Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Judges 4-5 (2.13-14 M-T)
In Judges, God commands Barak, through the prophetess Deborah, to go in battle against Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army. This story contains elements that become red herrings to the reader. Some focus on Deborah and Jael, and how God used women to win the battle. Some question Barak’s willingness to lead. And then Sisera is murdered, quite brutally. This story, as the entire book of Judges, is a bit crazy.
But while God raised up leaders in this dark time in Israel’s history, these leaders are not the heroes. Judges 4:4 tells us that God routed Sisera and his men. Another version says the Lord threw Sisera and his army into confusion. The song of praise, which Deborah and Barak sing together after the victory, acknowledges God as the One whose presence won the battle.
Are you looking for God at work in the world? I often forget that God’s presence is working in the big things, like national and global events. Just as in the Book of Judges, our world is a little crazy right now. It is easy to get distracted by red herrings: political leaders, arguments and protests, a lack of willingness in others to respond or understand, and brutality against humanity. But just as we read in Judges, God is at work in our world. He routes the enemy. He brings the victory. He is the One at work.
Question: In what way have you seen God at work in the world this past week?
Read Judges 13 (2.18 Saturday)
James 1:5 states: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Wisdom might be my word for 2017, as it has been my continual prayer. Wisdom for relationships, wisdom for classes, wisdom for dreams and plans. The cry for wisdom often comes when we feel directionless, uncertain, or confused about life.
Manoah and his wife felt directionless. An angel came to Manoah’s wife, who was infertile, and told her she would conceive and give birth to a son. Astonished, the woman told Manoah the news the angel had given her. Not only would this couple have a son, but he would be a Nazarite: an individual set apart for service to the Lord. Manoah’s response was an immediate cry for wisdom, and scripture tells us that God listened to Manoah’s plea.
This story offers hope. Thousands of years before James penned his message to the early church, Manoah sought for wisdom. Just like me. Are you seeking wisdom? Are there situations for which you feel directionless or confused? God hears your cries for wisdom. Just as He answered the plea of Manoah, James offers us a promise that God will hear and give generously, without finding fault in our request.
Question: How has God granted you wisdom in the past? Thank Him for that! What do you need wisdom for today?
Reflections written by Emily Alexander