每日诗歌: 你坐著為王 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuK3oi7-YoM)
Judges 20 [Read]
Judges 21 [Read]
Luke 11:1-28 [Read]
I once got on a spinning ride in an amusement park. They buckled me up tightly to the seat, and then the spindle started to turn. At first, it wasn’t too bad. Then, it picked up speed and my seat was flying up to almost 45 degree angle against the spindle. I felt the chain connecting the seat with the spindle could break any time, and my seat would just fly into the air. All I could do was to hold tightly unto the seat while my stomach churning violently. That was the last time I ever got onto a ride like that.
Reading the book of Judges was like getting onto an emotional spinning ride. From the arrangement of the narrative, you sensed the author was creating an impression that things were getting out of control. The period began with a few decent Judges leading the Israelites against oppressing enemies, and people willingly gathered around their leaders for the battles. By the middle of the book, the judges began to kill their brothers from other tribes. Moreover, the final judge in the book was more like an erratic rebel than a leader of God’s people.
Just when we thought things were bad enough, the last 5 chapters turned for the worse. People began to set up their own idols, making their own ephod, and ordaining their own priests. They did whatever they saw fit. Then, the last episode was definitely the strangest and most gruesome story of the whole book. The Israelites slaughtered the entire tribe of Benjamin out of an emotional outrage, and they regretted profusely afterwards and did more killing to try to make it up. The nation was definitely out of control now.
Just like the spinning ride, regardless how fast it spins, the seat is always held tightly by the chain. The people of Israel seemed out of control, but God was still in control. The total anarchy was actually a process leading towards a greater judge (Samuel) and a true king (David) who after God’s own heart. The history was going somewhere, and that was encouraging.
Our life sometimes can be like a spinning ride with all the worries, setbacks, and afflictions. We may feel that things are getting out of control, but God is always in control. He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us (Jer 29:11). Hold on to this invaluable promise, so you may have the peace that transcends all understanding.
This is the 9th book you just finished. Way to go!