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This is a memorable part of Scripture isn't it--of Jael. I think of her as a kind of frontiers woman, smoking a cigar, deep voice. It is interesting that she killed Sisera when he was sleeping though. Yet it is very womanly the way she did it, giving him the milk---was it fermented so it made him sleepy? And then killing him when he was asleep.

It's interesting the lack of male leadership in Israel at this time. Men not wanting to obey God and lead an army to fight. Being in servitude to people you were supposed to have conquered long ago. Jael's husband moving away and making a deal with the Canaanite king. The men were in avoidance of godly responsiblity mode!

Mike thanks for keeping up the posts.

Your comments in the Proverbs area were great. It is so so true. I know many times I'd get frustrated at things going on at church or at the way people acted. My husband always reminded me that church was for people and people aren't perfect and if we were, we wouldn't need church. Some of those times during our church were when people were growing. Thanks so much!

Judges 4-5:31

Today’s reading reminded me of one of my favorite verses from Proverbs. It is one I’ve mediated on a great deal and I’m sure I’ve not fully mined its full meaning and implications:

He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. [Prov. 16:32.] (Proverbs 25:28 AMP),

In The Message it reads,

A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
(Proverbs 25:28 MSG)

Israel as a nation had no self-control, so she “leaked” and “absorbed” everything around her and in her. When one has no self-control, external controls, whether for good or evil, will put you under their control. Crooks experience the concrete and steal control of prisons because they cannot control themselves. One of the Fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23).

I’m seeing in my minds eye the Judges of Israel as a form of external control placed on them by a person who may or may not have their on set of internal controls; yet, either way God uses them to get the job done. In fact, God, when He so chooses, extends His own set of controls to bring His purpose to pass.

Barak, son of Abinoam, may have felt inadequate and, yes, too sinful, to get the job done without Deborah. He trusted her; however, he did not trust the God who gave her the Words to give to him. Are we like that? Do we attach ourselves and/or demand that those who we believe are “closer” to God join us in a God appointed assignment? What does that say about us? If we believe are own “doors” and “windows” are knocked out so that we need some external controls, then we need to work on putting our house in order and hang some doors and put in some windows.

Yet even when we fail at our own controls, God’s controls will only allow us to go so far before He limits our oppressions because He is merciful.

Judges 5 (NKJV)
23
‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel [or Angel] of the LORD, ‘Curse its inhabitants bitterly, Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the mighty.’

NOTE: If the phrase "angel of the Lord" is in fact properly translated "Angel of the Lord", then this shows that the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Himself is once again appearing to come to the aid of His people.

Jesus is God's seal of His covenant with His people.

Luke 22 (NKJV)
36
Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
37
For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: "And He was numbered with the transgressors.' [Isaiah 53:12] For the things concerning Me have an end."

NOTE:
This puzzling event in the history of the life of the Lord Jesus might seem at first glance to contradict what Jesus said to Peter as seen in the following verses from the Gospels of John and Matthew:

John 18 (NKJV)
10
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
11
So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"

Matthew 26 (NKJV)
52
But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

~~~
Yet, looking at the entire event in context shows there is no contradiction.

One particular phrase from verse 37 seems to be the key in understanding this passage from Luke 22:
37...
FOR THE THINGS CONCERNING ME HAVE AN END."

~~~
Jesus simply seems to be saying that the phase of His ministry on earth is soon to come to an end. While He was alive, His physical Presence was protecting them as the Jewish leaders feared the Personality and influence of Jesus on the crowds.

Yet, since His time on earth was coming to an end, He could no longer be like a mother hen physically gathering and protecting His beloved disciples.

His disciples would have to learn to rely on the Spirit of Jesus for themselves.
They would have to learn to use their faith in a new way, and they would need to grow up.

That Jesus never intended them to use force and arms to kill people or expand the Kingdom of God is clear from Scripture. Jesus seems to be simply saying that they must be on their guard for the enemies of Jesus would now be after them.

Psalm 94 (NKJV)
12
Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, And teach out of Your law,
13
That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
14
For the LORD will not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15
But judgment will return to righteousness, And all the upright in heart will follow it.
16
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17
Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18
If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

NOTE: This is such a wonderful passage. Do I daily allow myself to participate in the Lord's rich blessings?

I really like verses 12 and 13 in the Message:
12
How blessed the man you train, GOD, the woman you instruct in your Word,
13
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked.

I also really like verse 19:
19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

~~~

This brings me back to the Garden where the Lord Jesus where He was about to be betrayed by Satan through Judas. Jesus said this twice in Luke 22, and we would do well to heed it.

Luke 22 (NKJV)
39
Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
40
When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
46
Then He said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

We need to stand against evil. We cannot do it alone:
a. We need to position ourselves to constantly receive the "comforts of the Lord that delight our souls in the midst of anxieties".
b. we need each other.

I found a really excellent quote from "Tehillim" which is the Jewish Psalms with rabbinic notes. Jesus studied and knew the Psalms, showing that God really wants to be our delight.

"The basis of all prayer is to allow the heart to find happiness in God."

Vance

Old Testament
I loved the last line of todays OT reading. I love to shine brightly like the sun at dawn for Jesus.

New Testament
I hadnt realised that Jesus healed the mans ear when it had been cut (even though ive read this many times)

Psalms
I am one fo Gods chosen children. I am one of His princess. My heart sings for joy.

Psalm 94:17 Unless the LORD had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.

18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.

19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

My friend the other day was telling me that she so admired my will power for quitting smoking, which was just one more step in the process of becoming what God is calling me to be. I told her that it had nothing at all to do with will power, because every time I tried to quit a destructive behavior on my own I failed miserably. When I called on the Lord and truly surrendered the problem to him, he supported me, and I was able to turn away from the things I did that I despised. Even when I slipped, and I did a few times, I felt HIS love and I knew that it was ok and I didn't ruin anything and I could continue on without condemning myself and giving up completely.

the readings in Luke were interesting. When Jesus told them they needed swords, he meant figuratively, but they thought he meat literally. Jesus said, thats enough! that always makes me laugh, like, Oh boy, u guys dont get it. enough of your talk.
Jesus sweat blood, literally, this is a real thing, I have heard of it happening to ppl on death row about to be executed. Here is how my study Bible describes it:
'This suggests a dangerous condition called hematidrosis, the effusion of blood in one's perspiration. It can be caused by extreme anguish or physical strain. Subcutaneous capillaries dilate and burst, mingling blood with sweat. Christ Himself stated that His distress had brought Him to the threshold of death.'
:((
Ha, thats Peter, always doing the wrong thing, cutting the guy's ear off. I wonder how that guy felt, his ear was cut off, Jesus just touched him and healed him....I would think he'd have a change of heart. Here's more of my study Bible:
'This is the only instance in the Bible where Jesus healed a fresh wound. The miracle is also unique in that Christ healed an enemy, unasked, and without any evidence of faith in the recipient. I is also remarkable that such a dramatic miracle had no effect whatsoever on the hearts of those men. Neither had the explosive words of Jesus which knocked them to the ground (John 18:6). They carried on with the arrest as if nothing peculiar had happened.'

Thats pretty amazing that they go to arrest Jesus and they all fall to the ground. Jesus had to tell them, hey, get up, you're supposed to arrest me.

I like Psalms: "Think again, you fools! When will you finally catch on? Is he deaf—the one who made your ears? Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes? He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you? He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
The Lord knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless!"
pretty strong words!!

"The Lord will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession."
Amen!!!

"Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer."
I'm feeling this! Amen and amen!!!

Proverbs is awesome: "A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe."
There sure have been times in my life when my own words came back to beat me!! But if I think before I speak and listen to the spirit's guidance, I'm safe.

Luke 22:42-43 "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. ~ It makes me so sad to read that Jesus was suffering, being scared and all. Beautiful to read that an angel was there to strengthen Him.

Reading about the last hours of Jesus' life makes me think about The Passion of The Christ. It really touches me in the deepest of my heart and soul. When I was watching it (before I was saved) I cried rivers. My friend, who I was watching it with, asked me "Do you really feel it like He died for you? Like really for YOU?". Well yeah ... for who else???

Psalm 94:14 "The Lord will not reject his people;
he will not abandon his special possession".
Psalm 94:22 "But the Lord is my fortress;
my God is the mighty rock where I hide".
I truly believe that I'm God's special possession. He found me and I found Him, He gave His Son for my forgiveness. It's His grace that I could start all over again. I know that He will always be there for me. I trust Him that He will never abandon me. Thinking about that makes me sooooooooo strong and confident in my life!

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