Day 4, Judges 3
Today’s reading in our Judges plan is Judges 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- God used the remaining nations in Canaan to test the Israelites to see if they would be faithful to Him.
- Though they had been forbidden to do so (Deuteronomy 7:1-4), the Israelites intermarried with the surrounding nations.
- As a result, they turned their backs on God and served the foreign gods. Baal was the most worshiped god of the Canaanites. Most often cast in the form of a bull, he symbolized strength and fertility and was considered the god of agriculture.
- We then begin reading of the recurring cycle of the Israelites forgetting God, being oppressed by their enemies, crying out and repenting to God, and being delivered by a divinely appointed judge.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- How you handle obstacles says a lot about your faith or lack thereof. The Israelites had many obstacles to overcome in the new land. God used these challenges to test their faith.
- Relationships affect faith. When the Israelites intermarried, they soon began accepting pagan gods. While we are not forbidden to intermarry with other nations, Paul warns us to not marry those who do not share our faith in 2 Corinthians 6:14 where he writes, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”
- God uses us just the way He made us. The story about the left-handed judge named Ehud is a bit strange. Being left-handed in Ehud’s day was considered a handicap. But God used Ehud’s perceived weakness to give the Israelites victory.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Perhaps you are facing some obstacles or challenges in your life currently. Relational struggles. Difficult situations at work. Health challenges. What can you do to keep your eyes on Jesus and to continue being obedient to Him in the midst of your difficulties? Read James 1:2-5 for encouragement.
- While we want to befriend and love those who don’t know God, we must be careful to not let our relationships weaken our commitment and devotion to God. We must accept people without compromising or adopting their patterns of behavior. Do you currently have any relationships that are affecting your faith in a negative way? What do you need to do about it?
- Let God use you the way He has uniquely made you to accomplish His work. Whatever weakness you may see yourself as having, God can use it to accomplish great things.