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Judges 17:1-18:31 ~ John 3:1-21
Psalm 104:1-23 ~ Proverbs 14:20-21
Old Testament - Judges chapter 17 & 18 are sad chapters to read! In these chapters we see how far a Levitical priest had wandered from his original call to serve God - by accepting money, idols, and position in Micah's house. And we see how far the tribe of Dan had wandered from God's plan for the tribes of Israel by killing the citizens of Laish - a city that did not fall under God's judgment due to serving idols or wickedness - and Laish was outside the geographical boundaries of the tribe of Dan. Unfortunately, we see Dan's tribe worshiping idols. Verse 6 in chapter 17 stood out to me - "In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes." This verse certainly seems to be building up to the kings of Israel that will soon be coming. But, this verse also indicates to me the importance for each of us to have a king - so that we don't just do whatever seems right in our own eyes. Fortunately, today, we have Jesus Christ as our king. He is the best king we could ever hope for. Do you consider Jesus to be your king?
An image is below for Judges 18 verses 22 & 23 - "When the people from the tribe of Dan were quite a distance from Micah's home, Micah and some of his neighbors came chasing after them. They were shouting as they caught up with them. The men of Dan turned around and said, "What do you want? Why have you called these men together and chased after us like this?""
New Testament - Today in John chapter 3 we will read about Jesus’ interactions with Nicodemus, a member of the Pharisees. This is obviously a powerful chapter, as Jesus’ words in this chapter include the famous John 3:16. In verse 3 we will read this from Jesus – “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” And to this Nicodemus asks in verse 4 – “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born?” What do these verses mean to you? Do you understand Jesus’ statement in verse 3? Do you understand Nicodemus’ confusion and why he asked the question like he did in verse 4? Jesus later goes on in chapter 3 to say that he is referring to being born again in “the Spirit.” It is not a physical rebirth Jesus is referring to in verse 3, but a Spiritual rebirth. I do think this is an appropriate time in our One Year Bible readings – the gospel of John and John chapter 3 in particular – for each of us to ask ourselves if we have been born again in the Spirit? If not, do you want to be born again in the Spirit? Will you pray today to God and Jesus for this Spiritual rebirth?
An image is below for verses 14 & 15 as Jesus says this to Nicodemus - "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life."
Psalms - Psalm 104 is a beautiful hymn to the Creator! I like all of the verses - verse 19 stands out to me because I can find some cool images related to this verse on the web! :) "You made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun that knows when to set."
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 14 verse 21 we read – “He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” How does this verse speak to you? Do you love your neighbor? Who is your neighbor? Do you believe despising your neighbor is a sin? Are you kind to the needy? What are some ways that you are consistently kind to the needy? Do you believe that you are blessed when you are kind to the needy?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!