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Judges 11-12:15
What jumped out at me today, in this book that records that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes (21:25),” was the reversal of relationships in doing what was evil. Yesterday and Thursday we read about Abimelech, son of Gideon, aka, Jerubbaal, the illegitimate son, killing his seventy brothers, save but one, and ruling or judging as a political judge, not a spiritual one. Today we have the legitimate sons of Gilead not killing but forcing out the illegitimate son, their half-brother. Is it just me but has anyone notice that the judges have moved from have any kind of spiritual influence to just plan brut force? It seems God is using them in spite of themselves.

I am only guessing as to why they didn’t kill him but it could have been that he was a “great warrior,” and with all great warriors they usually have a “posse.” Regardless of illegitimacy or legitimacy I saw that the perversion of God’s commands and wickedness does not dwell in a particular family, neighborhood or person. We sometimes try to compartmentalize “sin” by giving deference to a particular time, place, space and people as being sinless. Folks run from neighborhood to neighborhood, state to state looking for “good” places and communities which to raise their young, when in reality the danger that we think dwells without, really resides within.

Each one did what was right in his own eyes implies that what everyone else did was wrong, but what I do is right. This sets up the individual as his or her own god. So even though we read in this book about Israel swinging from god to God, like a trapeze artist swinging from bar to bar, the gods they really served were the gods of their own self interest, the gods that lived in their hearts.

Are we guilty of serving our own gods and calling them something else, swinging from bar to bar, from god to God thinking we are safe because the mercy of God has formed a net underneath us? If the net or when the net is removed, do we cry out to God, “Where were You? When in reality we were grabbing for the wrong trapeze.

John 1:1-28
What I absolutely love about this Gospel is the image of light and True light, and the juxtaposing of truth with non-truth. This passage mentions that John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin and elder by birth by six months, proclaimed the “Light” that was Christ and gave testimony validating that Light.

8 John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light. 9The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.

Take note if the writer is distinguishing between true light, know for certain there is a false one, in other words it illuminates to a point but leaves many things in the shadows.

What light am I serving? Do I need to get rid of a dimly lit bulb I’m calling the revelation of God? Thoughts that make one do some soul searching.

Psalm 101:1-8
Mike, in the King James Version verse three reads,

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Maybe the KJV and NKJV can be understood clearer this time and with this verse. The NLT using, “I will refuse to look at” leaves us helpless in keeping outside forces from passing before us. We would have to go into a cave or put our eyes out to stop the onslaught of smut that comes before our eyes just walking down the street. Working in a college it’s not so much as what some folks are wearing that comes before my eyes, but what they aren’t wearing.

The King James talks about us placing something wicked before our very own eyes. Now if something wicked this way comes propelled by a human being that we have no control over, that’s one thing, but if we stop and stare at it then we are setting “it” before our eyes.


Proverbs 14:13-14

Laughter may conceal a heavy heart, just think of all the stand-up comics and comedians through the ages who are bitter, hurting people, but surly laughter that proceeds from a merry heart brings healing. (Proverbs 15:13;17:22). The key is the state of the heart. If the heart is merry then the laughter is legitimately flowing from the inside. But only God knows what is really in the heart of a person.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

What are YOUR thoughts a third of the way through the Bible?
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

I really enjoyed that clip of the movie. We have the Matthew one but I'd never seen this one. Thanks so much for posting it!

I guess the lesson of Jephthah is not to make rash vows in an attempt to get God to do something. There is a fundamental lack of understanding of God's heart and motives towards us that would cause someone to make such a vow. We have to realize that God's plans and desires for us are always good. We don't have to twist His arm to get Him to bless us. All we have to do is trust in His character. Today, as I read this account of Jephthah, I was impressed with his grasp of history. I know that I would have a hard time repeating all the names and places of my nations history. And how is it that the people taught their children their history but not the worship on God alone? I guess you can't teach something that you don't practice yourself, especially to kids, but this makes it clear that the people couldn't claim ignorance of the mighty things God had done for them.

Judges -What caught my attention is Jephthah sacrificing his daughter as he promised God if God gave the Amorites into his hands whatever comes out of the door of his house to meet him after his triumph, he will sacrifice it (this happened to be her daughter) to God. It is hard to accept that God allowed this. Could somebody know if God really allowed this to happen? How many times we asked something from God in exchange for a promise on our part. I suppose God does not want us to bargain with Him. In this chapter Jephthah bargained with God for a favor. Jesus told Satan not to tempt God when He was in the wilderness.

This is quite different from God testing Jacob in sacrificing Isaac, I believe. God saved Isaac and provided the sacrificial animal.

Proverbs - True Ramona - Laughter is the best medicine only if we are laughing and happy inside. How many times do I laugh when I am really hurting inside?

I believe that perhaps this could be compared to a person who is committed to God (sacrificed) and therefore, unable to marry or have children. Perhaps having to live a life similar to John the Baptist. I don't know, just my thoughts on it. She now has to live a separate life. HUGS!!

That's sad though, Karen, especially the daughter did not have anything to do with Jephthah's bargaining with God. I suppose this should remind us that our actions may affect not only us but those around us.

Is it possible that the sacrifice was not allowing her to marry? Or do you think he actually killed his daughter?

I look forward to reading OYB readings everyday!! Sometimes it doesn't work out in my schedule but I continue trying!! > > > O how I love thy Law. It is my meditation all the day long. =) I'm eager to read through John 15 to find out why you say it is so interesting.

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