Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday, September 7th: Judges 1-3; John 2 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 1-3; John 2

Something that I found interesting in Judges 1:6 was that after the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites into the hands of the Israelites, the Israelites chased down and cut off Adoni-Bezek's thumbs and big toes.  Well, after doing some research, I found out that this was a common practice during that era to prevent kings from being warriors ever again. Without thumbs for grasping, or big toes for balance, warrior-like activity is nearly impossible.  

The Israelites continued on attacking other cities claiming victory after victory.  Or could they claim victory?  They failed to drive out the idol-worshipping Canaanites from their land, and by doing so plagued the Israelites for generations.  We see in our reading that they ruled over these Canaanites, but they did not drive them out. While they could claim a victory in battle, they could not claim a victory in their God-given assignment - establishing an all Hebrew environment.

In chapter 2, an angel of the Lord expressed his displeasure with them, and reminded the Israelites their part of the covenant: 

"and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars."

The decisions we make will either provide us with a benefit, or a consequence.  The Israelites were no different. 

 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”

Sometimes our adversity comes as the result of partial obedience to the Lord.  We have been called to obey God.  Not partially, but fully.  Unfortunately, many times our consequences affect more than just ourselves.  In this case, their descendants suffered from their lack of obedience too.  "10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel."  

That verse was an eye opener for me.  To think that a generation could grow up not knowing anything of God or the work that He had done for Israel!  

These heathen nations that Israel failed to drive out caused Israel to compromise their convictions and zeal for God in the beginning, followed by a full embracing of their God-forsaking ways in the next generation.  What one generation tolerates, the next embraces.

I pray that I will be very careful concerning the things that I tolerate.

In chapter 3 God leaves the Canaanites among the Israelites to test them and to teach them to take a stand.  Did it work?  Nope. They intermarried with them and served their heathen gods. Pleasing their neighbors just seemed more important to them than pleasing God.

Is that where my faith is?  Am I a people pleaser, or a God pleaser?  It is like that for us Christians today.  We are saturated with non-believers in our lives that we need to make a stand and be firm to not compromise our beliefs and lifestyle.

In our NT passage, Jesus performs a miracle - water into wine.  Jesus knew where His disciples were at and recognized that this was necessary.  "11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him."

Seeing is believing, but let us not lose sight on what God has done for us in the past!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Judges 4-6; John 3:1-18


Nathan Reimer said...

Tolerating things that we shouldn't reminds me of an earlier reading and blog that we read, that talked about half truths. Satan gives us half truths to trick us into believing or tolerating things that we shouldn't. These half truths make it easier to rationalize in our minds a way to accept or tolerate things we shouldn't. Right away I think of how churches today are tolerating same sex marriage, and saying they accept it, but their are other things that we tolerate that we shouldn't as well. I too pray that I won't tolerate things God wants me to get rid of.

Pamela said...

"What one generation tolerates, the next embraces." How true.

I think this is a sobering thought as we are preached by society to be tolerant of differences, tolerant of choices, tolerant of anything that doesn't directly affect us.

The water into wine miracle always surprises me. This is Jesus' first miracle. His Mom obviously knew what he was capable of but it is interesting that running out of wine was the first tangible exhibition. Why not a healing? Why not weather? Why not something that everyone would see and know? Instead, Jesus chooses a wedding and some people may not even have known where the wine came from or that it was gone in the first place. I think Jesus did it to show that He is concerned with the "little" things and that we can know that He will help us in our times of need whatever that may be.

TammyIsBlessed said...

"What one generation tolerates, the next embraces." Sooo true!

It always makes me sad when I read about how quickly the Israelites seem to turn away from God after He does miracle after miracle for them. Yet, it isn't really "quickly". Generally those changes are years in the making. Years of gradually going off course, step by step, until you're completely lost. Reminds me of the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. I think the key to this is continuing to recognize the severity of sin, and being vigilant about not allowing it to take root in our lives, and being thankful for the grace of God that covers our sin when we repent.