Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Judges 13–16

      Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. Judges 15:20 NIV
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      Israel’s history continued in the cycle of disobedience, judgment, and crying out for deliverance. Then, once again, the Lord would provide a judge to lead the nation to victory. Samson’s story is interesting, not because of his role as a judge, but because of his supernatural strength. He was a man with serious character flaws–who often behaved foolishly–yet God still used him to carry out His sovereign plan.
      Israel’s primary struggle at this time was in the spiritual realm, between the One True God and Dagon, the demonic idol the Philistines worshiped. God’s plan would prevail, in spite of Samson’s moral failures, and his tragic end brought victory for Israel against the Philistines.
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      Lord, help me to remember that life is not all about me and mine. It’s also about Your plan for my church, neighborhood, community, country and the world. Give me an obedient heart so that my character will reflect your love for the world, not be conformed to it. May Your will be done "on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
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      “I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth.” Psalm 135:5-6 NIV

Wednesday, October 17, 2012



Read Judges 6–7

      When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?" Judges 6:12 13 NIV
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      For seven years God had allowed the Midianites to attack Israel, and they "so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help." (6:6) Israel had repeatedly returned to idolatry, followed by defeat and desperate prayers for help, then God would send a leader to deliver them from their enemies.
     Once again God listened to their cry, and this time, His choice of a deliverer was a young man named Gideon. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon saying, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." Surprised by this greeting, Gideon questioned, "If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?”

      Gideon could not understand how God was going to use him–the youngest member of his family in the smallest tribe–to lead Israel to victory. The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?" (6:13–14)
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      Lord, like Gideon, we don’t understand why certain things happen the way they do. But I know that You have promised never to leave or forsake us. Give us the faith to trust Your provision in our lives, even when we cannot see how You are going to do it.
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      Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV

Wednesday, October 10, 2012



Read Joshua 24; Judges 2:1-10

      "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 NIV
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      Just before he died, Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel together and they presented themselves before God. In the exact words of the Lord, Joshua reviewed all God had done since He brought them out of Egypt. Then Joshua said,
     "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness…But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:14–15)
     God had kept all of His promises, but Joshua knew the people would persist in turning to their false gods. After Joshua’s generation passed away, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10) The older generation served the Lord, but failed to tell their children the stories of what God had done.
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     Lord, help us to remember to talk of your love and faithfulness to our children and to remind them often of the responsibility they will have in telling their children. Don’t let it be said of anyone in our family that they “neither knew the Lord nor what He had done for their parents.”
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      Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua 24:31 NIV

Thursday, October 4, 2012



Read Joshua 9:1–10:14

     The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us."

Joshua 10:6 NIV
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      When the Gibeonites heard about Israel’s miraculous victories at Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They pretended to be traveling from a distant country when in fact they were near neighbors. They said, “This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is.” The men of Israel sampled their provisions “but did not inquire of the LORD.” (Joshua 9:14) Then Joshua signed a treaty with them and the leaders ratified it by oath.  In spite of the questionable way this treaty came about, God expected Israel to honor it and so they went to war to defend the Gibeonites. 
     The Lord worked a mighty miracle on the day the Israelites defended the Gibeonites’: The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day till the nation avenged itself on its enemies. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! (Joshua 10:13-14)
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      Lord, help me to be careful when making promises and faithful to keep them, especially to my children, remembering that You are a covenant keeping God.
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    “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”   2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV