Make sure to think through the ramifications before making wholesale changes. God may want to use you right where you are.


1 Corinthians 7:17

17 Only, let each one [seek to conduct himself and regulate his affairs so as to] lead the life which the Lord has allotted and imparted to him and to which God has invited and summoned him. This is my order in all the churches.

Apparently the Corinthians were ready to make wholesale changes without thinking through the ramifications. Paul was writing to say that people should be Christians where they are. You can do God’s work and demonstrate your faith anywhere. If you became a Christian after marriage, and your spouse is not a believer, remember that you don’t have to be married to a Christian to live for Christ. Don’t assume that you are in the wrong place, or stuck with the wrong person. You may be just where God wants you.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for being my rock and my fortress and my help in times of need. I praise You Lord for being the God who can – save me, rescue me, encourage me, strengthen me, protect me, lead me, guide me, correct me, show me, and do more than I could ever ask or imagine. Lord, today as I look to You, I pray for Your touch on my body – remove the pains and help strengthen my body. I pray Lord that You will help me to make the time to reinvigorate. Help me Lord today to shine for You. Help me to be light that shows hope and love to those around me. With You going ahead of me to prepare in advance the works You have for me and with You being with me every step of the way, may the joy of the Lord saturate me to the point of overflow into the lives of everyone around me. Lord, let Your transforming power be visible around me as people’s lives are transformed and they are reunited with You. Use the works of my hands to bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray. Help me Lord to live and work in the overflow of Your love, promises, and power. And Lord in all I say and all I do today, may You receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

James 3:9-10


Chronological

Today – Day 94

  • Judges 13
    • What happens when we forget the truth? We go astray.
    • God will prepare in advance for us the work He has for us to do.
    • If you ask, God will teach what you will need to know.
    • God’s promises are true and you can count on them.
  • Judges 14 ,  Judges 15 Samson
    • It is amazing how God can use other people’s words to speak right into our very situation
    • It is amazing how something that looks from the surface like a bad idea to others can be turned around and used for good by God
    • When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon You amazing things can and will happen.
      • But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
      • And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion as he would have torn a kid, and he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
      • And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and slew thirty men of them and took their apparel [as spoil], and gave the changes of garments to those who explained the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.
      • And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon [Samson], and the ropes on his arms became as flax that had caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands.15 And he found a still moist jawbone of a donkey and reached out and took it and slew 1,000 men with it.16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have slain 1,000 men!17 And when he stopped speaking, he cast the jawbone from his hand; and that place was called Ramath-lehi [the hill of the jawbone].
    • Never mind the honey
    • Do you talk in riddles so that people have a hard time understanding what you are telling them? Are you doing it on purpose?
    • God will meet all our needs
      • Samson was very thirsty, and he prayed to the Lord and said, You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?19 And God split open the hollow place that was at Lehi, and water came out of it. And when he drank, his spirit returned and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore [the spring of him who prayed], which is at Lehi to this day.20 And [Samson] judged (defended) Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
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Are you taking care of yourself? In what you do? In what you eat?


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

What did Paul mean when he said that our bodies belong to God? Many people say they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. Although they think that this is freedom, they are really enslaved to their own desires. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit fills and lives in us. Therefore, we no longer own our bodies. "Bought . . . with a high price” refers to slaves purchased at auction. Christ’s death freed us from sin, but also obligates us to his service. If you live in a building owned by someone else, you try not to violate the building’s rules. Because your body belongs to God, you must not violate his standards for living.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the Word that You bring into my life. I thank You that it is what I need to hear and learn daily. I thank You Lord for being the God who can and the God who will help us in our times of need. Lord, when I look to You I am in awe of all that You have done in and through my life. I am in awe of how You were able to make ways when there didn’t seem to be a way. I am in awe of how when I talked to You about my hopes and dreams, You made them materialize. I am in awe of how You were able to take us (two “busy” people) and show us how much we can do when we are doing it for You and in Your strength rather than for us and in our strength. Help us Lord to prioritize things in our lives so that You may receive the praise, the honor, and the glory because of what we say and what we do and how we act. Lord, help us to eat properly in a way that will bring honor to Your Spirit living in us. Lord helps to do what is right for our bodies that they would be pleasing and honoring as a temple for the Holy Spirit. Help us I pray to live up to Your standards as You don’t want us to just be average as we learn through Jesus’ Words throughout the New Testament. Things like don’t kill, He tells us don’t continue to be angry with your brother nor harbor malice for it will have the same penalty. Another example is to not commit adultery, but Jesus calls us again to a higher calling saying to not look at someone lustfully as it is equivalent to having committed adultery in your heart. Help us Lord to step up to that higher calling today so that in all we say and all we do, You may receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13


Chronological

  • Judges 9
    • Who is ruling over your life? Who are you depending on? Where does your hope come from?
      • 8 One time the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us.9 But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, by which God and man are honored, and go to wave over the trees?10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, You come and reign over us.11 But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go to wave over the trees?12 Then the trees said to the vine (grapevine), You come and reign over us.13 And the vine (grapevine) replied, Should I leave my new wine, which rejoices God and man, and go to wave over the trees?14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, You come and reign over us.15 And the bramble said to the trees, If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.16 Now therefore, if you acted sincerely and honorably when you made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house and have done to him as his deeds deserved–17 For my father fought for you, jeopardized his life, and rescued you from the hand of Midian;18 And you have risen up against my father’s house this day and have slain his sons, seventy men, on one stone and have made Abimelech, son of his maidservant, king over the people of Shechem because he is your kinsman–19 If you then have acted sincerely and honorably with Jerubbaal and his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you;20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-millo, and let fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech.21 And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there for fear of Abimelech his brother.
    • God is the judge and in the end there will be justice.
      • 47 Abimelech was told that all the people of the Tower of Shechem were gathered together.48 And Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the men with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand and cut down a bundle of brush, picked it up, and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the men with him, What you have seen me do, make haste to do also.49 So each of the men cut down his bundle and following Abimelech put it against the stronghold and set [the stronghold] on fire over the people in it, so that all the people of the Tower of Shechem also died, about 1,000 men and women.50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez and encamped against Thebez and took it.51 But there was a strong tower in the city, and all the people of the city–men and women–fled to it, shut themselves in, and went to the roof of the tower.52 And Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it and drew near the door of the tower to burn it with fire.53 But a certain woman cast an upper millstone [down] upon Abimelech’s head and broke his skull.54 Then he called hastily to the young man, his armor-bearer, and said to him, Draw your sword and slay me, so that men may not say of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed each man to his home.56 Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech which he had done to his father [Gideon] by slaying his seventy brothers;57 And all the wickedness of the men of Shechem God repaid upon their heads and caused to come upon them the curse of Jotham son of Jerubbaal.
  • Judges 10
    • God provides people to come and call us back unto Himself. How long before we forget?
      • Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar
      • Jair the Gileadite
    • Where will we stand? Will we forget and have to deal with the consequences? Have we forgotten and are we dealing with them right now?
      • 6 And the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, served the Baals, the Ashtaroth [female deities], the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. They forsook the Lord and did not serve Him.7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites,8 And they oppressed and crushed and broke the Israelites that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.9 And the Ammonites passed over the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was sorely distressed.
    • What will it take? How much does it take for us to turn back to God? Will we turn from our wicked ways back to God, humble ourselves and pray so that God will forgive our sins and heal our land?
      • 10 And the Israelites cried to the Lord, saying, We have sinned against You, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.11 And the Lord said to the Israelites, Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, and the Philistines?12 Also when the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites oppressed and crushed you, you cried to Me, and I delivered you out of their hands.13 Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will deliver you no more.14 Go, cry to the gods you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.15 And the Israelites said to the Lord, We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only deliver us, we pray You, this day.16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord, and His heart became impatient over the misery of Israel.17 Then the Ammonites were gathered together and they encamped in Gilead. And the Israelites assembled and encamped at Mizpah.18 And the leaders of Gilead [the Israelites] said one to another, Who is the man who will begin to fight against the Ammonites? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
    • Are you someone who will lead people back? Are you someone looking for someone to lead you back?
  • Judges 11
    • God can use the least of us to lead the rest of us. He can take the rejected and restore them for His glory.
      • 1 NOW JEPHTHAH the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a harlot. Gilead was Jephthah’s father.2 And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when his wife’s sons grew up, they thrust Jephthah out and said to him, You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men gathered around Jephthah and went on raids with him.4 And after a time, the Ammonites made war against Israel.5 And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah out of the land of Tob;6 And they said to Jephthah, Come and be our leader, that we may fight with the Ammonites.
    • Who will you turn to? Can admit that you made a mistake? How will you make up for the things you had said and done?
      • 7 But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, This is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight the Ammonites and be our head over all the citizens of Gilead.9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites and the Lord gives them over to me, [understand that] I will be your head.10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, The Lord is witness between us, if we do not do as you have said.11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah repeated all he had promised before the Lord at Mizpah.12 And Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites, saying, What have you to do with me, that you have come against me to fight in my land?13 The Ammonites’ king replied to the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land [which was not true] when they came up out of Egypt [300 years before], from the Arnon even to Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore, restore those lands peaceably.14 And Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the Ammonites15 And said to him, Thus says Jephthah, Israel did not take the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites.16 But when [Israel] came up from Egypt, [they] walked through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh.17 Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Let us, we pray, pass through your land, but the king of Edom would not listen. Also they sent to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh.18 Then they went through the wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon; but they came not within the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab.19 Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, Let us pass, we pray you, through your land to our country.20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory; so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.21 And the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them; so Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.22 They possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to the Jordan.23 So now the Lord God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel, and should you possess them?24 Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all the Lord our God dispossessed before us, we will possess.25 Now are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel or did he ever go to war with them?26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities along the banks of the Arnon for 300 years, why did you not recover [your lost lands] during that time?27 So I have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong to war against me. The Lord, the [righteous] Judge, judge this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.28 But the king of the Ammonites did not listen to the message Jephthah sent him.29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites.30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, If You will indeed give the Ammonites into my hand,31 Then whatever or whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites, it shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it or him up as a burnt offering.32 Then Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight with them, and the Lord gave them into his hand.33 And from Aroer to Minnith he smote them, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-cheramim [the meadow of vineyards], with a very great slaughter. So the Ammonites were subdued before the Israelites.34 Then Jephthah came to Mizpah to his home, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances! And she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.35 And when he saw her, he rent his clothes and said, Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are the cause of great trouble to me; for I have opened my mouth [in a vow] to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.36 And she said to him, My father, if you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do to me according to what you have vowed, since the Lord has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, the Ammonites.37 And she said to her father, Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months, that I may go and wander upon the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months, and she went with her companions and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.39 At the end of two months she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. She never mated with a man. This became a custom in Israel–40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to mourn the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
    • Be careful the deals you make and that you carry them out.
  • Judges 12
    • God continues to provide guidance to this very day.
    • If we will listen, we will hear
    • We see the transition through out the generations.
      • Jephthah
      • Ibzan of Bethlehem
      • Elon the ZebuluniteAbdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite

Do you know what you are? Do you know important that makes you?


1 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?17 If anyone does hurt to God’s temple or corrupts it [with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you [the believing church and its individual believers] are.

Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand that they were a unified assembly. They were not to see themselves as a collection of competing interests or independent individuals. Paul was emphasizing the intent of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21-23 that believers be unified in God. What actions can you take this week to strengthen your ties to fellow Christians in the church of Jesus Christ?

John 17:21-23

21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:23 I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it, for this is the day that You have made so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord to know and to read and to hear that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit is so impactful and powerful in my life. To know that when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, that You send the Holy Spirit to indwell me that the Spirit could interceded even when I don’t know what to say. To know how important I have become to You that You are my fortress and strong tower, You are my strength and help in times of need, You are my protector and guide. Lord to realize the importance and the reason why You have brought others into my life so that that we may come together and be one as You and Jesus are one and that we may be one with You Lord. As I look forward Lord, I know the rest of the story, however, between now and then I will need Your help. Your strength to make it through each day, Your wisdom to make it through each situation of each day, Your discernment for every decision of each day so that I may not be swayed but stand firm on the rock of Jesus Christ on which I am building my life, my house, my hopes, and my dreams. Lord, as I look forward, help me I pray to complete all that You have planned. As I look forward, guide my commitments and my focus to the things that You would have me do. Lord, provide me with the right words at the right times to be able to be a supporter, an encourager, a servant and one who blesses those in authority over me that they may know that You are with me and that You may receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1 John 4:12-13


Chronological

  • Judges 6
    • When we forget we go astray, Do you have anything that helps you remember? Once you have forgotten, how long will it take you to remember what you need to do?
      • 1 BUT THE Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years
      • 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the Israelites cried to the Lord.7 And when they cried to the Lord because of Midian,
    • Do you need to hear from a prophet to get back on track? Have you gone anywhere that would allow you to hear what God is saying to you? (Church, radio, TV) Will you turn back to God?
      • 8 The Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites, who said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt and brought you forth out of the house of bondage.9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land.10 And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed My voice.
    • If we humble ourselves and pray, turn from our wicked ways and cry out to God, He will forgive our sins and He will heal our land.
    • What if God picks you to be the one to help rescue the people. Will you test the Lord or will you say “Here I am Lord”? Will you walk in obedience to your calling and trust in God for the rest?
      • 11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak (terebinth) at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage.13 And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.14 The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?15 Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.16 The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.17 Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talks with me.18 Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return.19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them to Him under the oak and presented them.20 And the Angel of God said to him, Take the meat and unleavened cakes and lay them on this rock and pour the broth over them. And he did so.21 Then the Angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and there flared up fire from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.22 And when Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!23 The Lord said to him, Peace be to you, do not fear; you shall not die.
    • Will you prepare your heart and mind to be used by God? Will you offer yourself up to God for His purpose?
      • 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord is Peace. To this day it still stands in Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
    • As you draw nearer to God he will draw nearer to you. Listen and hear what he is asking of You as he did when He was speaking to Gideon.
      • 25 That night the Lord said to Gideon, Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] that is beside it;26 And build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold with stones laid in proper order. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him, but because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the Asherah was cut down that was beside it, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built.29 And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And when they searched and asked, they were told, Gideon son of Joash has done this thing.30 Then the men of the city commanded Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? He who will contend for Baal, let him be put to death while it is still morning. If Baal is a god, let him contend for himself because one has pulled down his altar.32 Therefore on that day he called Gideon Jerubbaal, meaning, Let Baal contend against him, because he had pulled down his altar.33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came together and, crossing the Jordan, encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.34 But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of] Abiezer was gathered to him.35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and the Manassites were called to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, to Zebulun, and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.
    • Do you need confirmation before you take a big leap of faith? Do you need a sign to let you know that you are doing the right thing? What do you need to know before you will go and do what God is asking you to do?
      • 36 And Gideon said to God, If You will deliver Israel by my hand as You have said,37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You have said.38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the dew out of the fleece, he wrung from it a bowlful of water.39 And Gideon said to God, Let not your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once. Let me make trial only this once with the fleece, I pray you; let it now be dry only upon the fleece and upon all the ground let there be dew.40 And God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
  • Judges 7
    • How many people do you need to get it all done? Can it be done with what you have or is it possible to do it with less? Are there too many and so if you win the victory you may take credit rather than giving it where it is due – to the Lord? Let’s think about that and hear what happened to Gideon.
      • 1 THEN JERUBBAAL, that is, Gideon, and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was north of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.2 The Lord said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast about themselves against Me, saying, My own hand has delivered me.3 So now proclaim in the ears of the men, saying, Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him turn back and depart from Mount Gilead. And 22,000 of the men returned, but 10,000 remained.4 And the Lord said to Gideon, The men are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. And he of whom I say to you, This man shall go with you, shall go with you; and he of whom I say to you, This man shall not go with you, shall not go.5 So he brought the men down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, Everyone who laps up the water with his tongue as a dog laps it, you shall set by himself, likewise everyone who bows down on his knees to drink.6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.7 And the Lord said to Gideon, With the 300 men who lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the others return every man to his home.8 So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands, and he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his home and retained those 300 men. And the host of Midian was below him in the valley.
    • Now you have a small core of people chosen by God. Now will you do what He calls you to go and do? That is right not just go, but also do. Or do you still need a bit more encouragement from God?
      • 9 That same night the Lord said to Gideon, Arise, go down against their camp, for I have given it into your hand.10 But if you fear to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp11 And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp. Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the camp of the armed men.12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east lay along the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand on the seashore for multitude.13 When Gideon arrived, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.14 And his comrade replied, This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. Into his hand God has given Midian and all the host.15 When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped and returned to the camp of Israel and said, Arise, for the Lord has given into your hand the host of Midian.
    • What can God do with such a small group of people? He can deliver an entire nation from the edge of a cliff and restore it back into peace, God’s peace that goes beyond understanding.
      • 16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets and empty pitchers, with torches inside the pitchers.17 And he said to them, Look at me, then do likewise. When I come to the edge of their camp, do as I do.18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, For the Lord and for Gideon!19 So Gideon and the 100 men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when the guards had just been changed, and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.20 And the three companies blew the trumpets and shattered the pitchers, holding the torches in their left hands, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow [leaving no chance to use swords], and they cried, The sword for the Lord and Gideon!21 They stood every man in his place round about the camp, and all the [Midianite] army ran–they cried out and fled.22 When [Gideon’s men] blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every [Midianite’s] sword against his comrade and against all the army, and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah by Tabbath.23 And the men of Israel were called together out of Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites and take all the intervening fords as far as Beth-barah and also the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together and took all the fords as far as Beth-barah and also the Jordan.25 And [the men of Ephraim] took the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they slew Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan.
  • Judges 8
    • Ever found people get upset because you didn’t ask them?
      • 1 AND THE men of Ephraim said to Gideon, Why have you treated us like this, not calling us when you went to fight with Midian? And they quarreled with him furiously.2 And he said to them, What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of [your big tribe of] Ephraim better than the vintage of [my little clan of] Abiezer?3 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger toward him was abated when he had said that.
    • How will you respond when they want you to be their ruler? Will you tell them that they need to be following the Lord?
      • 22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us–you and your son and your son’s son also–for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.23 And Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.
    • Be careful what you do with the spoils. It could become a snare to  you or those after you.
      • 24 And Gideon said to them, Let me make a request of you–every man of you give me the earrings of his spoil. For [the Midianites] had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites [general term for all descendants of Keturah].25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and every man cast on it the earrings of his spoil.26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescents and pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and the chains that were about their camels’ necks.27 And Gideon made an ephod [a sacred, high priest’s garment] of it, and put it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel paid homage to it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.
    • How long will people remember the great and mighty works of God? How long will that peace last?
      • 28 Thus was Midian subdued before the Israelites so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had peace and rest for forty years in the days of Gideon.29 Jerubbaal (Gideon) son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.30 Now Gideon had seventy sons born to him, for he had many wives.31 And his concubine, who was in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.33 As soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites turned again and played the harlot after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god.34 And the Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, Who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side;35 Neither did they show kindness to the family of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, in return for all the good which he had done for Israel.

How long does it take to forget? (fall asleep) How long does it take to remember? (wake up) What does it take for us to turnaround?


1 Corinthians 2:13

13 And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit].

Everyone wants to be wise. Yet Paul taught the Corinthians that true wisdom or discernment requires the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Because Satan’s greatest impact on us occurs when he deceives us, we need the Holy Spirit’s help. Spiritual discernment enables us to draw conclusions based on God’s perspective, make wise decisions in difficult circumstances, recognize the activities of God’s Spirit, distinguish the correct and incorrect use of Scripture, and identify and expose false teachers. Ask God to give you his discernment as you serve him. Let that discernment guide you in your daily walk.


Heavenly Father,
As I start this day I first look to You for strength and wisdom. I start this day celebrating the joy that comes from having a living relationship with You. I celebrate that You are with me always and have great and mighty plans. Lord, as I look towards today I pray for Your hand to lead me and guide me. I pray for Your Spirit to speak to me and through me, the provide wisdom for every situation that will come my way. Lord, as You search my heart and my mind, purify them, help my words that come from the overflow of my heart share the gifts of the spirit into the lives of those around me. Let the joy of the Lord which is my strength be visible to other and help to encourage others through my daily walk. Lord God, Help Your priorities for me today to be my priorities. Help me Lord to do what You want me to do, say what You want me to say, and hear what You want me to hear. Help me to do all that I do in love sharing the joy and hope that comes from my trust and love and faith in You. Give me eyes to see what needs to be done. Give me ears to hear what isn’t being said. Give me words to speak that need to be heard. And through the power of Your Spirit may Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Lord in all I say and do, may You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

Hebrews 12:28


Chronological

  • Judges 3
    • Nations left behind to teach war to the Israelites
      • 3 The remaining nations are: the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath.4 They were for the testing and proving of Israel to know whether Israel would listen and obey the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by Moses.
    • What will it take to make us remember our roots? What will it take for us to remember our dependence on God? What will it take for a new revival to take place in this nation and the nations around the world?
      • have we walked away from God?
        • 5 And the Israelites dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites;6 And they married their daughters and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 7 And the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.
      • have we done things to anger the Lord?
        • 8 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the Israelites served Chushan-rishathaim eight years.
      • When will we turn back to God? When will we humble ourselves and repent/turn back to God? Do you know what God will do if we humble ourselves, turn back to Him, and pray? He will forgive our sins and heal our land.
        • 9 But when the Israelites cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel to deliver them, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand and his hand prevailed over Chushan-rishathaim.11 And the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel son of Kenaz died.
      • Do you remember the last time our lives were shaken up? How long ago was it and have we forgotten or have a new generation that never knew about it? Can we teach and educate them so that they don’t forget and repeat the mistakes of the past?
        • 12 And the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord.13 And [Eglon] gathered to him the men of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and they possessed the City of Palm Trees (Jericho).14 And the Israelites served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years.
      • God is faithful. His love endures forever. What will it take for our eyes to open up again? What will it take to reawaken us? If we will repent and turn back to God, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and heal our land.
        • 15 But when the Israelites cried to the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man; and by him the Israelites sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab.16 Ehud made for himself a sword, a cubit long, which had two edges, and he girded it on his right thigh under his clothing.17 And he brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who had carried it.19 He himself went [with them] as far as the sculptured [boundary] stones near Gilgal, and then turned back and came to Eglon and said, I have a secret errand to you, O king. Eglon commanded silence, and all who stood by him went out from him.20 When Ehud had come [near] to him as he was sitting alone in his cool upper apartment, Ehud said, I have a commission from God to execute to you. And the king arose from his seat.21 Then Ehud put forth his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon’s belly.22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed upon the blade, for [Ehud] did not draw the sword out of his belly, and the dirt came out.23 Then Ehud went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the upper room upon [Eglon] and locked them.24 When [Ehud] had gone out, [Eglon’s] servants came. And when they saw the doors of the upper room were locked, they thought, Surely he [is seeking privacy while he] relieves himself in the closet of the cool chamber.25 They waited a long time until they became embarrassed and uneasy, but when he still did not open the doors of the upper room, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their master fallen to the floor, dead!26 Ehud escaped while they delayed and passed beyond the sculptured [boundary] stones (images) and escaped to Seirah.27 When he arrived, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down from the hill country, with him at their head.28 And he said to them, Follow me, for the Lord has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and permitted not a man to pass over.29 They slew at that time about 10,000 Moabites, all strong, courageous men; not a man escaped.30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel, and the land had peace and rest for eighty years.31 After [Ehud] was Shamgar son of Anath, who slew 600 Philistine men with an oxgoad. He also delivered Israel.
      • How long after a victory of God, an awakening of God does it take before we will forget and slide back into the old ways or ways that aren’t in alignment with God’s will for our lives? Is it 10? Is it 20? Is it 40? Is it 80? How long will it take for a new awakening to take place?
  • Judges 4
    • What happens when we have forgotten? What is the impact?
      • 1 BUT AFTER Ehud died the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord.2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth-hagoiim [fortress or city of the nations].
    • How bad does it have to get before we start looking beyond what man can do alone? How bad does it have to feel before people call out?
      • 3 Then the Israelites cried to the Lord, for [Jabin] had 900 chariots of iron and had severely oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time.5 She sat under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment.6 And she sent and called Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded [you], Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun?7 And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you at the river Kishon with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand?8 And Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.9 And she said, I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the trip you take will not be for your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. [Fulfilled in Judg. 4:22.]10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and he went up with 10,000 men at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.11 Now Heber the Kenite, of the descendants of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, had separated from the Kenites and encamped as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.12 When it was told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor,13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him from Harosheth-hagoiim to the river Kishon.14 And Deborah said to Barak, Up! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Is not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him.15 And the Lord confused and terrified Sisera and all his chariot drivers and all his army before Barak with the sword. And Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled on foot.16 But Barak pursued after the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoiim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear. So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.19 And he said to her, Give me, I pray you, a little water to drink for I am thirsty. And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him.20 And he said to her, Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, Is there any man here? Tell him, No.21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand and went softly to him and drove the pin through his temple and into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep from weariness. So he died.22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, Come, and I will show you the man you seek. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent pin was in his temples.23 So God subdued on that day Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.24 And the hand of the Israelites bore more and more upon Jabin king of Canaan until they had destroyed [him].
    • We need on our side and to go with us into every situation we are going to face. If He isn’t going or coming with You, then it probably isn’t the right place to be or go. So make sure He is with you and that you are heading the right way.
  • Judges 5
    • Praise God for all He has done. He is our redeemer. He is our deliverer. He is our strong tower. He is our defense. He is our stronghold. He is our ever present help in times of need.
    • How long will we remember and celebrate God’s goodness?
      • 31 So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it rises in its might. And the land had peace and rest for forty years.

Do you point out all the good that has taken place prior to helping to correct? Do you use the sandwich method with the good being the bread that surrounds the harder message, the meat you also want to share?


1 Corinthians 1:4-6

4 I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,5 [So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination [to give you full insight into its meaning].6 In this way [our] witnessing concerning Christ (the Messiah) was so confirmed and established and made sure in you

In this letter, Paul wrote some strong words to the Corinthians, but he began on a positive note of thanksgiving. He affirmed their privilege of belonging to the Lord and receiving his grace, the power God gave them to speak out for him and understand his truth, and the reality of their spiritual gifts. When we must correct others, it helps to begin by affirming what God has already accomplished in them.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I know Lord that this is the day that You have made so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Let Your Word today Lord speak into my heart, mind, and soul to overflowing. Help me to be saturated in it that the thoughts I have, the words I speak will come from the overflow of the Spirit. Lord, thank You for a great message this weekend. Thank You for a great team in worship, tech, and preaching. Thank You Lord that I was able to be there to not only share in receiving the message, but also in serving others as they came to receive what You had for each of them. Lord, let my faith in You allow me to walk in the hope, the joy, the peace that comes from knowing You. Let it be a light in a world that is struggling to make ends meet. Help me Lord to be a good steward of all that You have given me. Help me to prioritize and accomplish Your top priorities. And in and through this day, may You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7


Chronological 

  • Judges 1
    • After Joshua had passed the tribes were battling and claiming their land.
    • Some didn’t drive out all the inhabitants as they had been commanded though.
      • ex:
        • But the Benjamites did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; the Jebusites dwell with the Benjamites in Jerusalem to this day.
        • Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or of Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their villages, but the Canaanites remained in that land.
        • 28 When Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor but did not utterly drive them out.29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer, but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or of Nahalol, but the Canaanites dwelt among them and were put to forced labor.31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob;32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out.33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh or of Beth-anath, but dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; but the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.34 The Amorites forced the Danites back into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down into the plain;35 The Amorites remained fixed in Mount Heres [mountain of the sun], in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim; yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became subject to forced labor.36 And the border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock Sela and onward.
  • Judges 2
    • The Angel of the Lord confronts the people
      • I brought you up from Egypt and have brought you to the land which I swore to give to your fathers, and I said, I will never break My covenant with you; 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; but you shall break down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?
    • He speaks of the problems they will face for having not obeyed the voice of the Lord
      • So now I say, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.
    • The people wept at this thought, but as the older generation passed on the next generation didn’t recognize or understand the Lord or even know what He had done for Israel
    • They fell into the trap of doing evil
    • There are problems that occur when the children aren’t taught about the origins of how things were set into motion. There are problems that occur when there is a generation that doesn’t realize the work, the plans, the blessings that occurred because of God’s hand was leading them. The promise provided blessings and curses. This was true in the past and in the present. Are we raising up our children to understand God’s hand in everything we get to experience, or just taking for granted the blessings, the freedoms, the peace? If we don’t want to see such great troubles, we need to turn back to God and His plans. We need to serve God. We need to seek God. We need to remember the commandments and laws that He has provided. We need to follow after the teachings of Jesus which provide true peace, hope, and love.
      • 11 And the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.12 And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods of the peoples round about them and bowed down to them, and provoked the Lord to anger.13 And they forsook the Lord and served Baal [the god worshiped by the Canaanites] and the Ashtaroth [female deities such as Ashtoreth and Asherah].14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them into the power of plunderers who robbed them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could no longer stand before their foes.15 Whenever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them; and they were bitterly distressed.
    • Who will be the judges to help bring us back towards God? Will we listen? For how long?
      • 16 But the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the hands of those who robbed them.17 And yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them. They turned quickly out of the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not so.18 When the Lord raised them up judges, then He was with the judge and delivered them out of the hands of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to relent because of their groanings by reason of those who oppressed and vexed them.19 But when the judge was dead, they turned back and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, following and serving other gods, and bowing down to them. They did not cease from their practices or their stubborn way.20 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and He said, Because this people have transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and have not listened to My voice,21 I from now on will also not drive out from before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not.23 So the Lord left those nations, without driving them out at once, nor had He delivered them into Joshua’s power.