~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Judges 19:1-20:48 ~ John 3:22-4:3
Psalm 104:24-35 ~ Proverbs 14:22-23
Old Testament - Hmmm... notice the similarities between Judges chapter 19 and Genesis chapter 19? In Genesis chapter 19 two angels arrived in Sodom in the evening and they planned to spend the night in the town square. But Lot insisted they go with him and spend the night at his house. Then, in the middle of the night the men of Sodom came to Lot's house to have sex with the two angels. Lot offered his two virgin daughters instead... see the unfortunate similarities? Social protocol of the time - protecting a house guest at any cost - unfortunately carried more authority in Judges chapter 19 than God's law and moral convictions. Obviously this is an extreme case in Judges chapter 19.... yet, is it possible that in today's world social protocol of our time can sometimes carry more authority than moral convictions? Will we stand tall today and protect someone when this is the case? We will stand up for moral convictions over social protocol today?
An image is below for Judges chapter 19 verses 16 & 17 - "That evening an old man came home from his work in the fields. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was living in Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. When he saw the travelers sitting in the town square, he asked them where they were from and where they were going."
An another image is below for Judges chapter 20 verses 4 through 7 - "The Levite, the husband of the woman who had been murdered, said, "My concubine and I came to Gibeah, a town in the land of Benjamin, to spend the night. That night some of the leaders of Gibeah surrounded the house, planning to kill me, and they raped my concubine until she was dead. So I cut her body into twelve pieces and sent the pieces throughout the land of Israel, for these men have committed this terrible and shameful crime. Now then, the entire community of Israel must decide what should be done about this!""
New Testament - Wow... I love John the Baptist's words about Jesus in John chapter 3 today! Great stuff. Please read these verses again and meditate upon them in your life today. The verse that really stood out to me today was verse 30 when John said this about Jesus - "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." How very true and how very applicable to our lives today. We must let Jesus become greater and greater in our lives, hearts, and actions, and our individualism/selfishness must become less and less. How are you doing on this? Are you allowing Jesus to become greater and greater in your life and are "you" becoming less and less?
Here's an image of John the Baptist giving his sermon in today's readings -
Bible.org's commentary on John chapter 3's readings today titled "John's Joy and his Disciples Jealousy" is at this link.
Psalms - Today we finish up Psalm 104, which we started yesterday. I mentioned in yesterday's post, that this is a great Psalm of praising God's creation. And indeed it is. What I didn't realize yesterday, but I picked up today, is that this Psalm overall goes through Genesis 1 and the story of creation. Not quite in the same order of creation, or the same details. But, essentially this Psalm is a retelling of Genesis 1. Very cool...
I love Psalm 104 verse 33 today - "I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!" I so pray that this verse will be true for both you and me. I pray we will sing to God as long as we live. I pray we will praise God to our very last breath. And in particular at our very last breath I pray we are praising God.
Proverbs - Proverbs verse 14 chapter 22 is awesome - "if you plan good, you will be granted unfailing love and faithfulness." Great stuff! And so true. Do you plan good in your life? Do you consciously think of ways you can bless others? Do you love others well? Do you surprise others with grace? Often? Do you believe that if you plan good, you will be granted unfailing love and faithfulness?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!