Names commemorating events (Session 1 – Week 4 – Day 4)

11 08 2006

Reading: Genesis 22:13-18

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”


What is the context of the incident?

Abraham had just gone up onto the mountaintop to sacrifice his only son, as the LORD had instructed him to. Just before he did, however, the angel of the LORD stopped him. In thanks to God, Abraham found a ram caught in a thicket and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.


Why was the name appropriate?

Abraham called that place Jehova-Jireh, The LORD Will Provide, because the LORD had provided Abraham with another sacrifice (the ram) in place of his son.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Absolutely!! The LORD saw that Abraham truly feared Him and was willing to give back the only son that He had blessed them with. God had provided them with a son that was nothing short of a miracle, and then provided Abraham with a sacrifice to praise Him up on the mountaintop as well. Had Abraham not been obedient to God and had he tried to hide or run away with his only son, the LORD would not have provided him with another sacrifice, and he would have likely lost his son. (because, we all know that running and hiding from the LORD just doesn’t work. Go ask Jonah!)


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God shows us that He is our Jehova-Jireh by providing for us everything that we need. He gave Abraham a son with his wife, Sarah, and He gave Abraham a suitable sacrifice in place of that son upon the mountain top. Even in our times of greatest turmoil (and you know that Abraham wasn’t exactly excited about the thought of sacrificing his son!), God provides us with a way out. We just have to be obedient to Him so that He can show us that way out.


Reading: Judges 6:19-24

19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak. 20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” 23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.


What is the context of the incident?

Gideon had looked upon the face of the angel of the LORD, which is pretty much a death sentence for a sinful man. But the LORD said to Gideon, “Peace! Do not be afraid”. Gideon recognized the LORD there as Jehovah Shalom, The Lord Is Peace.


Why was the name appropriate?

The LORD is the bringer of peace. Without Him, lives are filled with turmoil, devoid of the peace and grace that only God can give us. Gideon knew that without that Peace, he would have been dead. Without that same peace, we are dead in our sins as well.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Gideon had not quite been sure that it was the LORD that he was talking with (after all, he had just been told that he, being of the weakest clan in Manasseh and the least in his family, would save Israel from the Midianites). After bringing a sacrifice of food and unleavened bread to the LORD (which the LORD burned with the touch of His staff), Gideon knew that he was in the presence of the LORD. He was a God fearing man, and knew that it could mean death to him for looking upon the LORD as he had. But the LORD gave Gideon peace and strength to save Israel in return for his obedience.


Reading: Exodus 15:23-27

23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.


What is the context of the incident?

The Israelites, while wandering in the desert, had come to Marah where the water was bitter and undrinkable. The Israelites, being the God fearing and trusting people that they were, asked Moses what he (Moses) was going to do for them, since there was no water to drink. Moses, being the one who actually knew that the LORD would take care of them, called upon Him for direction. The LORD showed Moses a piece of wood and told him to throw it into the water. After Moses did this, the waters became sweet and the people were able to drink.


Why was the name appropriate?

God showed himself to the Israelites as Jehova-Rapha, The Lord Who Heals. He took the poisonous water and made it drinkable for His people; He promised not to bring the diseases upon them that He had brought upon the Egyptians.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

When the LORD had told Moses what he needed to do to cleanse the waters, Moses was obedient to the LORD, there would have been no water to drink. On top of that, the decree that the LORD had made with them came with a catch – The LORD would keep the diseases that He brought upon the Egyptians away if Israel pays attention to His commands and keeps all of His decrees. So, unless they wanted some pretty nasty stuff to happen to them, obedience is of the essence here!


Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. 5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.


What is the context of the incident?

The LORD is warning the nations who have scattered Israel and have not cared for them while under their “care” (or, more likely, their oppression) that He will punish them for what they have done. The LORD promises that He will gather his flock together, giving them a King who will reign over them and be the savior of Judah and Israel. He will call him Jehovah Tsidkenu, The LORD Our Righteousness.


Why was the name appropriate?

Righteousness was stripped away from man with The Fall. Our sins keep us from reaching that righteousness that is necessary for us to be in a relationship with God. Jehovah Tsidkenu would once again restore that righteousness to His people.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Obedience, and in this case, more-so faith and believe in our Jehovah-Tsidkenu is of utmost importance. It is critical to our salvation that our faith is strong and our believe is firm in our savior!


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God was telling us that He was sending Jehovah-Tsidkenu to reign wisely and do what is right and just in the land. He would save Judah and let Israel to live in safety. This is the messiah that the Jews were looking for, and unfortunately missed when He (Jesus) came to be that savior for them.


Reading: Exodus 17:8-15

8The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.


What is the context of the incident?

Israel, lead by Joshua, is fighting the Amalekites while Moses, Aaron and Hur watched from atop a hill. So long as Moses raised the staff of the LORD, the Israelites were winning. When he lowered his arms, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses arms got tired, Aaron and Hur held them up for him. The Israelites overcame the Amalakites. The LORD then told Moses to record this on a scroll and remember that He will blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. With that, Moses built an alter to the LORD, calling it Jehovah-Nissi, The Lord is my Banner.


Why was the name appropriate?

Jehovah-Nissi, The Lord is my Banner, was a reminder to all that as long as we keep the LORD in front of us, if He is the banner that we carry, we will prevail. In older times, the banner carriers in a war were the ones who troops could rally around. Seeing that banner held high would rejuvenate them and fill them with the energy and determination that they would prevail. By keeping the LORD as our banner, He becomes our rally point, the one that we can run to and know that we are surrounded by fellow believers, to reside in the safety and security that only the LORD can bring. Hold your banner high!


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Had Moses not been obedient to the LORD by holding the staff of God in his arms, the Israelites would have fallen to the Amalekites.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

I studied these names over the summer, so tonight’s reading really wraps up much of what I have learned about God over the past 12 (or so) weeks. I very clearly remember studying about Jehova-Nissi during my reading and group discussions. I remember talking with the other women about how Jesus is our banner that we hold high in order to assure ourselves victory over our enemies. God is, was and always will be Jehova-Nissi, the banner that we hold high. With Him in front of us, with Him as our rally point, with Him leading us, we are assured of His victory!


Reading: Ezekiel 48:15-35

15 “The remaining area, 5,000 cubits wide and 25,000 cubits long, will be for the common use of the city, for houses and for pastureland. The city will be in the center of it 16 and will have these measurements: the north side 4,500 cubits, the south side 4,500 cubits, the east side 4,500 cubits, and the west side 4,500 cubits. 17 The pastureland for the city will be 250 cubits on the north, 250 cubits on the south, 250 cubits on the east, and 250 cubits on the west. 18 What remains of the area, bordering on the sacred portion and running the length of it, will be 10,000 cubits on the east side and 10,000 cubits on the west side. Its produce will supply food for the workers of the city. 19 The workers from the city who farm it will come from all the tribes of Israel. 20 The entire portion will be a square, 25,000 cubits on each side. As a special gift you will set aside the sacred portion, along with the property of the city. 21 “What remains on both sides of the area formed by the sacred portion and the city property will belong to the prince. It will extend eastward from the 25,000 cubits of the sacred portion to the eastern border, and westward from the 25,000 cubits to the western border. Both these areas running the length of the tribal portions will belong to the prince, and the sacred portion with the temple sanctuary will be in the center of them. 22 So the property of the Levites and the property of the city will lie in the center of the area that belongs to the prince. The area belonging to the prince will lie between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin. 23 “As for the rest of the tribes: Benjamin will have one portion; it will extend from the east side to the west side. 24 “Simeon will have one portion; it will border the territory of Benjamin from east to west. 25 “Issachar will have one portion; it will border the territory of Simeon from east to west. 26 “Zebulun will have one portion; it will border the territory of Issachar from east to west. 27 “Gad will have one portion; it will border the territory of Zebulun from east to west. 28 “The southern boundary of Gad will run south from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Great Sea. 29 “This is the land you are to allot as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel, and these will be their portions,” declares the Sovereign Lord. 30 “These will be the exits of the city: Beginning on the north side, which is 4,500 cubits long, 31 the gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi. 32 “On the east side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan. 33 “On the south side, which measures 4,500 cubits, will be three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun. 34 “On the west side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali. 35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: ~the Lord is there.”


What is the context of the incident?


Why was the name appropriate?


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

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Session 1 – Week 4 – Day 4

11 08 2006

Reading: Genesis 22:13-18

What is the context of the incident?

Abraham has gone up to the mountain top to sacrifice his only son because the Lord God has instructed him to do so. Once he gets up there, he is prepared to sacrifice his only son the Lord when an angel of the Lord stops him. He finds a goat that he can offer to the Lord as sacrifice instead.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Yireh (Yahweh-Yireh) — “The Lord will provide”

The Lord provided for Abraham what he thought he was going to have to do. He provided for Israel all of the years before Christ’s arrival and the Lord provides for us exactly what we need to do His will today.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

If Abraham was not obedient to the instructions of the Lord, the covenant established by the Lord would not have happened. Abraham’s obedience was an essential element. His obedience allowed the Lord to provide for him and to establish a covenant with Abraham.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

Abraham’s faith and obedience was tested. The Lord wanted to make sure that he was ready for what He had in mind for him. Once Abraham demonstrated his obedience to the Lord, God blessed Him greatly. Not only did He bless him, He blessed His offspring. God promised something to Abraham and He kept His promise.


Reading: Exodus 15:23-27

What is the context of the incident?

Moses is leading the Israelites away from Egypt and into the promised land of the Lord. They have stopped at a location where they cannot find anything to drink. Moses calls out to the Lord and He provides for all of the Israelites.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Rapha” — “The Lord that heals”

God protected the Israelites from their surroundings and the journey. He healed them from their situation and their oppression. God closed the wounds that were open for the Israelites beforehand.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

God’s gift (healing) was conditional on their obedience. He tells them that if they listen to His voice, do that which is right in His eyes, listen to His commandments and keep all of His laws, then and only then will He keep diseases away from them. Their obedience, or lack thereof, will determine the gifts showered upon them by the Lord.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God loves His people. He always provided for them — time and time again. This time, they needed water to drink and He provided for them. He then made them a promise — a promise that is contingent upon them obeying His command. He demands obedience in return for blessings and gifts.


Reading: Exodus 17:8-15

What is the context of the incident?

The Israelites are fighting against Amalek. Joshua went and fought while Moses stood on a hill top. When Moses raised the staff of the Lord, the Israelites would prevail. However, whenever he lowered the staff, Amalek would prevail.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Niss”i (Yahweh-Nissi) — “The Lord our Banner”

God is the reason we are able to do anything good. He is our banner and our heart’s desire. We can only accomplish the things we hope to accomplish through Him.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Whenever Moses lowered the staff, the Israelites would begin to lose the battle. Obedience was required from Moses or else they would not survive. Likewise, our obedience is required in order to realize the true blessings the Lord will give to us.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God wanted the Israelites to realize that they were insignificant in this battle against Amalek. Only when they were obedient to His instructions could they win. It was only because He allowed it that they were able to defeat Amalek. He could have done it with an army of 100 or an army of 100,000.


Reading: Judges 6:19-24

What is the context of the incident?

The angel of the Lord just visited Gideon; however, He has not revealed Himself to Gideon yet in the story. Once Gideon is obedient to the instructions of the angel, He reveals Himself to Gideon. Gideon fears for his life since he has now seen the Lord face to face. However, the Lord offers him peace and protection.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Shalom — “The Lord our Peace”

God blesses us with peace in our lives. He keeps us safe from tribulations and evil all of the time. He allows us to realize the greatness of His protection and solace.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Gideon’s obedience was the reason the Lord revealed Himself and then blessed Gideon. His obedience became the very thing that allowed the Lord to reveal His nature and His message to Gideon.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God loves His people. He will bless those who are obedient and trust in Him. Gideon did not realize that it was the Lord but showed the angel love and hospitality. This is what we are instructed to do with others in our life.


Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

What is the context of the incident?

Jeremiah is speaking on behalf of the Lord to all of the people. At this point, he is explaining the role of the shepherd and the expectation that the Lord has of the shepherd. He then moves in to prophesy regarding the coming of Jesus Christ, the perfect shepherd.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Tsidkenu — “The Lord our Righteousness”

God is perfect. He is righteous and we are not. He knows the right thing to do in every situation and does it. Even if we know the right thing, we don’t always do it. God loves His children and is going to send His Son to earth to demonstrate to fallen man righteousness.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

Obedience to Christ is the key message here. As the flock of Christ, if we do not follow Him, we will be lost all of the days of our life. Christ is righteousness. We are lawlessness. If we love another and tend to others as if they were our own children, our obedience will be recognized by the Lord.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God loves His people. He wants to gather them together and protect them. In order to provide a way for them to be with Him one day, He knew that it would require His own son’s perfect blood to pay for our sins. He wants us to love one another and provide for each other, just as Christ modeled for us. By doing this, we are following His commands.


Reading: Ezekiel 48:15-35

What is the context of the incident?

The Lord is providing instructions to the tribes of Israel on how they should divide the lands that He has given to them. He has given them precise measurements and precise locations so that they know exactly what to do. He makes sure that they know that He will continue to be with them through all of this.


Why was the name appropriate?

Name: YHWH-Shammah — “The Lord is present”

The Lord is always there. He is always with us — He never leaves. He cares so much about us that He never wants to leave our side. Unfortunately, we don’t have that same mindset. We stray from the Lord and put our focus on earthly priorities, or false idols.


Is obedience important in the account? In what way?

By following His precise instructions, His will would be complete. He knew that the people could live there in harmony forever if only they would follow His instructions. Unfortunately, that is simply not something man is capable of doing most of the time.


Summarize what the incident teaches of God’s character and the way he showed his nature to humankind before we had the example of Jesus.

God had a very precise plan for everyone of us. He wants us to simply listen and obey. Our obedience will always bring about blessings from the Lord. When we do not listen, that is when we will find ourselves in greater struggles.





Judges 21

9 05 2006

Israel met to mourn over the great loss of the tribe of Benjamin. There were a few survivors and that had to figure out how to support those last few. It seemed to fit in their customs of the day but I struggled with the fact that they gave these men wives from another Israel tribe (at Shiloh). The last verse of the passage (and the chapter) pretty much sums up my thoughts around this:

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 NASB)

Would the LORD say that about me today? Would my co-workers? My family? My neighbors? My church? My life should be given over to the LORD in all ways. If I do what is right in my own eyes, I am likely to be sinning against the LORD. If, however, I give my eyes to the LORD to see — I will see perfectly clearly and be aligned with His will. In that situation, my actions will be joyous to the LORD.





Judges 20

8 05 2006

Israel met to discuss what had happened from Judges 19. They realized the evil that the sons of Benjamin had committed. They raised an army to march against the Benjaminites and destroy them.

Before the armies marched against the sons of Benjamin, they went to Bethel and prayed to the LORD for guidance. They asked Him who should go fight against the sons of Benjamin. This is another example of living all of your decisions through the LORD. They did not just send all of the men to go and destroy the sons of Benjamin — they prayerfully considered who, how many, etc. When we let the LORD make the decisions in our life, we can be assured that the path we are going down is the right path. It reminds me of a line in Proverbs:

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6 NASB)

If I take the time and let Him guide me, I will do well. If I make the decisions on my own, I may think I am doing well, but the fact is that I am not…





Judges 19

7 05 2006

As I read this chapter, I am completely speechless. I am not sure, at this time, what the LORD will have my learn from this passage but hopefully by the time I stop thinking and writing, I will have heard Him clearly.

The encounter between the Levite, his concubine and the concubine’s father is interesting. Initially, she flees her husband and runs back to her father’s house. Once the Levite finds her there, her father continues to keep them there. Fed up with the delays, the Levite leaves on the fifth day. This ends up being a very bad decision for the woman. The servant asks the master to stay in a Jebusite town; however, the Levite instructs the servant that they will not stay in a city of foreigners to the house of Israel. As they travel and decide to stay in the town of Gibeah (a Benjaminite town), they find no one that will open there home to them. Once a home is opened to them, the men in the city decide they want to have relations with the Levite. This is where I become stumped. What in the world!?! The devil was obviously at work in these men. In order to save his own life, the Levite offers his virgin daughter and this concubine woman to the homosexual men. After hours of having their way with the concubine, she finally escapes only to die on the doorstep of the Levite’s house. He shows no sympathy or remorse, he simply tells her to get up so they could leave. Once he realizes she is dead, he cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends a piece to each tribe.

OK. I am fairly convinced that I have just finished ready the most grotesque scene in the Bible. I am struggling, in my own mind, to understand the message behind this passage. There are a few options in my mind:

  1. Just how bad the behavior of the Israelites had gotten
  2. Demonstration of God’s hatred for homosexuality (similar to Genesis 19:1-29)

There are too many similarities between Genesis 19 and this story for me to avoid the thought that the LORD was perhaps prepared to destroy several of these cities that were not obeying His laws. I am apt to believe that God was completely repulsed by the behavior of nearly every single person in this entire story. I find two good characters in this: the concubine’s father and the man who allows the Levite into his home.

As I think about our modern society, there are many similarities I am sure that the LORD can see. It humbles me (almost to tears) to think about how bad our society has become. Our Heavenly Father can see everything we are doing, he can hear every one of our thoughts. Are we living our lives in complete sin without any thoughts of repentance? Do we despise our personal sins to the point of tears?

Application: The LORD knows everything at all times. He knows the beginning and already knows the end. I can choose to allow the LORD to guide me in my journey to my heavenly home or I can live in sin separate from Him. I do not have to be as horrible and grotesque as the men in this story to still be sinful. Every sin is repulsive to the LORD. I must be faithful in asking for forgiveness of my sins and truly repenting — not just in words.





Judges 18

6 05 2006

The Danites were looking for the land that the LORD had promised then when the five men, sent to spy out the land, came across Micah’s house. They asked the priest at Micah’s house for wisdom from God to ensure that they were going the right way and that their journey would be prosperous. They were able to find a perfect spot. They returned to their lands and began the journey. At this time, I am not seeing anything that is enlightening me regarding this part of the chapter. It is once the Danites return to Micah’s house that I began to think…

When the six hundred Danites came back to Micah’s house, they decided to take Micah’s things — his ephod, his household idols, a graven image and a molten image. Previously, I thought these items to be false idols. However, the original text uses the word “elohai” here. I had to look into this and found that apparently these items were divine things and were respectful to the LORD. The Danites start to leave with Micah’s belongings when he comes out and questions them and what they are doing. They respond by basically telling him to go back inside his house or he will lose his life. Obviously, he returns — he couldn’t fight six hundred men! What I don’t get about this is that this doesn’t seem to fit with God’s law at the time. The Danites were stealing from their brother without any good reason. Deuteronomy 5:6-22 gives us the LORD’s clear words and direction, formulating the ten commandments — one of those commandments being “You shall not steal.” As the story progresses, we are told that the LORD gives the Danites the land. This is where I get seriously confused. God is just, a promise keeper, and consistent. How could the Danites find favor in the LORD’s eyes when stealing from another? How could He give the them the city of Laish? They were not obedient to His commandments and Laws. God’s characteristics of grace, mercy and love suddenly pop in my mind as well. Only through His grace and mercy could I imagine this happening.

Application: God has given the world a new covenant. He knows that we cannot be righteous in His sight without help. He provided that help when His perfect son came to earth and died for our sins. Today, I know that my salvation is assured based on the death of Christ Jesus. Following the laws and commandments of the LORD are something I strive to do every single day. However, I fall short every day as well. No different than the Danites, I have sinned against the LORD, yet He continues to love me and shower me with grace. Thank you, LORD, for the precious gift of Jesus Christ. Without Him, I would be lost in this world forever.





Judges 17

2 05 2006

Micah doesn’t impress me greatly. It all starts by him stealing the money that his mother cursed. I don’t think it takes a genius to know that it’s not the smartest idea in the world to steal cursed money. After he returns the money to his mother, she goes to a silversmith and has his make a “graven image and a molten image.” Since mom did it, why shouldn’t the son? He then makes a shrine loaded with all sorts of false gods. He consecrates his son so that he may become his priest. Let’s just stop there.

What in the world is Micah thinking? Obviously, he is in touch with the LORD. Not only is he stealing, he creates false idols and consecrates his son to become a priest.

Now for the convicting part… The LORD has given me abundantly, but am I giving back to Him what belongs to Him? Am I any better for not giving back to the LORD a larger portion of what He has given me? When I look at where I spend my time — is it with the LORD? Do I spend more time in front of the television, on the computer, at work or the like than I do with God? Am I that much worse than Micah? Not at all! I am not living my life in accordance with God’s plan and I have to change that — starting immediately.

The other aspect of this chapter that really strikes me is the last verse:

Then Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, seeing I have a Levite as priest.” (Judges 17:13 NASB)

My jaw dropped when I read this line. He recognizes the Law (Levite priesthood) yet he blatantly disregards previously and now thinks that the LORD will bless him because he has a Levite as a priest. I am not sure where his interpretation of the Scriptures came from but this is a frightening statement. Unfortunately, it applies today as well. How many Christians say, “Now that I know Jesus, the LORD will bless me and I don’t have to worry about anything else.” I am a firm believer in salvation by faith alone, sanctification as result of salvation. Only by faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior will I find true salvation. Once I find true salvation, God will use me in great ways and I will be sanctified. Fruits will be evident from my conversion. Scripture tells us “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26 NASB)