Judges 12 - Day 304 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Judges 12:1-7
Commentary: Ephraimites’ complaint. The Ephraimites are inclined to be contentious (see with Gideon, 8:1 and comment there), but while Gideon is able to assuage them, here the complaint escalates into civil war. None of the territory taken from the Ammonites had been allotted to Ephraim, but their allotted territory was across the Jordan from the Ammonite lands. It should also be remembered that the tribes of Israel were set up as individual entities joined together by their common faith and heritage. The only formal leadership they recognized was the leadership of their national God, Yahweh, and the tribal leadership of elders and clan heads. Jephthah represented a departure from that because he was given a formal position of rule (see comment on 11:8–10). This may have been viewed as a threat to other tribes.
Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., Jdg 12:1). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Application: God allowed Jephthah to purge the contentious Ephraimites from the nation. I'm not sure how to process this, but I understand that the freedom God gives us shouldn't be used to abuse others or be a trouble-maker.
Prayer: Lord, change my contentious heart...
Judges 11 - Day 303 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Judges 11:1-10
Observation: Jephthah's mother was a prostitute so his half brothers chased him off so he wouldn't receive any of their father's inheritance. Later, when the townsfolk needed him to fight for them, he questioned their integrity.
Application: We don't get to choose who our parents are. We get to make a life for ourselves. Choose wisely and don't make foolish promises (verse 31-38).
Prayer: Lord, You have chosen to give me life. Please help me live my life for You...
Judges 10 - Day 302 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Judges 10:6-16
Observation: Like a broken record (scratched CD, corrupted disk drive, etc.) the Israelites continue to sin against the Lord.
Application: It's easy to read the bible and think to ourselves, "How could the Israelites continue to disobey God?" Instead, we should be asking, "Lord, how am I disobeying You?"
Prayer: Lord, draw me close to You...
Judges 9 - Day 301 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Judges 9
Observation: Gideon's son Abimelech murders 70 of his half brothers.
Application; People who say that the bible is boring and irrelevant have never taken the time to read the bible for themselves. Human nature has not changed over the centuries so we still have a lot to learn from reading these stories.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner...
Judges 8 - Day 300 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Judges 8:1-3
Observation: The people of Ephraim want to pick a fight with Gideon but he dispels their anger with a humble response.
Application: Gideon chose his battles wisely. Rather than engage the people of Ephraim (fellow Israelites) and defend his actions, he chose to appease their pride (and stupidity) and focus his energy on the real enemy.
Prayer: Lord, help me to choose my battles wisely...
Husband, Father, Pastor....
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