OYB April 24
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Apr 24
2:10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. Stop and let this sink in. Parents stopped teaching their children-stopped reminding them of all God's glorious miracles-and what happened? In one generation the spiritual legacy was over. Are we spiritually investing enough in our children today? The statistics say that 75% of Christian young people are leaving their faith for good by their second year of college! To get inspired to stop this trend, order my new book coming out this summer: One Million Arrows: raising your children to change the world. www.onemillionarrows.com
2:15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. If you turn away from the Lord to evil and idolatry, the He becomes your enemy.
2:16 Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. God is always trying to bridge the gap to His people. He knows we are inclined toward stupidity, rebellion, and wickedness. Thankfully, He did not leave us to ourselves or we would have self-destructed long ago. Praise the Lord for His long-suffering and patient goodness to us!
2:18-19 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge's lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. We are no different today! Notice that God takes pity on His people when they are living in the consequences of their own choices. Any good parent is like that when they see their children struggling through rebellion and we have to punish them on top of it to try to turn their hearts away from sin. God says we must drive sin far away from our children's hearts. But like we parents, God is forever merciful.
2:22-23 "I did this to test Israel—to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did." That is why the Lord left those nations in place. God leaves obstacles and opposition in our lives to test us! We should always try to see our opposition as put in place by God to strengthen our faith (when we are living in obedience and submission to Him).
Notice the cycle throughout our readings this year: God tells His people to obey Him and to forsake foreign gods. The people say they will obey, but instead they quickly slip into full-fledged rebellion. They become miserable and enslaved by their choices. God feels sorry for them and sends help. And the pattern begins again...and lasts throughout history until today!
22:16 For I tell you now that I won't eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Maybe "it's meaning" will be fulfilled in a future wedding Feast in the Kingdom (MK) through a Passover celebration? In Revelation 21:9 God says, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the LAMB." Perhaps He refers to the Lamb because the wedding celebration will be on a Passover? Also see Rev. 19:7 "For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself. I'm not saying this is so, just wondering out loud.
92:12-14 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted to the Lord's own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
What a beautiful MK (Millennial Kingdom) prophecy! I love to point these out because they are all over the OT. Many people have never even noticed them before (me) until one starts looking for them! But you can see how the Israelites focused on the Kingdom in the next age as their inheritance!
14:2 Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise Him. People who are willful in sin despise the things (and people) of the Lord. This can include "Christians."
Questions for reflection:
Had any tests lately? How did you do? Do you see progress, or are you "going around the mountain"?