Judges 19:1-20:48 + John 3:22-4:3 + Psalm 104:24-35 + Proverbs 14:22-23
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Old Testament - Today's readings in Judges 19 about the Levite's concubine being raped and killed really made me tear up today. What a sad story! The evil of the act led to tens of thousands of men dying in battle in chapter 20. 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."
And 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?
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. Below is a wonderful piece of art from Pat Marvenko Smith titled "The Creation" - you'll note this piece shows all 6 days of creation and what was created on each day, going from the left to the right:
Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
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.
Worship Video: Today's readings in Psalm 104 remind me of Bebo Norman's fantastic song "I Will Lift My Eyes:"
Are you looking at God? Click here and lift your eyes!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that Jesus is becoming greater and greater in your life day by day and that you are becoming less and less. Pray for more of Jesus and for less of you.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on today's Proverb, 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? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.s. #2 - Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.s. #3 - I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!
Israel had moved the bar, the bar of righteousness, the bar that set boundaries, the bar that said, “This is sin.” You have a Levite that has a concubine and as the text states, was unfaithful to him. First question, “What is a Levite doing with a concubine that is a loose woman?” As per Moses’ directive, Levites were supposed to keep the Law so that they could teach the Law. The bar/standard was lowered.
When Israel masses itself to fight this “horrid” sin, the bar has been set so low that the “sin” they all are living in is not even a blip on their radar screen. The outrage is a culmination of outrages acts on the other side of that bar that has been lowered almost to the ground. I’ve heard people say, and I’ve said it myself at one time or another, “I wouldn’t do that,” or “Even I wouldn’t do that,” as if our or my personal behavior or standard was “IT.” I know that it is not. I think we do this, consciously or sub-consciously, to distance ourselves from our sin, the “white lie,” syndrome. God has stated that when we break one Law we have broken them all; but, we insist that we are not as bad as that guy or gal over there or across the street. Yes we are.
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6 KJV)
When we do what is right in our own eyes, we have set ourselves up as God which was and is the sin of Satan. There are only two kingdoms on the earth, The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan; which one do we say we are in and which one are we really in? As Children of God, are we trespassing in the wrong Kingdom? Or, can we be citizens of the Kingdom of Satan trying to pass ourselves off as children of the Light? And worse yet, do we, like this Levite, play our sin off in such a way that we share the outrages consequences of our actions as if it just fell out of the sky into a innocent lifestyle getting everyone upset enough to call a prayer meeting to do “spiritual warfare?” Hmmmm!
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | May 03, 2023 at 09:12 PM