December 12 – Jesse Tree Story Day 13
The Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah seems fitting today. Fun to watch, but more fun to sing as you dance around the house today!
READ: Judges 2:6-23, 6:1-8:28
Sadly, it’s only the next generation after Joshua, and vs. 2:10 says the Israelites knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel and started worshipping and serving foreign gods. How much God’s heart must have hurt! Then, vs. 2:16 says God raised up judges to help the Israelites, but after each judge died, the people went back to even more wicked ways. I think what happened here is what we see happening around us. Similar to Israel, our nation went through many struggles to become great—wars of independence, civil war, world wars—and our nation mostly stayed under God through those struggles. Now that we are a great nation, we’ve become comfortable in our riches and have started looking around to see what other people have and are doing, and we want what they have to satisfy our constant desire for more. This can happen on a personal level too—the comparison conundrum. And that’s when we are no longer under God; we are vulnerable to attack, and we start worshipping idols rather than our God Who blessed us with our riches. When the Israelites were getting attacked non-stop, whom did they cry to for help (vs. 6:6)? In the week after September 11, 2001, whom did our nation cry to for help? I remember particularly Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol singing a song as a prayer for our country. So they/we hadn’t/haven’t forgotten Him completely?
God loves us so much. He heard the Israelites’ cry, and since they were drawing near to Him in their suffering, He lovingly answered them, raising up a leader, Gideon, to do His work on the ground. God crafted Gideon perfectly to listen and obey at just the right time. After Gideon’s conquests, the Israelites begged Gideon and his family to be their ruler so they could be just like the other nations near them. Back to comparison already? See, they had already forgotten God again! They were blind to God orchestrating this whole story and only saw Gideon saving the day. Gideon knew Who was the Almighty Orchestrator—from vs. 8:23: “But Gideon told them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.’”
And the Lord does rule over us, whether we recognize Him or not. From John 18:37, when Jesus was standing trial before Pilate, “Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’” Revelation 19:16 describes a vision of Jesus in heaven: “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” The trumpets sound. And He shall reign forever and ever (Psalm 10:16, 29:10, 146:10)!
Lord, You are my ruler! You are the source of my blessings. I should listen and obey You and You only.
Help me not to fall prey to the comparison conundrum. You are more than enough for me. Help me to listen to Your truth and let it drown out the lies. You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and You will reign forever and ever! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! To You be all the glory!