Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24: Judges 2:10 – 3; Psalm 92 – 93; Proverbs 14:1-2; Luke 22:14-34


            Judges: Another generation of Israelites grows up and they don’t know the Lord. They do what is evil and serve the Baals. God becomes angry and turns them over to their enemies. They are under great distress. So the Lord raised up judges to lead Israel and deliver them from the enemies. When the judges ruled, they followed the Lord. However, when the judge died, the people went back after the other gods. God was angry and said he would not drive out the nations Joshua left but would use them to test Israel. He also used those nations to teach war to those who had not experienced it. The nations left are listed. Israel also int ermarried with these nations.
            The king of Mesopotamia oppressed Israel for eight years. Israel cried out to the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Caleb’s nephew, Othniel and he defeated the king. Israel had peace for forty years.
            Israel turned back to the other gods, the Lord brought Eglon of Moab against them, and he oppressed Israel for eighteen years. They again cried out to the Lord and he sent them Ehud as a judge. He went to Eglon with a hidden sword. He told Eglon he had a message from the Lord. In private, he killed Eglon and escaped. He then led Israel and killed 10,000 Moabites. Israel had rest for eighty years.
            After him, Shamgar fought against the Philistines and saved Israel.
            Psalm 92: This is a song for the Sabbath. It is a time to praise God for his faithfulness with music and song. It is a time to extol God’s works because stupid people do not understand the end of the wicked, God’s enemies. It is a time to praise God for his care and provision for the righteous to whom he gives long life and declare God’s righteousness.
            Psalm 93: This Psalm praises God for his majesty as he reigns supreme over all creation. God is eternal and has always reigned. He is omnipotent and is greater than floods or thunderstorms. His decrees are trustworthy and he is forever holy.
            Proverbs: A wise woman does what is necessary to have a good home but a foolish woman does things that destroy her home. People who live good lives demonstrate that they fear the Lord while devious behavior shows they hate God.
            Luke: At the Passover meal, Jesus tells his disciples he will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. He said the bread was his body given for them. They are to do this in remembrance of him. He said the cup was the new covenant in his blood poured out for them. He then told them that one of them would betray him. What was going to happen to Jesus was predetermined but woe to the one who betrays him. They questioned each other about who the betrayer was.
            That turned into a discussion about who was the greatest. Jesus told them the greatest needed to be like the youngest and a leader like a servant. Jesus is an example because he was among them as a servant. He explains that they have been with him in his trials and he will assign them a kingdom just as his Father has assigned him his kingdom. They will be at his table in his kingdom and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
            He then told Peter that Satan wanted to sift him but Jesus prayed that his faith would not fail. He tells Peter to strengthen the others when he turns back. Peter says he will die with Jesus but Jesus tells Peter he will deny him before morning.

What Stood Out

            Judges: “Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not do so” (Judg 2:17).
            Psalm: “The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:” (Ps 92:6).
            Proverbs: “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down” (Prov 14:1).
            Luke: “For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined” (Luke 22:22).


            Judges: The rollercoaster spiritual ride of Israel for the next three hundred years is described in Judges 2:16-20. When they had a strong leader, they followed the Lord, but when their leader died, they went back to worshiping other gods. When we read about these judges, it seems to take place quickly because the Bible doesn’t give many details. The important aspect are emphasized. They worshiped other gods; God let their enemies oppress them; God raised up a judge who saved them; they followed the Lord during the judge’s lifetime; they went back to worshiping other gods after the judge’s death.
            The same thing has happened within the Christian church but it occurs over centuries and not just the life of one leader. The early church was faithful until it got caught up in politics and strayed away from the Bible. There were ups and downs with pockets of believers who relied on Scripture for their source of faith. The Reformation brought about much needed change but it was not perfect. Post Reformation brought about revival and world evangelism. However, the current state of the church is fragmented. Some churches are worshiping other gods and others are remaining faithful to the Lord Jesus.
            Individuals can go through the same thing. However, as Christians, we shouldn’t be like a yo-yo. If we are abandoning the Lord for long periods, then we really should be questioning our commitment and our salvation. We should examine ourselves to make sure we are really saved (2 Cor 13:5).
            Psalm: The Bible is politically incorrect. If anyone tried to say someone is stupid or a fool, his grade school children or grandchildren would correct him quickly. “Grandpa, that’s not a nice word to use. We don’t use those kinds of words.” I’ve heard it and I’m sure many parents have. In most cases, it was probably a correct rebuke. However, the Word of God is dealing with something that is much more serious than calling someone stupid who makes a left turn from the right lane. God is talking about people who live their lives as if there is no judgment after death. They think that they will live forever without accountability for their actions in this life. They don’t know God and don’t even believe he exists. They don’t join with those who worship God on Sabbaths, Sundays, or any other day of their lives. If that person who made the left turn doesn’t know Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior and gets killed in a car accident, then that is truly a stupid person.
            Proverbs: The way we live and act demonstrates whether or not we really have a relationship with the Lord. This can be seen in the home where a wise person will do what is necessary to maintain that home in obedience to the Lord. The opposite occurs when people don’t care for or about the Lord. They do whatever they want and it often results in destroying their marriage and home.
            Luke: We can be sure that Jesus’ death was no accident. God wasn’t out of control. Jesus told his disciples what would happen to him was already determined (Luke 22:22). Jesus showed this symbolically in the bread and wine of the Last Supper. Like the bread he broke and gave to the disciples, his body is given. No one took Jesus’ life from him. His was a willing sacrifice.
            His blood is the new covenant. The old covenant was built on the blood of animals that couldn’t permanently take away sins. The new covenant is built on Jesus blood, which gives us eternal life, a new heart to obey him, and forgiveness of our sins (Jer 31:31-34). That new covenant is available to anyone who wants to enter into it. However, there are some, like Jesus’ betrayer, who will not enter into it.
            We should all be thankful for the new covenant. We would never be able to live up to the old and most of us are not Jewish so we wouldn’t even think about it. If you haven’t already, turn to Jesus for salvation in the new covenant. Repent and obey. Don’t be like Israel who chased after other gods or even people who call themselves Christians who stray from the Bible.


            I need to examine myself regularly to see if I’m straying or keeping on track with the Lord. It is easy to coast and think everything is going fine only to slip into sinful behavior. I don’t want to be a yo-yo in my devotion to the Lord.

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