|It is Sunday! How I love Sundays. Today, I read in Judges, Ruth, and I Samuel. Here are some thoughts about what I read:|
1) JUDGES- The Judges is a period of time in the history of Israel where they are in their own land, but since they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land, they now from time to time are in subjection to those same inhabitants they left there. God said that they would become a snare unto them and they now are. From time to time, Israel will cry out to God and God will send a deliver. This man or woman was called a Judge. They judged (or delivered) Israel. Sometimes for a few years up to 40 years. One of the two main re-occurring phrases of the book is: "there was no king in Israel" and "every man did that which was right in their own eyes". These phrases explain the problem. There was no leader, no one to give directions and no one to point the people back to God. So this book is full of historical events that show how God used individuals who rose to the occasion.
2) CAN YOU SAY THIS CORRECTLY? In Judges 12:5,6 it says: "... that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right." This is how they captured the men of Ephraim and kept them from escaping. They had to pronounce something correctly. I have trouble myself with some English words, much less words in Spanish or other languages. In each language, there are ways you have to form your tongue and mouth to pronounce each word. Ways we are not used to and take much practice to do. The Ephramites could not pronounce their "h" in Shibboleth. They said: Sibboleth, and it cost them their lives to say it wrong. Can you pronounce this correctly:
a. I am saved! b. I have been Scriptually baptized! c. I am dedicated to Christ! d. I tithe! e. I serve God! f. I am active in my Church! All of these things we need to say and live correctly to bring pleasure unto the LORD.
3) HANDFULS OF PURPOSE- In Ruth 2:16, it says: "And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not." This instruction was given by Boaz to his servants in the fields that Ruth gleaned. He had left: "handfuls of purpose". I have an older set of books, a series of books, called: "Handfuls of Purpose". I used to use them often as a young preacher but have not for many, many years. They were sermon ideas, sermon starters from many different sources and preachers. Sometimes a developed thought, sometimes just a quick outline of a sermon thought. This is what my blog now consists of.... handfuls of purpose. Ideas of sermon or devotional thoughts or just information. Things that have popped into my head and heart as I read God's Word. Hope this helps you as those books helped me so much so long ago.
4) FAVOR WITH GOD AND MAN- It says of Samuel as a young boy: I Sam. 2:26: "And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the LORD, and also with men." God allowed him to have favor with both. That should be our goal as well. First with the LORD, and then with man as well. If we are pleasing to the LORD, then we will also be pleasing to other men as well.
Hope you have a blessed day! Enjoy Church today! Love the LORD, and serve Him faithfully. May God bless you!! Pastor Mike Mutchler