每日诗歌: 潔淨我 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/039.html)
Judges 1 [Read]
Judges 2 [Read]
Luke 7:1-30 [Read]
The book of Judges is hard to read. It is filled with bloody episodes caused by human sins, and even the heroes were not exactly pious followers of God. But I think the most difficult part was to read the seemingly endless cycles of human corruption followed by God’s delivery. When we read Genesis through Joshua, we at least had the sense that the history was going somewhere. God gave them a piece of land as their inheritance, and the people were gradually moving towards claiming that property for themselves and future generations. Now that they were in their Promised Land, then what?
Obviously, entering the Promised Land was not the end of the story. “If Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day” (Heb 4:8). Judges one already began to reveal the problem: many tribes did not drive out the local people as God commanded them to do. Some of them were taken as handy labor for the Israelites (1:28, 30, 33, 35), but those people became the seed of trouble for the future generations of Israel. This is very typical of human thinking. We tend to place the tangible short-term benefits over the unseen long-term risks, even though we were clearly warned about the danger.
However, the first generation of Israelites at least served the LORD when the elders who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel was still alive. But when this generation passed away, the new ones “knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel” (2:10). This shocked me at first, for it’s hard to comprehend how those miracles and wonders could be forgotten so easily. But this was foretold by God through Moses before he died (Dt 31:16-18), and the worst thing is that such forgetfulness is still being shown in our daily life today. This is simply human nature.
Still, God was full of mercy and compassion. He continued to care for his people as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them (2:18). Moreover, behind this seemingly endless cycle God was quietly raising a Moabite woman to be a God-fearer. Her descendant would one day become a powerful king who after God’s own heart. And we shall read all about them in the future. Such things make us awe about the unsearchable depth of God’s will, and it will help us tremendously to keep that in mind when reading the book of Judges.
Keep on reading,