~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Judges 8:18-9:21 ~ Luke 23:44-24:12
Psalm 99:1-9 ~ Proverbs 14:9-10
Old Testament - Judges chapter 8 verses 23 & 24 are an intriguing look at beautiful humility mixed with a unique request - "But Gideon replied, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The LORD will rule over you! However, I have one request. Each of you can give me an earring out of the treasures you collected from your fallen enemies."" It is awesome that Gideon says he will not rule over the Israelites- but that God will. But then, his ask for a piece of gold from each person is intriguing. We read in verse 27 that Gideon made a sacred ephod from the collected gold - so, this does appear worshipful perhaps at first glance. But then verse 27 tells us: "But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family." Yikes! Not exactly what should have happened here... It's interesting. I wonder if we do this in our lives today as well. Perhaps we are very humble in one regards - but then maybe we make some sort of unique request of those around us... and that unique request goes awry. I don't know if I can give you a good example of this. But perhaps this will ring true for you in some area of your life? If so, can you abandon the false idol you are worshiping as quickly as possible? Particularly if this false idol was born out of something that was initially worshipful. Will you let it go?
Jotham's parable is quite good in Judges chapter 9 today! Good idea that he got out of Dodge after telling that parable! Particularly after the horrendous act Abimelech committed as shown below by artist Gustave Dore...
New Testament - In Luke chapter 23 verse 45 we read just before Jesus died on the cross: "The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the thick veil hanging in the Temple was torn apart." The tearing of the veil in the Temple symbolized that men and women could now access God directly through Jesus. No longer was the veil needed to keep separate the Holiest of Holy place in the temple, where God dwelled in the Old Testament. No longer could only the High Priest approach God in the Temple on behalf of men and women. Jesus' death and coming resurrection signified that the veil was no longer needed. God is accessible now directly through faith in Jesus!
An image is below for Luke chapter 23 verse 53 - "Then Joseph took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock."
Psalms - Psalm 99 is a great psalm of praise! This Psalm mentions the word Lord 7 times. I like verse 6 - "Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the LORD for help, and he answered them." These were obviously some major characters in the Bible.
I love Psalm 99 verse 3 - "Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name is holy!" I think sometimes in our modern world we can forget that God's name is holy. Jesus' name is holy. These holy names change things. They change everything. If ever you are ever feeling like you are being confronted by evil - maybe even in your sleep in a dream - call upon Jesus' name and watch the evil flee from you immediately. It is true... Jesus' name is holy! God's name is holy! I don't know if anyone has a CD by Vineyard Worship with Kathryn Scott singing on it? It's called "Hungry, Live in London". This is a great CD and they have a wonderful song that includes lyrics saying, "You are the sovereign I AM, your name is holy!" Beautiful tune... And so true. A link to this CD with audio clips of songs - check out track #2 "Your Name is Holy" - is at this link.
Proverbs - Wow. Proverbs 14 verse 9 I don't think I've ever really noticed before - "Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation." How true is this? Wow... Guilt is real. Valid. And yes perhaps we can overdo it... but it's real and it's purpose is to call us to reconciliation with God. Great Proverb here... Do you acknowledge guilt? When you are guilty do you seek reconciliation with God? Let us not carry guilt around, but let us give our guilt over to Jesus!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on Psalm 99 verse 6 above, do you believe if you cry out to the Lord for help, He will answer you too? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!