Week 5 - Essential 100

May 26, 2016

Week 5 - Essential 100

Hey Everyone!  We covered A LOT of ground once again this week!  We went from Joshua's conquest of Canaan, through the time of the Judges being raised up, to the age of Kings.  That's a huge portion of Scriptural history. 

In these stories we see things that horrify us (Joshua/Judges), and we see joy-filled stories such as that of Ruth and Boaz, and Hannah's prayerful conception of Samuel after years of barrenness.  (As an aside, here is what I consider to be an excellent article on how to understand all the violence in the books of Joshua and Judges from a Scriptural perspective.)

We see humble and amazing people of God such as Deborah in Judges, the Prophet Samuel, or Boaz - then we see some characters which are sketchy at best such as Samson.  WHAT IS IT WITH THAT GUY?  At best he is a maniacal frat-boy that God uses as a tool of judgment despite utter incompetence or a semblance of maturity! 

Through it all, we see a consistent God; one who is trying to teach and keep for himself a people to call forth His glory; a people who will remember Him and walk with him in holy reverence, reliance and humility. 

God gets what he is after in several people such as Joshua who trusts God to deliver Canaan into his hands through marching around the city and shouting, in Gideon who trusts God to deliver his people through blowing trumpets and breaking jars on the ground, and Deborah who understood God and his ways and lived accordingly (see her song in Judges 5 - SHE GOT IT!).         

More often than not, people forgot God, walked away from God, didn't obey God, and flat-out rejected God in favor of worshipping the many false gods of the surrounding nations.  They did this consistently no matter what great signs God performed to remind them that he was still the God who delivered them from Egypt; the God of the Covenant; of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.  Then in 1 Samuel, God gives them what they ask for; an earthly king who will bring much trouble on them so that they can be like the surrounding nations.  notice God's heart in 1 Samuel 8:7-9 where it says "And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

The big takeaway for me is that people change in their character like they change their clothing, but God stays remarkably the same.  People are flip-floppers.  God remembers His covenant always and stays true to it, reiterating it over and over again.  God recalls His great favor and deliverance of his people and reminds them time and time again.  God recalls his intention for the Priesthood in Leviticus and reprimands Eli for allowing his own sons to defile and act irreverently towards The Lord's commands concerning this (1 Samuel 2:27-36)

God is remarkably consistent; He stays true to himself in all that He says and does throughout history.  Aren't you glad that The God who said "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9) means it NOW just as much as He meant it when He first said it over 2000 years ago?  We can be very glad that God is who He is and means what He says!    

What can be learned over all is that people forget God, but God doesn't forget anything.  God is consistent and God is faithful.  We often forget simple things that God has done for us as well - and VERY quickly.  We go from praising God, to cursing our misfortune and blaming God in a moment's time.  But God doesn't forget.  Things fade from our memory quickly - from a great deliverance that The Lord gave us from something in our past, to our salvation, to a resolution we made to walk with God and turn away from sin.  But God remembers.  I am challenged afresh to remember God this week.  To allow who God is, and what he has done for me in particular over the course of my life to be at the forefront of my mind as I seek to walk before Him in humility.  I do not want to flail my way through life like shifting shadows or like waves of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.  I want to be more solid than that because I remember God always and keep my eyes on Christ.