Judges 11:1-Ruth 4:22
Judges 11:24 “You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the Lord our God gives us.” I LOVE THIS!! Jephthah knows their “god” can give them nothing!! lol
Vs 30-31: “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. He said, ‘If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.'” What?? Why would you say that??!!
Vs 34: “When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child, he had no other sons or daughters.”
Vs 39: “When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin.” So he offered her as a burnt offering!!! The lesson for me? Be careful with my vows…A vow before God is meant to be kept! Use caution when entering into one.
Judges 13:1 “Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over…” So sad! “for forty years”: is there a significance with 40?? So many times things were 40 years or 40 days..hmmm
Vs 8-12: I love how Manoah sought God and His instructions on how to raise their son. Loved Vs 8-9: “Then Manoah prayed to the Lord…God answered Manoah’s prayer…”
Vs 12: “…what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?” Seeking God on how to parent-love this!
Vs 21-22: “The angel did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Manoah finally realized it was the angel of the Lord, and he said to his wife, ‘We will certainly die, for we have seen God!'” So many times people in the Bible say they will die when they realize they’ve come face to face with God. I am so glad we don’t have to have that fear…we can meet with God daily! I do think it teaches us to have a healthy fear/respect of God and His power, though.
Judges 14:3-4 “His father and mother objected. ‘Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?’ they asked. ‘Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?’ But Samson told his father, ‘Get her for me! She looks good to me.’ His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at the time.” So much in this for me! First, Samson seems a bit spoiled to me…”Get her for me!”. Also, Samson didn’t seem very focused on what should matter in his wife…”She looks good to me.” BUT God was using even this…so I need to remember, as a parent, there may be times in my kids lives when I can’t see what God is doing…I need to just pray, put them in His hands and trust He has a plan for them…He loves them even more than I ever could!
Vs 15: the men blackmail Samson’s wife (threaten to kill her family) to get her to get the answer to the riddle from Samson.
Vs 17: she manipulated Samson with her tears
Judges 16:8 Samson and Delilah: she tied him up herself…he knew she was betraying him…why did he stay with her and admit his secrets??
Vs 15: “Then Delilah pouted, ‘How can you tell me, “I love you”, when you don’t share your secrets with me?’…” Talk about manipulation!! She’s pouting to get her way!
Vs 20b: “…But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.” How sad!! To have this said of you!
Judges 17:6 “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” Sounds a lot like our world today… everyone doing whatever “feels” right or good.
Judges 19: The Unfaithful Wife
Vs 20-22: The old man tells the travelers they can’t stay in the town square. Later that night a crowd surrounded the old man’s house and demanded he give them the man to have sex with!! I didn’t realize this happened other than with Lot in Sodom!
Vs 24: Again, the virgin daughter is offered up!
Judges 20:1 “Then all the Israelites were united as one man…” Tragedy can bring people together. People tend to unite in the face of a horrible wrongdoing!
Vs 18: “Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God,…” Always seek God first! Before any action, seek His will!
Vs 23b: again, they seek God’s guidance.
Vs 27: “The Israelites went up seeking direction from the Lord…”
Vs 40: “But when the warriors of Benjamin looked behind them and saw the smoke rising into the sky from every part of the town. Vs 41b: “At this point the men of Benjamin became terrified, because they realized disaster was close at hand.” Isn’t that the way it goes with us sometimes?? We think, “we’re all good…we got this” and we charge forward on our own. Then we see the looming disaster? Everything going up in smoke because we didn’t seek God??
Judges 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes!” When we, as humans, are at a point that we all do what seems right to us…trouble!! Sounds like the U.S. right now.
Ruth 1:9 (Naomi to her daughters-in-law) “‘May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.’ Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.” Naomi and her daughters-in-law loved each other.
Vs 16-17: “…Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” I love this! What a beautiful declaration of loyalty from Ruth to her mother-in-law! I look at this as applying to my marriage, though…as a vow to my husband.
Ruth 2:2 Ruth asked Naomi to let her pick up leftovers from anyone kind enough to leave grain in the field…this is how widows were provided for often times.
Vs 3: “…as it happened…” I love this!! It’s like people today saying something is a coincidence. Nope! It’s all God!!
Vs 12: “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” Boaz to Ruth…what a beautiful blessing to bestow upon someone.
Ruth 4:3-6 The closer kinsman redeemer was all about the land but didn’t want to marry Ruth! He passed on his claim so Boaz took the property and the marriage to Ruth.
Vs 11-12: the elders, who were witness to the transaction, proclaimed a blessing upon Boaz for what he had done.
John 1:1 “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God.” God always has been and always will be! He is without beginning or end…ETERNAL!!
Vs 12: “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Hallelujah!! I’m a child of God!!!
Vs 13: where the terminology “born again” comes from
Vs 18b: “…He has revealed God to us.” AMEN!!!
Vs 40-42: “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus…” Andrew did exactly what we should…he heard and followed Jesus then shared the truth of Jesus with his family (his brother).
Vs 45: After Jesus called Philip he also went and brought someone (Nathanael) to meet Jesus!
John 2:1-11 Water into Wine
Vs 4: Jesus told Mary (His mother) that it wasn’t His time to perform miracles yet…Vs 5: “But his mother told the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.'” This confuses me some… did He just perform the miracle to be obedient to His mother??
John 3:2 (Nicodemus) “After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus…” After dark…he was hiding because he was scared of what others would think if they saw him seeking counsel from Jesus.
Vs 19-21: “And the judgement is based on this fact:God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” Lord, bring any sin in my life into the light. Help me to embrace the light and to let it shine to others. Help me to stay out of the darkness and avoid evil.
Vs 30: “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” YES!!! Lord, help me make this true in my life everyday!!
John 4:17-18 “Jesus said, ‘You’re right! You don’t have a husband-for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!'” This is funny to me but also convicting! How many times have I tried to downplay or whitewash my wrongs?! Jesus knows!! There’s no hiding our sin and He’ll call us on our junk every time!
Vs 26: “Then Jesus told her, ‘I AM the Messiah!'” One of the few people Jesus came right out and said “I am the Messiah” to…what a gift she was given!! He reached her at her need in spite of her wrongs and lifestyle!
Vs 36: “The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people, brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” A promise!! To be a planter or a harvester will result in joy! Reaching souls…planting seeds, watering, harvesting…let God use us!
Vs 42: “Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.'” Religion vs relationship…the difference between passed on beliefs and believing for yourself.
Vs 50: “Then Jesus told him, ‘Go back home. Your son will live!’ And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.” The man’s belief is what mattered. His faith in Jesus healed his son.
Ps 101:1-8 all of this hit me…”I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.” “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.” “I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.” Who am I when no one is around? “In my home”…When I’m alone…God sees me at all times…We must live for Him in each moment! Then Vs 6a: “I will search for faithful people to be my companions.” I am so thankful God led me to my group of close friends! The way I was searching? The people I was spending intimate time with before? They were not people who should be my faithful companions!
Ps 102:18 “Let them be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.” !!!
Ps 103:1 “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.” I looked up the definition of all and whole. All: the whole amount, quantity or extent of. Whole: in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece; entire; coplete. That really spoke to me! My heart is whole (unbroken/undamaged) only through Him and His power to repair the mess the world and I have made of it…in return He deserves to be praised with my WHOLE heart…with ALL that I am and ALL that I have!!
Vs 12: “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” PRAISE GOD!! Thank You, Lord!
Vs 22b: “LET ALL THAT I AM PRAISE THE LORD”
Ps 104:31b “The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!” And He takes pleasure in me!!!
Vs 34: “May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” Align my thoughts with Him…24/7/365
Ps 105:1b “Let the whole world know what he has done.”
Vs 2b: “Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.”
Vs 4b: “…continually seek him.”
Prov 14:21a “It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor;” That’s pretty straightforward…no question!
Vs 26: “Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.” My obedience to God prepares my children to follow Him. They see my life…my obedience or lack thereof!