Have been up to my one year Bible-reading plan again. And I finished the tragic literature book of Judges last Saturday. It was a total failure, horrible and extremely violent narrative story of the Israelites.
Are we like some of those chosen judges like Deborah (Chapter 4) or Gideon (chapters 6-8)? Good at starting something but struggling to make it a habit or part of our lifestyle? They are the alarming judges who were inconsistent in their moral leadership and obedience to God who eventually lost their way and made destructive decisions that didn’t correspond to God’s will. Thus, such blessings were hindered because of their disobedience of their call for leadership.
Here are just a few of my take-aways from my devotions of this book in the Old Testament:
- Consistency. This has been one of the things that God speaks to me since the beginning of the year. It’s a bit easy to make plans what to do and begin to do something, yet after the tests of faith come, we are tempted to give up. Steadfastness is the manifestation of consistency. Consistency in our actions in whatever commitments/plans we are in is a bit hard and we should align it with steadfastness in God. When I tell myself I should be motivated to do something but without a constant alignment to the source of real motivation, it’s always a failure. It might seem good at first, but at the end of the day, there’s no fruit and my heart isn’t at peace with it. That’s why I love the tone of the word “steadfastness”. It sounds having restedness inwardly that gives us the strength and power to be consistent because we are connected to the One true source who makes us do everything we are called to do!
- No to compromises. This is the theme verse of the book,
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did whatever seemed right to him.” – Judges 17:6
This book reminds me of how heavy the consequences are when we choose to compromise. I know it’s never easy to discern what is right and what is wrong. In this modern world that internet or social medias bring so much information to digest, people can hardly distinguish the valid and authentic piece of knowledge which affects us outwardly and inwardly. That’s why, we have to be careful in discerning who or which should influence us. Like the people of Israel, they could not remain strong and healthy in spirit unless the Canaanite spirit was removed. They got the wrong influence which resulted to downward spiral of compromises. So, they did what was right in their own eyes. They thought it was right, so they compromised. Compromise is deadly! And who doesn’t experience the effect of compromises even in small decision makings which led me to say in the past, “I’ve learned it in a hard way.” Yeah, we all need wisdom and discernment for every action, every decision-making, every commitment we are to involve in. If we neglect God’s wise instruction for us, we may reap painful consequences later. So we have to consistently know how to identify what is good and what is right to avoid compromises!
- God’s sovereignty and grace. Man’s sinfulness is on full display on this book. Over and over again, no matter how sinful people are, God’s amazing grace abounds. His sovereignty points His people to look for a better leader, a better judge, a better king. And it points to God’s complete redemptive plan, to bring the greatest King of all time, Jesus Christ!
And now, next is the book of Ruth! I read yesterday the whole four chapters and I have been learning a lot! It was exciting, looking at it in a new perspective. The narrative story continues to bring God’s redemptive plan for a Messiah, the coming King!