Judges 2:1-9 – Didn’t You Get The Memo?

Read Judges 2:1-9

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The angel’s message from God was pretty clear. The Israelites had messed up by disobeying God’s command. Our last reading said they had “failed” to drive out the Canaanites. Did that mean they didn’t even try? Or is it that they should have tried harder and never accepted defeat because that meant they were ultimately “disobeying” God?

Sometimes in life we have to be prepared to read between the lines and understand what is intended. When we start to make assumptions that our actions are “good enough” without striving to be what God wants us to be, maybe we’re being disobedient, too. We can’t say we didn’t get the memo. We’ve got God’s word right here in our hands. Now it’s up to us to read it. He wants to bless us!

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Judges 1:19-36 – Failure Will Come

Read Judges 1:19-36

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I hope you never put me in a group of doomsday thinkers for long. I’m just not wired anymore to see failure as anything but something to learn from. What we see happening in this passage is just the opposite of what we saw in the last one. You’ll recall how God’s victory continued beyond the life of Joshua. Now what happened?

We see Israel’s failure to remove the remaining Canaanites. As I mentioned before, the problem was not the fear of the Canaanite’s military might but their religious beliefs which ran contrary to God’s will. It wasn’t just one tribe affected either. We see nearly half of the tribes being unsuccessful in ridding their lands of these people. I can’t say “foreigners” because they were there before the Israelites.

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Judges 1:1-18 – Victory With God

Read Judges 1:1-18

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I love starting to read a new book. Especially in the Old Testament, it’s helpful for me to put what I’m reading into context so I can understand God’s story even better. Judges picks up right where Joshua leaves off in the lives of the Israelites. Joshua’s strong leadership will be remembered, but memories will soon fade. We’ll see how the Israelites have a hard time staying true to their God in the absence of strong spiritual leadership. Unfortunately, there was no obvious successor, like Joshua had been following the days of Moses.

We’ll see a definite pattern emerge that will play over and over during the years of the Judges. You might even say this type of behavior continues in some fashion even today. We’ll meet new Bible heroes up close, seeing how God chooses some with questionable qualifications! God sees the heart and always knows what he is doing.

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Jude 1:17-25 – Do This To Be Safe!

Read Jude 1:17-25

quote: do something today that your future self will thank you for

Jude is pretty clear on what we should do. “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.” Don’t we all want to be “safe.” In the world today that could be safety from the pandemic. In other places, it is safety from war or other crimes. Our destiny is safe when we place our trust in Jesus.

The book of Jude is small and mighty. We don’t visit it too often; and preachers don’t often preach from it. But this message was blessed and included in our Holy Scripture for a reason. Since our brains are designed to keep us safe, verses 20 and 21 (above) should really resonate with us. Being “safe in God’s love” sounds to be the safest place we can be.

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Jude 1:1-16 – Defend The Truth

Read Jude 1:1-16

This was a tough passage for me. Standing up for Jesus is exactly what I do, and it’s how I roll. But it wasn’t always the case. I was often deceived by those in church who “sounded good” but weren’t living a godly life. These folks didn’t have God’s seal of approval, but because they were in church, I thought they could be trusted. Jude is putting us on alert to be careful about these people. His opening lines welcome “all who have been called by God the Father,” and the message is timely for us today as well.

It takes more than going to church to make a person holy or in tune with God’s direction for their life. Over the past couple years, I’ve taken a much deeper look into what my faith means to me, what my relationship with God looks like, and how I’m sharing the gifts God has given me. It’s been a process. I’m the first to admit I’m a work in progress! We need to listen up to Jude’s warning here. It’s my prayer for you, as well, to be building a deeper relationship with God.

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