• William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 18, 2021

Daily Reading: Judges 1-2

Judges 1:1

Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

Such a promising start for a book of the Bible. After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel prayed to the Lord about their next great leader. Instead of appointing a man, the Lord appointed a tribe, Judah. From the tribe of Judah would later come King David, and ultimately Jesus Christ. The note of fact for the beginning of this book is this: Israel asked God who should lead them. Contrast that against the very last verse of the book, Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

This group of people, God's chosen nation, in about 350 years would go from asking God's guidance to every man doing that which was right in their own eyes. How quickly they succumbed to disbelief on a national scale. The 350 years or so of the history of Israel as found in the book of Judges was a tumultuous time. No less than seven times did Israel suffer the same cycle of events. They fell into captivity, then they cried out to God for deliverance, God sent them deliverance through a "judge", they lived in obedience to God during the lifetime of the judge, the judge died, they fell back into disobedience.

As you read the book of Judges note that two magnificent truths are illustrated over and over. One is the utter failure of people when they choose their own way over the way of God. Two, the absolute and continuing grace of God toward fallen, humble, and hurting people.

For today's lesson from today's reading consider the story of Adoni-bezek a Canaanite king. During his reign he conquered seventy kings which he humbled mightily by cutting off their thumbs and their big toes. When Israel conquered Him they cut off his thumbs and big toes. Herein we see God's law of sowing and reaping in real life. As the Bible unfolds, the truth of this law is seen over and over and over again. For as Galatians 6:7 says it will be, so it is. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. The only hope for crop failure is repentance through faith.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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