There is some good stuff in Deborah’s Song, so we’ll unpack it slowly over the next few readings. There is no reason to rush through a chapter when we can take time to savor how it is speaking to us. I’ve known people who have studied for months, even years, on just a few verses! God’s word is alive, and it always brings new messages when the time is right.
We now start to imagine the victory chants that took place when Deborah’s words, actually God’s message to Deborah, came true! They had defeated their foe, and even the earth trembled. That speaks to me of the great communion of God with his creation. When God’s will is being accomplished, we can expect to witness a movement taking place.
I got out my pen and paper to try and map out the relations of Joseph mentioned in this reading. I’m afraid that didn’t really help. I even turned to a commentary and decided that rather than get caught up in these details, I would look for the message to me. That’s always a good thing when we read God’s Word. If something doesn’t make sense, and the Spirit isn’t opening up any sort of revelation, pray for the message.
The message I’m taking away today is be twofold. Be careful what you ask God for and be grateful to God for what he gives you. I’m curious what spoke to you today? Let me explain what I am reflecting on today.
Imagine you’ve just been told you’re going to live another fifteen years when you thought you were going to die? I’ve never faced an impending death sentence like King Hezekiah was, but I have had plenty of friends and family members receive news from a doctor that their life was coming to an end sooner than later. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions one feels in that moment hearing those words. Then moments later to hear you’ve got more time!
“Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” When Hezekiah heard these words from the Lord, he was distraught! Since the message was from God, it is surely true. We see this same historical passage in 2 Kings 20, too. Yet, Hezekiah wasn’t ready to die. He pled with God. “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Isaiah immediately got word from God, before he was even out of the middle courtyard, to go back and tell the king he wouldn’t die after all but live another fifteen years.
When we think of sin, greed is one of those that comes to mind for me. What keeps people separated from God? Their desire and preoccupation with money and wealth. How we view money and the acquisition of the same speaks volumes. Some people are so focused on that that they lose sight of God and what God wants for us. Our infatuation with money can be sinful when it keeps us from a relationship with God.
Money can also be a great asset used to do great things. It
can be used for ministry, for feeding the poor, for leaving a legacy. When we
use our wealth to further the kingdom, our priorities are in the right place.
We are no longer greedy wanting the money only for our own selfish desires. God
will bless that. It again comes down to the heart. What is our motivation? How
will God be honored?
What a day for the God’s people! A miracle from God to be sure. Esther and Mordecai’s prayers have been answered in a mighty way. God’s justice was evident. Evil was conquered.
Did you understand what happened here? It took me a couple times reading through the passage. Haman’s evil plan to kill the Jews had been endorsed by the king. Apparently, an order of the king could not be revoked according to their law. So, another order had to be crafted to offset the first. Both laws were to come due, so to speak, on the same day.