idolatry has messed with my heart, how many people do I take down with me? I think that my relationship with God is like a marriage. Why is my relationship with God so important, why does it demand all of my life? If my walk with God is truly marital in nature, what sort of husband would brush it off if his wife kept multiple lovers? I cannot sluff off my covenant relationship with God – it is a marriage. It is up to me to decide how holy and pure it will be.

Father, Thank You for taking all of my despair into Your hands. If I keep it, I will be destroyed.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)


1 Comment

Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Judges, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan

Judges 1-4; Mark 10

“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshipping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.” Judges 2:10-12 NLT

The book of Judges is one of Israel’s darkest times. God sent Deborah to help usher in 40 years of peace. Where has God sent me to be a light for Him?

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm of Deborah, between Raman and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment…Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you.” Judges 4:4&5,14 NLT

Deborah was a Mother of Israel, a spiritual leader, a guardian, protector and prophet. She’s the only judge that gets a song in her honor. She is a hero. She had conviction, bravery & boldness. She had a courageous faith. I see in Mark 10 that God rewards Faith…

What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi, the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.” Mark 10:51&52 NLT

Jesus healed the man instantly. Some situations seem impossible, but God can change someone’s life in an instant. Do I have the faith to believe it? There are times when I am not just praying for physical healing. But, I am praying for eyes to be open and scales to fall off of them.

Dear Father, Thank you that you never give up on me. I pray that I would have this same heart towards others . Even when I don’t see a change, I know you’re always working. Help me to be bold and courageous like Deborah. Thank you that Your word never returns void. Amen.

“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10: 27 NLT


Leave a comment

Filed under Judges, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament

 Judges 14-16 

I comfort myself and other parents with an encouraging word when it comes to children – a godly home is no guarantee of a godly life if the spiritual influence is rejected by a child. One cannot put immediate blame the parents, but rather a spotlight is first on the child. God gave Samson a godly heritage, he was raised with an incredible calling to honour God. Falling in love turned him against his parents. How did he fall in love? He walked four miles into enemy territory, was captivated by a pretty face and decided to marry that pretty face.

Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl. He came back and told his father and mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife.” – Joshua 14:1-2 MSG

I have stories to tell of such encounters. They happen far to often in the people I know, especially those who have been called into leadership. It reminds me of the warning – “You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else.”

They couldn’t figure it out. After three days they were still stumped. On the fourth day they said to Samson’s bride, “Worm the answer out of your husband or we’ll burn you and your father’s household. Have you invited us here to bankrupt us?”

So Samson’s bride turned on the tears, saying to him, “You hate me. You don’t love me. You’ve told a riddle to my people but you won’t even tell me the answer.”

He said, “I haven’t told my own parents—why would I tell you?”

But she turned on the tears all the seven days of the feast. On the seventh day, worn out by her nagging, he told her. Then she went and told it to her people.

The men of the town came to him on the seventh day, just before sunset and said,

What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?

And Samson said,

If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,
You wouldn’t have found out my riddle.

Then the Spirit of God came powerfully on him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, stripped them, and gave their clothing to those who had solved the riddle. Stalking out, smoking with anger, he went home to his father’s house. Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding. – Judges 14:14-20 MSG

Samson’s self-will ironically yielded no satisfaction for him. By disregarding his God-given privileges he lost his bet with the Philistines, his wardrobe, his wife, and his honour. Samson’s basic problem was that he did not submit to God’s authority over his life. This authority problem manifested itself first in his refusal to submit to his parents’ authority. By giving his parents so little honour, he made room to give himself permission to pursue his own plans. That would be a red flag.

Father, do not allow red flags to go unnoticed in my life.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Judges, Old Testament, reading plan

Judges 8-9

I was standing next to a woman and noticed she had a chess game in her bag. I told her I had a board just like it.

“It’s my son’s. He’s really good at playing chess. He beats me all the time. He knows where he wants to go and how many moves it will take him to get there,” she paused. “Isn’t that just like God too? He knows all the moves it takes.”

22 After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, 23 God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. (Judges 9:22-24, NIV)

Part of the road to Gideon’s victory is tainted with resentment and vengeance. A people take an occasion to honor God and turn it into idol worship. A brother conspires against his family for his own power and gain, a drive that is merciless, scheming, and murderous. Years pass. Lives are lost. And in an unexpected turn, God uses the unexpected to achieve his goal–a mortal blow hastened to an end by a trusted servant.

50 Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. 52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home.

56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them. (Judges 9:50-57, NIV)

Likely, Gideon never imagined the events that would follow his victory. But God knew. And this story emphasizes to me that in the crazy, the unthinkable, the deceitful and vengeful things of life, in the loss and injustice I witness, there is a just God who knows. He is so many steps ahead and already working things out toward an end he has known all along.

Lord, I don’t know all the details. But you do. Your word prepares my heart and gives me a perspective, a hope, and a gratitude of your sovereignty, might, and justice. Who would I be without your mercy, faithfulness, and love? Oh, to know that no matter what, you hold me in your hand. Thank you.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, 7-day reading pln, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Judges

Judges 3-5

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgement. One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, ”This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” Barak told her, ”I will go, but only if you go with me.” ”Very well,” she replied, ”I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kadesh. So on that day Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king. And from that time on Israel became stronger and stronger against King Jabin until they finally destroyed him.” Judges 4:4-9; 23&24 NLT

Deborah was chosen by God. She was the only female judge of Israel. She didn’t let the fact that she was a woman in a time where women leaders weren’t common, make her lose sight of God’s plan for her life. She was a prophet whose main role was to encourage people to obey God. She used her gifts, like writing songs, to influence others and draw them closer to the Lord. She was humble enough to not want the credit. She desired for God’s purpose to be carried out and for Him to get the glory. Isn’t that what God is calling me to do, no matter what my assignment from Him is?

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, travelers stayed on winding pathways. There were few people left in the villages of Israel-until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.” Judges 5:6&7 NLT

Deborah lead the people into battle, but more than that her life impacted them to live for God once the battle was over. What is my place of influence? How am I using my gifts to serve others?

Dear Father, thank you for Deborah’s example of faithfulness to You. How she trusted You and acted in obedience. I want to live with the same courage & boldness. Amen.

Wake up, Deborah, wake up! Wake up, Wake up, and sing a song! Arise Barak! Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!” Judges 5:12 NLT

Amy (amyctanner)

Leave a comment

Filed under Judges, Uncategorized