Category Archives: Protector / Deliverer

Let Us Give Thanks

We should always seek to be thankful to the Lord for all He provides, but Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to come together as family and as a community and a nation to give thanks together to our Lord,  YHWH. For those who follow Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), we always have that most important gift of salvation through grace by faith for which to be thankful… no matter what else may be going on in our lives.

I have found it is very easy to lose focus on the Lord as we get busy in our holiday traditions and celebrations… even Thanksgiving. It seems the Lord dropped a surprise in my shopping bag on my recent trip to a store. I want to share it with you. Lifeway Christian store put together a small booklet of scriptures into a “Thanksgiving Table Devotional”. We have it at our table and we read and share as we come together to eat our meals.

Psalm 106:1

1Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:17

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Philippians 4:6

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 9:1-2

1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.

      2I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

As we read these scriptures together we take time to go around the table and ask about examples of things that are specific to us for which we are grateful to our Father who provides. This is not particularly unique, but it sure is easy to overlook. I appreciate the Lord putting these scriptures where I would find them as I was looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and focused on Him for my family. Praise the Lord He cares for each of us as His children!

What will you make the focus of this Thanksgiving season? Football, shopping, food, fellowship… or our Creator and Father and a right attitude towards Him? My suggestion is to focus on our Father with a healthy side of family fellowship.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Look To God Instead Of Government

It is not the LORD’s will that a king, or any sort of government would take his place in our lives as leader and provider. He is our leader. He and his word directs our path. Sometimes he uses prophets to help communicate that, but the emphasis should be on him and his word. Whatever form of government we have should be directly pointing back to YHWH and obeying his instructions and laws. He does not want us looking to how others that do not follow him govern as an example for us. He wants us to look towards him. It is the sinful nature of man that tries to establish government separate from YHWH and then submits to the laws of man where he would not submit to the the law and instruction of the Father.

1 Samuel 8

Israel Demands a King

      1And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.

      4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8“Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9“Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

Warning concerning a King

      10So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. 11He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12“He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13“He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14“He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15“He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

      19Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. 22The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

Be careful what you ask for as a nation with regards to separating the Father from our government. He will allow it if we reject him, but it will be to our own peril as a nation.

A few more interesting points of consideration… just like Eli, Samuel had children that did not follow in his ways. Samuel was a righteous man. Was it his fault as a father? or did his sons make their own choice to rebel against YHWH? or was it simply that the LORD had not chosen them to be faithful followers? There is always a bit of the second part in every situation like this. We all have personal accountability for following or rejecting YHWH. We do not get any information about Samuel as a father, but one might reasonably conclude that if he had failed as a father, it would be highlighted in the historical record like it was for Eli. Also, we see that Samuel was not rebuked by YHWH for his failure to discipline his sons, or at least it is not recorded here. If it comes down the the third option, the LORD not choosing them to follow, then we must simply trust in the LORD even if we don’t understand.

To make this more personal, imagine it is your children that are not following in his ways. What would you do differently as a parent? Do it now. Pray for him to help your children to follow obediently and faithfully. Learn the ways of the Father in his word and don’t simply accept the teaching and ways of man. Then teach your children. Live out the example for them, admitting when you are wrong and changing behavior to follow YHWH more closely even when it is hard.

Perhaps worth a comment also is the dire warning about a king includes the fact that he will take 1/10th of your stuff. That was considered high apparently for that culture and time. Now look at us. Our obese federal government clamors for 25, 33, 50% and more of what we earn and squanders it on many corrupt and ungodly or mismanaged programs they should never operate in the first place. Clearly in comparison to God’s word, the taxes we face are much too high and instead of looking to what other failed nations are doing as an example, we should look to God and his word for guidance in all things.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Seeking Victory Over An Oppressor

Samuel records an important event in the history of the Israelites in chapter 7, one which we can still learn from and apply to our lives today. The Israelites were subject to the wickedness of the Philistines, who did not serve YHWH. By my observation, in some ways this is not very different from our environment today. We may not be pressed upon by another nation in the USA, but we are surely corrupted and pressed upon within our nation by many in power and influence who are against YHWH, even when they claim to follow him. We witness as people claim what is bad to be good and the other way around. They practically worship the environment, but not the one who created it. They worship at the altar of self and convenience and sacrifice their children through abortion and demand that it must be free and unlimited. They demand everyone accept transgender and homosexual disorders rather than help people overcome it or even allow some to express openly a disagreement with it based on YHWH’s word.

How might we get free of this ongoing struggle? Well, we see in 1 Samuel 7 we should seek the LORD, reject idols and other things which we put in priority for our lives ahead of him (e.g. could be money, job, even spouse or kids, church, public opinion).   Come together with prayer and fasting. Admit our sins and ask forgiveness. Change our sinful ways and turn to YHWH’s ways. And yes, we have to rise up and take action when confronted by those who stand against YHWH. In our society that means continuing to teach and evangelize according to the Bible, not public opinion or what many churches teach. We must not let fear of rejection or animosity stop us. We must get involved in local, state and federal government and vote and influence others to vote based on righteousness of YHWH rather than what the news media or social media say.

1 Samuel 7:1-14

Deliverance from the Philistines

      1And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the LORD and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. 2From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

      3Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the LORD and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the LORD alone.

      5Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.

      7Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the LORD; and Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him. 10Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel. 11The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as below Beth-car.

      12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 13So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Redemption Is Not Earned, But Granted Through Grace

The redemption and marriage of Ruth seems on the surface very strange to us as we have different customs than God’s people did back then. However, it is also a beautiful image of redemption. Ruth left all she knew behind to accompany Naomi into Israel. Naomi was a widow with no more sons to marry Ruth.  Ruth served her loyally and selflessly. Naomi in turn guided her in seeking redemption through her kinsman redeemer, Boaz. Ruth did not understand what all was going on and the significance of each step as she obeyed. She simply trusted and obeyed. She had no power to redeem herself. And in the end she is used by God in the line of David. That is significant for someone starting as a non Jew. She embraced the LORD even when she did not fully understand and even though the LORD’s ways were foreign to her at first. She trusted Naomi who led her.

In a way this can also serve as a picture of our own walk with YHWH. We all start lost, separated from him by sin. We need a redeemer and we find one in Yeshua. He redeems us from our sin and makes a way for us to be reconciled with YHWH. We must trust and accept him, submit to him. We can not “earn” redemption through our own acts. We also do not simply continue doing things our way. How do you think it would have worked out differently in this historical account if Ruth acted as one from Moab instead of adopting the customs of the LORD and his people? Not well.

Let us learn to trust Yeshua as Ruth trusted in Naomi. Let us truly seek and be thankful for our redeemer, Yeshua.

Ruth 3

Boaz Will Redeem Ruth

      1Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2“Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. 3“Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4“It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.” 5She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”

      6So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” 10Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. 11“Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. 12“Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13“Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.”

      14So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?” And she told her all that the man had done for her. 17She said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.”

Ruth 4

The Marriage of Ruth

      1Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, friend, sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3Then he said to the closest relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4“So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.5Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” 6The closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.

      7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. 8So the closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal. 9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10“Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.” 11All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. 12“Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD will give you by this young woman.”

      13So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. 15“May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

The Line of David Began Here

      16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. 17The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

      18Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, 19and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, 20and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, 21and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, 22and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Praise the Lord For Restoration and Prosperity

Let us remember to praise the LORD as he provides restoration and prosperity. It is at times to easy to run to him in difficult times and then forget him when he delivers us from them.

Psalm 147

Praise for Jerusalem’s Restoration and Prosperity.

1Praise the LORD!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.

      2The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

      3He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

      4He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.

      5Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
His understanding is infinite.

      6The LORD supports the afflicted;
He brings down the wicked to the ground.

      7Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,

      8Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

      9He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens which cry.

      10He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.

      11The LORD favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

      12Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!

      13For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
He has blessed your sons within you.

      14He makes peace in your borders;
He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat.

      15He sends forth His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.

      16He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes.

      17He casts forth His ice as fragments;
Who can stand before His cold?

      18He sends forth His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.

      19He declares His words to Jacob,
His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.

      20He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His ordinances, they have not known them.
Praise the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How Blessed Are the People Whose God Is The LORD!

I really appreciate the example David sets in his psalms. He prays to the LORD and asks for help, yes, but he first focuses on praising and recognizing YHWH for who he is and what he has done. He does not simply jump into a list of requests or demands. He comes before YHWH with humility and thankfulness and focuses first on the greatness of our God.

Psalms 144

Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity.

A Psalm of David.

     1Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;

      2My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

      3O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?

      4Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

      5Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down;
Touch the mountains, that they may smoke.

      6Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Send out Your arrows and confuse them.

      7Stretch forth Your hand from on high;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
Out of the hand of aliens

      8Whose mouths speak deceit,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

      9I will sing a new song to You, O God;
Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,

      10Who gives salvation to kings,
Who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.

      11Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens,
Whose mouth speaks deceit
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

      12Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants,
And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;

      13Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce,
And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;

      14Let our cattle bear
Without mishap and without loss,
Let there be no outcry in our streets!

      15How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Come Openly And Honestly To The LORD In Times Of Trouble

We do not need “special” or “long” prayers in order to cry out to YHWH when we are experiencing trouble. Simply cry out for help and submit yourself to him in an open and honest way. Of course, let us also remember to submit to him and maintain relationship with him when times are good as well. We should not ignore him and then come to him only when we are in trouble.

Psalm 142

Prayer for Help in Trouble.

Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

     1I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD;
I make supplication with my voice to the LORD.

      2I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.

      3When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.

      4Look to the right and see;
For there is no one who regards me;
There is no escape for me;
No one cares for my soul.

      5I cried out to You, O LORD;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.

      6“Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.

      7“Bring my soul out of prison,
So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will deal bountifully with me.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Sometimes Difficulties Keep On Coming When You Think You Are Done

Have you ever experienced a situation where someone would not help you when you needed it to accomplish something difficult, but then, when you accomplished it without them, they suddenly get angry at you for not including them? What a frustrating situation.

In Judges 12 we see an extreme version of that. YHWH delivers the sons of Ammon to Jephthah and rather than celebrate and honor the LORD and the victory, the men of Ephraim come out to fight them because they did not get invited to participate in the victory. Wow. With friends like these, who needs enemies, right?

Trust in YHWH to bring you victory even when things seem tough and there seem to continuously be difficulties you don’t expect. Hopefully, we won’t find ourselves often having to go to war, but sometimes in a small way it may seem that way if we are overwhelmed with strife and conflict or lots of things that seem to be going wrong.

Judges 12

Jephthah and His Successors

      1Then the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the sons of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you.” 2Jephthah said to them, “I and my people were at great strife with the sons of Ammon; when I called you, you did not deliver me from their hand. 3“When I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and the LORD gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” 4Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, O Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth.’” But he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim.

      7Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

      8Now Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel after him. 9He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters whom he gave in marriage outside the family, and he brought in thirty daughters from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

      11Now Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel after him; and he judged Israel ten years. 12Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

      13Now Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel after him. 14He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy donkeys; and he judged Israel eight years. 15Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

It would seem that since there is no mention of the people turning  away from YHWH or going to war that perhaps they remained faithful to YHWH during these successive reigns of these judges.  We often see that peace follows a struggle for a time in Judges. We can ask the LORD for that as well in our lives.. that is for peace after a time of struggle. But let us remember to praise him in the peace as earnestly as we call out for help in the struggles.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Being Real and Open In Our Relationship With The Father

The prayers of David in Psalms are truly worth dwelling on and praying in application to our lives today. He was indeed a man after God’s own heart and we can learn from his relationship with YHWH. He had a genuine and open dialog with YHWH, which is perfect since YHWH knows everything already, including how we feel.  Let us not feel like we have to “fool” YHWH by putting on pretenses, but rather be real with him about what is going on in our lives. Ask him for help. Praise him. Thank him.

Psalm 141

An Evening Prayer for Sanctification and Protection.

A Psalm of David.

     1O LORD, I call upon You; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to You!

      2May my prayer be counted as incense before You;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

      3Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.

      4Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice deeds of wickedness
With men who do iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

      5Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me;
It is oil upon the head;
Do not let my head refuse it,
For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.

      6Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock,
And they hear my words, for they are pleasant.

      7As when one plows and breaks open the earth,
Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

      8For my eyes are toward You, O GOD, the Lord;
In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

      9Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me,
And from the snares of those who do iniquity.

      10Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While I pass by safely.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

YHWH Will Choose Whom He Will Choose

I find it amazing to continue to remind myself in reading scripture how often the people that YHWH chooses to use are different than those that man would choose based on the criteria we use to judge. I believe he does this purposefully to show that it is him who brings victory rather than ourselves. Take care not to discount someone based on their personal history or background but instead seek the LORD and test what they bring against the truth of the Bible.

I find it further very interesting that Jephthah took an approach to reason with the aggressors before just picking up and going to war. He tried to resolve the matter peacefully. Ultimately, he calls upon the LORD and achieves victory, but with some complications that we will discuss in the next article when we address the end of Judges 11.

 

Judges 11:1-28

Jephthah the Ninth Judge

     1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a valiant warrior, but he was the son of a harlot. And Gilead was the father of Jephthah. 2Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove 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.” 3So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob; and worthless fellows gathered themselves about Jephthah, and they went out with him.

      4It came about after a while that the sons of Ammon fought against Israel. 5When the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob; 6and they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief that we may fight against the sons of Ammon.” 7Then Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and drive me from my father’s house? So why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?” 8The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “For this reason we have now returned to you, that you may go with us and fight with the sons of Ammon and become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back to fight against the sons of Ammon and the LORD gives them up to me, will I become your head?” 10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The LORD is witness between us; surely we will do as you have said.” 11Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.

      12Now Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the sons of Ammon, saying, “What is between you and me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13The king of the sons of Ammon said to the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok and the Jordan; therefore, return them peaceably now.” 14But Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the sons of Ammon, 15and they said to him, “Thus says Jephthah, ‘Israel did not take away the land of Moab nor the land of the sons of Ammon. 16‘For when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh, 17then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, “Please let us pass through your land,” but the king of Edom would not listen. And they also sent to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh. 18‘Then they went through the wilderness and around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and came to the east side of the land of Moab, and they camped beyond the Arnon; but they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19‘And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, “Please let us pass through your land to our place.” 20‘But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory; so Sihon gathered all his people and camped in Jahaz and fought with Israel. 21‘The LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them; so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22‘So they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and from the wilderness as far as the Jordan. 23‘Since now the LORD, the God of Israel, drove out the Amorites from before His people Israel, are you then to possess it? 24‘Do you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the LORD our God has driven out before us, we will possess it. 25‘Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive with Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26‘While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? 27‘I therefore have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me; may the LORD, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon.’” 28But the king of the sons of Ammon disregarded the message which Jephthah sent him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.