Only A Stand-By God?
Judges 11:7 – Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now, when you are in trouble?’
My Musing – This is the way we sometimes treat God. We have little use (or no time) for Him when things are going good. But, once the trouble starts or we need something we go to Him asking for His help.
My Advice – Keep God close in good times and in bad times. Never be in a position where He would be justified in saying to you “why do you come to me now, when you are in trouble?”
Weakest & Least
Judges 6:14-16 – “Go in the strength you have. Am not I sending you.” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I. My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you.”
My Musing – Even in our weakness (or especially in our weakness) we can overcome obstacles, barriers and adversaries. Even though we may be weak, we “go in the strength we have” because God goes with us.
My Advice – Do not be afraid to admit your weaknesses. But do not let those weaknesses be an excuse for not doing what you know God wants you to do. His strength is sufficient. It is, in fact, made perfect in our weaknesses. This is because we rely upon Him and not upon our self-sufficiency.
Judges 3:12, 15 – Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and He gave them a deliverer. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – This is a recurring theme throughout the book of Judges. Israel falls into sin. Israel gets into trouble because of the sin. Israel cries out to God for help. God delivers Israel. While it is much better to obey in the first place, God’s mercy and grace is abundant.
My Advice – Life is full of spiritual set backs. Often it is the same nagging sin that we had trouble with not so long ago. Do your best to resist temptation. But when you do sin, never fall into the devil’s trap of thinking that God will not forgive you this time. God will always forgive if your confession and repentance are sincere. His well never runs dry.
A Generation More Devoted
Judges 2:7 – Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their father’s had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It is a sad fact of life that all too often (but not always!) there is generational drift. Each successive generation is less devoted to God than the previous. That is until, like the Judges of Israel, God raises someone up to save the nation (family).
My Advice – Pay attention to your Christian heritage. The family that you came from and their devotion and obedience to God and Jesus. Learn from that devotion (what to imitate) and from those instances where they (meaning mainly me) departed from that devotion (what not to imitate). Make it a goal of your life to be a generation that is more devoted than the past one, and pass it on.
When Failure To Choose Is A Choice
Joshua 24:14, 15 – “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Few Christians would intentionally and explicitly choose to not serve the Lord. But the sad reality is that many do so “unintentionally” and implicitly simply by inaction. Choices that we do not make are really choices.
My Advice – Be intentional about your choice to serve God. Make this a choice not only for yourself, but when the time comes for your family too.
Heart & Soul
Joshua 22:5 – “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Many serve. Many follow. Many obey. But fewer do so consistently with all their heart and soul. But to serve, follow and obey without heart and soul is essentially meaningless.
My Advice – Be passionate about serving, following and obeying God. This does not mean that you have to be fanatical, it simply means you are genuine, sincere and enthusiastic.
Not A One
Joshua 21:45 – Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – God is trustworthy. He will keep all of His good promises. There are also promises that are not so good for those who disobey. But God is merciful to those who ask His forgiveness. There may be consequences to sin, but there will also be mercy and forgiveness.
My Advice – Do not be discouraged when God’s answers to prayer seem slow in coming. God is faithful and will keep His promises. Only He knows when the time is right. So be patient. Also, be encouraged even when you experience the consequences of sins you have confessed, that God is merciful. He has forgiven and the consequences could have been much worse if unconfessed.