Our continuation of our devotional journey next takes us to the book of Judges. Joshua was a wonderful leader of the people and lived to be 110 years old. But sadly once he died, the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. (Judges 2:11-12).
So, God raises up judges, who will save the people out of the land of those who plunder them. We see early on in the history of mankind that our disobedience to God and turning away from him brings with it pain and suffering. So, now God has put into place judges to lead the people. There are 12 judges in all, some good and some bad, and some very bad.
In our lives are we sometimes like the Israelites who abandon God. Do we sadly worship Baals (idols) in our lives as well? I fear it is ever so easy to do, for you see, anything that we place in our lives ahead of God would be considered an idol. God doesn’t want to be first in your life, he wants to be the center of your life, and have everything else rotate around him.
God is close to those who desire to be close to him, a quote I shared with you in a previous article. As you read the devotionals this week, keep this in mind, and center your life on God and see the peace that follows.
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. Judges 2:11.
Often times in our lives we simply must have our own way. We may not readily admit this, but i fear it is ever so true. Well, our reading today is very much like this for the people of Israel. Joshua leads them to the promised land, then sets up a plan whereby the people will conquer all of the inhabitants of the land, with the Lord’s help. Life is good for a while for the Israelites. But when Joshua and his predecessors died, the new generation of Israelites decide they know better than the Lord what’s best for their lives. They begin worshipping pagan gods and do evil in the sight of the Lord. Sadly, God turns away from them and the Israelites are in a terrible mess. Let this be a teaching moment to us in our lives, God’s way is the best way for us to live. Trust and obey the Lord, and see the peace He desires for you in your life.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to always follow you and trust you as you lead our lives. Give us wisdom to discern your will for our lives. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, give us courage to surrender our lives to you, to follow the paths you have for us. In the trials of our lives don’t let our internal fear take away our courage to follow you. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, we are ever so weak on our own. Please give us the wisdom to always know you are with us in our daily walk in life and lead us as we go. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, lead us in our lives by strengthening our faith in you. Keep us from being tempted to treat you as a deal maker, but rather teach us to honor you as the one and only almighty God. Amen.
Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Judges 16:28.
Samson’s strength did not come from his hair but came from his faith and obedience to God. As a Nazarite, Samson observed a sacred vow not to cut his hair, but when he allowed his personal agenda to take over his commitment to God, his strength left him (v19). Ridiculed, blinded and humiliated, Samson turns back to God by faith and the Lord strengthens him again allowing him to destroy the Philistines. Let this story be a valuable lesson to us in our lives in how you call us to live. Live faithfully following God, trust in him for your strength and don’t put your own agenda above the commitment you have to the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, let our faith be grounded in your words to us. Let us follow your commands, trusting that your guidance and direction for our lives is the path we should follow. Amen.
Day 44: Caring for another
Prayer: Lord, show us how caring for others in our lives I show you call us to live. Teach us daily to love our neighbor as you love us, and let us do so joyously. Amen.
May your walk be filled with wonder, beauty and joy as you follow a path that will grow your closer and closer to the Lord. Peace, joy, patience are all waiting on you as you grow closer and live your life more like Christ.
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