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Judges 4:1-5:31 ~ Luke 22:35-53
Psalm 94:1-23 ~ Proverbs 14:3-4
Old Testament - Okay, women rule in today's readings in Judges!! :) Deborah basically tells Barak that he's being a wimp, so she'll help lead the military victory, and does. Below is a map someone put together of the whole Deborah / Barak v. Sisera battle, with Mt. Tabor in the middle highlighted being a focal point of the battle:
And then Jael, who is likely not an Israelite, finishes off Sisera, the commander of the enemy army of the Israelites, with a tent peg! Don't mess with Deborah or Jael! Below is a painting by Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (yes, also a woman) from the year 1620 titled "Jael and Sisera":
Before this fateful scene above, an image is below for Judges chapter 4 verses 17 & 18: "Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because Heber's family was on friendly terms with King Jabin of Hazor. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don't be afraid." So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket."
In Judges chapter 5 we read the wonderful song of Deborah and Barak, and it is of note in verse 31: "Then there was peace in the land for forty years." Quite a song! Below is artist Gustave Dore's engraving of Deborah's song:
Bob Deffinbaugh with Bible.org's commentary on Joshua chapters 4 & 5 today titled "The Prophetess Deborah" is at this link.
New Testament - I don't think I've really ever noticed this visit from an angel before in Luke chapter 22 verse 43 when Jesus is praying at the Mount of Olives! "Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him."
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 22 readings today titled "The Garden of Gethsemane" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 94 verse 14 is fantastic today - "The LORD will not reject his people; he will not abandon his own special possession." I love this thought - that God will not reject us. He will not abandon us. We are his own special possession. Do you believe that you are God's own special possession?
Bible.org has a wonderful commentary on Psalm 94 titled "The Psalmist Speaks When Society Sins" at this link.
Proverbs - I once heard a pastor say a few words about Proverbs chapter 14 verse 4: "An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable." Basically this pastor was talking about how things were a little bit hectic around the church - due to church growth and related growing pains. And he brought up this verse, with the point being that it is a blessing that the church is not "clean" - in the spic & span sense - because this means a lot of things are happening. There is "income". There are people getting to know God and Jesus. And yes, there are some messes. But it's better than a spic & span clean stable / church where nothing is happen. I like that analogy. I also once heard this same pastor refer to church as a "majestic mess." I like that too! :) Church is not a spic & span clean place all the time. There are messes. There are humans on staff with the church - and humans coming to the church. We are not spic & span clean people all the time. And that's okay. Church is indeed a majestic mess, in the best sense of the word! Speaking of empty clean stables - let us not forget that our Lord Himself came to this world in a full & messy stable!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Do you see the wisdom of this Proverb today? Are you okay if the various "stables" in your life are not empty and clean all of the time? Do you see how a full & messy "stable" can demonstrate that "income" is being generated? Why do you suppose that Jesus came to this world in a full & messy stable? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!