Will you be faithful? Will you be obedient? Will you choose wisely and be blessed? This world is filled with things to try and lure you away from God! There are things that will tempt you to go it alone! There are things that will tempt you to worship creation rather than the creator! There are things that will tempt you to walk against the way God planned and asked! There will be things that will try to get you to sway to the left or the right! So what will you do about it? How will you respond? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! So choose wisely! Find ways to remember what God has done! Find ways to put down markets so that you won’t forget! Then walk in faith and obedience to God’s calling on your life! Walk in His blessings! And give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory He deserves! The Spirit will come upon us when we choose to receive Jesus and invite Him into our hearts! We can then allow Him to guide our steps, our thoughts, our words, and our actions! It’s more than a temporary thing! It’s God working in us!
Today’s reading continues in the book of Judges to kick off today…
1Now these are the nations that Adonai left, to test all Israel who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan. 2It was only in order that the generations of Bnei-Yisrael might learn from war, which they had not experienced before. 3These nations included the five Philistine lords, and all the Canaanites, Zidonians and the Hivites living in the hill country of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4They were for testing Israel, to know whether they would obey the mitzvot of Adonai, which He had commanded their fathers by Moses’ hand. 5But Bnei-Yisrael settled among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, 6and took their daughters for themselves as wives, gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshipped their gods. 7Bnei-Yisrael did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, forgot Adonai their God and worshipped the Baalim and the Asherahs.
Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar
8So Adonai’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them over into the hand of King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim, and Bnei-Yisrael served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years. 9When Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, Adonai raised up a deliverer for Bnei-Yisrael to deliver them—Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger kinsman. 10The Spirit of Adonai came upon him as he judged Israel. When he went out to war, Adonai gave King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram into his hand so that he had the upper hand over Cushan-rishathaim. 11Then the land had peace 40 years. When Othniel son of Kenaz died, 12Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. So Adonai strengthened King Eglon of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in Adonai’s eyes. 13So he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, then went and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms. 14Bnei-Yisrael became subject to King Eglon of Moab for 18 years. 15But when Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, Adonai raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud son of Gera the Benjamite—a left-handed man. Now Bnei-Yisrael sent tribute with him to King Eglon of Moab. 16Ehud made himself a double-edged sword, a cubit in length, which he girded on his right thigh under his cloak. 17Then he presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Eglon was a very fat man. 18Now when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried the tribute, 19but he himself turned back, at the idols that were near Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” “Keep silence!” he replied, so all his attendants left him. 20Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in a roof chamber where it was cool, and said, “I have a message from God for you,” so he arose from his throne. 21Then Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly. 22Even the handle went in after the blade and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not withdraw the sword out of his belly—and the filth came out. 23Then Ehud went out by the porch, shut the doors of the roof chamber on him, and locked them. 24After he had gone out, his courtiers came and looked, but behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked. So they said, “He is only relieving himself in the cool chamber.” 25So they waited till they were embarrassed, but behold, he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber. So they took the key and opened them—and behold, their master was lying dead on the floor. 26But Ehud escaped while they were lingering, passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27When he arrived, he blew the shofar in the hill country of Ephraim, so Bnei-Yisrael went down with him from the hill country, and he was in front of them. 28He said to them, “Follow me, for Adonai has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan opposite Moab, and allowed no one to cross over. 29Then they struck down at that time about 10,000 men of Moab—all stout men of valor—not a man escaped. 30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. Then the land had peace for 80 years. 31After him came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down 600 Philistine men with an ox-goad. So he also delivered Israel.
–from Judges 3
Will you live for today and God’s plans and purposes in your life? Will you do what God asks of you? Will you be a voice to speak truth, hope, love, and life into the dark world around you? Will you be the voice of encouragement that the world around you needs to hear? Will you point people away from yourself and back to God? Will you give them the hope that there is a savior and His name is Jesus? Will you go where God goes? Will you stay where God stays? Will you do what He asks of you out of faith and in obedience?
Deborah, Barak and Yael
1But Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes after Ehud had died. 2So Adonai sold them over into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. His army commander was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goyim. 3So Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, for he had 900 iron chariots, and had harshly oppressed Bnei-Yisrael for 20 years. 4Now Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and Bnei-Yisrael came up to her for judgment. 6Now she sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Adonai, God of Israel, commanded, ‘Go, march to Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun? 7Then at the Kishon torrent, I will draw out to you Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army with his chariots and his multitude, and I will give him into your hand.’” 8But Barak said to her, “If you are going with me, then I will go. But if you aren’t going with me, I won’t go.” 9“Surely I will go with you,” she said. “However, no honor will be yours on the way that you are about to go—for Adonai will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10Then Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and 10,000 men marched up after him, and Deborah went up with him. 11Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. 12They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13So Sisera ordered all his chariots—900 iron chariots—and all the troops that were with him, from Harosheth-ha-goyim to the Kishon. 14Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which Adonai will deliver Sisera into your hand. Has Adonai not gone out before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15Adonai threw Sisera and all his chariots and all his army into confusion before Barak with the edge of the sword. Then Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-ha-goyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not one was left. 17Meanwhile Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Yael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18So Yael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid!” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and made him drink some, and covered him. 20Then he said to her, “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you saying, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you will say, ‘There’s no one.’” 21Then Yael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and got a hammer in her hand, approached him stealthily and drove the pin into his temple until it pierced through into the ground—for he was exhausted and in a deep sleep. So he died. 22Now behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Yael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he entered with her, and behold, Sisera was lying dead, with a tent-pin in his temple! 23So on that day God subdued King Jabin of Canaan before Bnei-Yisrael. 24The hand of Bnei-Yisrael pressed hard on King Jabin of Canaan until they had cut off King Jabin of Canaan.
–from Judges 4
Out of your obedience to God, God can work miracles! Out of your faith in God, God can do miracles! So how do you want to go about this? Will you go His way? How will you respond to those who doubt? How will you respond to those who deny? How will you respond to those who don’t believe? Will you stand firm? Will you stand strong? Will you anchor yourself to the truth of God?
There Is No God?
1For the music director, of David. The fool said in his heart: “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2Adonai looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3They all turned aside, became corrupt. There is no one who does good —not even one. 4“Will evildoers never understand— those who consume My people as they eat bread— and never call on Adonai?” 5There they are, in great dread. For God is with the righteous generation. 6You would frustrate the plan of the lowly. Surely Adonai is his refuge! 7O may He give Israel’s salvation out of Zion! When Adonai restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad!
–from Psalms 14
Will you be one who speaks up? Will you be one who speaks out? Do you see what is going on around you? Do you see the direction that the world is heading? What will they accept? What will they reject? What will they believe? What will they doubt? What will they fear? Why? Do they not see that there is a difference? Do they not see that it matters? What can you do today? What will you do today? Let’s live out what today’s reading concludes with from the book of Colossians…
Put Off the Old, Put On the New
1Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4When Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, in glory! 5Therefore, put to death what is earthly in you—sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed—for that is idolatry. 6Because of such things God’s wrath is coming upon the sons of disobedience. 7At one time you also walked in these ways, when you used to live in these ways. 8But now, set them all aside—anger, rage, malice, slander, and foul language out of your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another. After all, you have taken off the old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self that is being renewed in knowledge, according to the image of the One who created him. 11Here there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, savage, slave and free; but Messiah is all, and in all. 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience— 13bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others. 14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfect harmony. 15Let the shalom of Messiah rule in your hearts—to this shalom you were surely called in one body. Also be thankful. 16Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Orderly, Mutual Relationships
18Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not become harsh toward them. 20Children, obey your parents in every respect, for this is pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become discouraged. 22Slaves, obey your human masters in every respect—not just within your master’s sight as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it from the soul, as for the Lord and not for people. 24For you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is to the Lord Messiah you are giving service. 25For the one doing wrong will be paid back for what he did wrong, and there is no favoritism.
–from Colossians 3