Digging in Deeper: Joshua 5:13-14 Part 1

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand.  And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’  And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord.  Now I have come.’  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When we prepare to fight the battles we are facing, we draw lines and put people on one side or the other.  We look at each person we encounter as either an enemy or an ally.  This is natural.  People have always done it.  But, as Joshua learned here, while we may be able to do this with people, when it comes to the Lord, we must ask a different question: Are we on His side? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 11:30-31

“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Here we see yet another dark chapter in the record of the judges.  Jephthah was a scoundrel and an outlaw.  When the leaders of Gilead sought him out, they had not sought the Lord.  In fact, although we are told near the end of chapter 10 that the Lord had grown impatient over their misery, He had told them rather explicitly that He was not going to come and save them this time because they had shown over and over again their dogged intention to reject Him.  He does relent a bit and helps the guy they foolishly choose win the battle, but beyond that He does not have a hand in the events here. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 6:36-37

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor.  If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Gideon’s fleece has become synonymous with testing God.  And that’s exactly what Gideon was doing.  But, far from anything praiseworthy or worth imitating, this was an act of faithlessness by a man who was a coward. Read the rest…