Reading #1 – Judges 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 6
Reading #3 – Proverbs 13
Reading #4 – Acts 9
Reading #5 – 1 Kings 8
Judges 7 – Gideon Defeats the Midianites. Gideon started with 32,000 men after two winnowings, he had 300 men left in the ranks. “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their strength (2). The easiest reduction was by asking “who is afraid or tremoring at the prospect of fighting the Midianites” to which 22,000 men confessed to being afraid; this is a Mosaic law of battle (Deuteronomy 20:8). G_d is never concerned about large numbers when it comes to warfare. So, 301 men fought an imposing army but not by their strength. Understand this, when it comes to spiritual battle, it is not about “what is in front of us” but “what is in our heart”. Gideon’s victory did not occur because he got lucky nor that it was “just the perfect environment” but that he trusted in the Lord and G_d made his Gideon’s mountain standstill (Palm 30:6-7). In the end, the imposing army was decimated mostly because of “fear”.
1 Kings 8 – Solomon Dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem. Construction of the temple was the “crown jewel” of David’s desires. If there is one lesson we should learn from this project it is, “even when we make the most egregious mistakes, G_d can make the mistakes to be a ramp of success for our life. G_d never wanted a “temple for His glory”, He wanted a “heart filled to overflowing with his love, compassion, and joy.” Solomon’s prayer was from the heart and G_d honored it. “Praise the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors (56-58).
Psalms 6 – A Psalm of David. When we sin, we open the door for the Devil to come into our lives. Once he is in the house, he changes the settings, desecrates the temple (our heart), and makes us feel alone. O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you restore me (1-3)? David would find out the hard way why adultery is wrong and who gets hurt because of our actions. The period between “the sin” and the “healing” maybe days, possibly months, or years. I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies (6-7).
Proverbs 13 – Choices In the Backdrop. We are presented with choices and opportunities. The wise father addresses each of them for his child. What the child does with the information, will greatly determine the pathway he or she will follow. The Devil knows that if he were to force us into committing an action, we’d rebel against it but, when he makes the choice seem good we will act on it. If Bathsheba had forced herself upon David, he might have rebelled and refused her like what Joseph did when Potipher’s wife tried to get him to have sex with her (Genesis 39). Yet, show the wares and let “Lust” do the rest. Godliness guards the path of the blameless, but the evil is misled by sin (6). Sin is never presented as “pure evil” it is presented as “fulfilling the joy of man’s desiring” because for something to be sold it has to meet the person’s need or the sale will not occur.
Acts 9 – Saul’s Conversion. Saul had been hell-bent on destroying the church under the auspices of the Sanhedrin. Having received a license to destroy the church by whatever means possible, he set off for Damascus. While on the road, he ran into a roadblock or a “stumbling stone” (1 Peter 2:8).” This was a turning point for the church because the man who could destroy would be the one to build up and fortify the church for the remaining years of his life. When the Lord appeared to Ananias, His message was “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake (15-16).” When we turn away from sin and serve the Living G_d, the people we used to associate with will say, “isn’t this _____ the one who did _____”?