Category Archives: 07 – Judges

Learning from History


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 13:1-5

As I have been reading Judges for the last week or so, two famous quotes have come to mind.  The first, attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke is, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  The second, attributed to a variety of people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  These two quotes seem fairly appropriate to any discussion of the book of Judges.  During the period of the Judges, the Israelites found themselves in a pattern of destructive behavior.  When they had no one to lead them, they would turn away from God and “do evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  Because of their evil, God would deliver them into the hands of an enemy who would oppress them for a period of years.  When the Israelites could no longer take the abuse, they would “cry out to the Lord” for help.  At that point, God would give them a judge – a person to lead them who would conquer their enemies.  When that person would die, the Israelites would once again turn away from God and the whole cycle would repeat itself.  It seemed that no matter how bad things were when they were far from God or how great things were when they were close to Him, they could not seem to break this cycle and they would always choose to ignore their own history.  They would do the same things over and over again and expect a different result.

As is common when we study the Bible, it is pretty easy to look back at the Israelites in hindsight and see their mistakes.  It is easy for us to wonder how they could possibly keep turning from the Lord when it always went so badly for them.  The sad truth, however, is that most of us do the same thing as the Israelites in one degree or another from time to time.  Think about it – every time we give in to temptation and sin, are we not turning away from God?  Are we not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord?  When things get bad for us because of our sinfulness, do we not cry out to the Lord for help, repent, and do everything we can to follow His ways again until the next time we fall to temptation?  Just like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of sin, guilt, and remorse.

Fortunately for us, we have hope in breaking this cycle.  First of all, we have history to study to help us learn what happens when we stray.  Like the Israelites, we can look at our own personal histories to see the cycle of sin and see what happens when we choose to turn away from God.  Unlike the Israelites, we have something more.  Instead of just looking at our own history, we can also study the history in the Bible to see this same cycle through the ages.

Secondly, we have the help of the Holy Spirit living with us to break this cycle.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome any temptation, no matter how great.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God does not want to see us fail.  He does not want to see us in the same cycle as the Israelites.  He wants us to have freedom over temptation and sin, and He wants us to stay close to Him.

Finally, we have hope in knowing that in His limitless grace and mercy, God is always waiting for us with open arms if we fall.  Time and time again, when the Israelites cried out to Him, He answered their call.  Time and time again, when they were ready to follow Him again, He was there to lead them.  No matter how many times you have fallen, He is waiting for you to cry out to Him.  If you are willing to follow Him, He is willing to lead you.  Do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Learn from your own history and the history of countless other generations before you, and press in closer to God today.  Allow Him to be Lord of your life, and break the cycle for good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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The Consequences of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 9,10; Psalm 49; 1 Corinthians 16

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 9:1-6

Most believers know what the Bible has to say about the consequences of sin.  In fact, even unbelievers are familiar with an often-quoted verse in Romans 6:23 that says, “For the wages of sin is death”.  For those of us who follow Christ, we understand that our sins affect our relationship with God.  They serve to separate us from Him and cause us to live a life that is less than what He intends for us.  Sometimes, though, we can wrongly believe that this is where the consequences of sin end.  We all know that sins affect us personally, but sometimes we fail to recognize that our sins can have a more far-reaching effect on others.  In today’s key passage, we read about how one man’s sins go on to affect a whole nation.

A few days ago, we read about Gideon’s need for assurances and the military successes he achieved because of God’s favor.  (To read this post entitled Needing AssurancesCLICK HERE).  Yesterday, though, we read about one of his sins.  In Judges 8:30-31, we read, “He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.”  Though Gideon was a hero to a nation for what he did in battle, he was still a sinful man in his personal life that took a concubine and had a son with her named Abimelech.  In today’s key passage, we read the story of Abimelech.  Though there was only supposed to be one king in Israel – God – following Gideon’s death, Abimelech decided that he wanted to be the king of Israel.  In his selfish zeal for power, he killed 69 of his 70 half brothers so he would not have any competition, and was declared king.  He served in this role for three years, until Schechem rebelled against him.  At that point, Abimelech attacked Shechem and destroyed the city, burned down the tower of Schechem killing about one thousand more people, and was finally killed while attacking Thebez.  None of this would have happened if not for Gideon’s sin in taking a concubine and having a child with her.  Gideon’s sin was passed down to Abimelech, who in turn allowed his sinful desires for wealth and power to affect other people.  Because of Gideon’s sin, all but one of his sons were killed, and a nation was devastated.

Today’s story clearly shows that one man’s sin can affect many other people.  The sins of a single man can affect his wife, his kids, his brothers and sisters in Christ, and countless others in the blink of an eye.  The next time temptation strikes and the rationalizations to sin fill your head; remember the far-reaching consequences of sin.  Remember that in most cases, you will not be the only person your sin affects, and ask God for the strength to fight off the temptations and walk in His path.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Learning from History


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 13:1-5

As I have been reading Judges for the last week or so, two famous quotes have come to mind.  The first, attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke is, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  The second, attributed to a variety of people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  These two quotes seem fairly appropriate to any discussion of the book of Judges.  During the period of the Judges, the Israelites found themselves in a pattern of destructive behavior.  When they had no one to lead them, they would turn away from God and “do evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  Because of their evil, God would deliver them into the hands of an enemy who would oppress them for a period of years.  When the Israelites could no longer take the abuse, they would “cry out to the Lord” for help.  At that point, God would give them a judge – a person to lead them who would conquer their enemies.  When that person would die, the Israelites would once again turn away from God and the whole cycle would repeat itself.  It seemed that no matter how bad things were when they were far from God or how great things were when they were close to Him, they could not seem to break this cycle and they would always choose to ignore their own history.  They would do the same things over and over again and expect a different result.

As is common when we study the Bible, it is pretty easy to look back at the Israelites in hindsight and see their mistakes.  It is easy for us to wonder how they could possibly keep turning from the Lord when it always went so badly for them.  The sad truth, however, is that most of us do the same thing as the Israelites in one degree or another from time to time.  Think about it – every time we give in to temptation and sin, are we not turning away from God?  Are we not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord?  When things get bad for us because of our sinfulness, do we not cry out to the Lord for help, repent, and do everything we can to follow His ways again until the next time we fall to temptation?  Just like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of sin, guilt, and remorse.

Fortunately for us, we have hope in breaking this cycle.  First of all, we have history to study to help us learn what happens when we stray.  Like the Israelites, we can look at our own personal histories to see the cycle of sin and see what happens when we choose to turn away from God.  Unlike the Israelites, we have something more.  Instead of just looking at our own history, we can also study the history in the Bible to see this same cycle through the ages.

Secondly, we have the help of the Holy Spirit living with us to break this cycle.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome any temptation, no matter how great.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God does not want to see us fail.  He does not want to see us in the same cycle as the Israelites.  He wants us to have freedom over temptation and sin, and He wants us to stay close to Him.

Finally, we have hope in knowing that in His limitless grace and mercy, God is always waiting for us with open arms if we fall.  Time and time again, when the Israelites cried out to Him, He answered their call.  Time and time again, when they were ready to follow Him again, He was there to lead them.  No matter how many times you have fallen, He is waiting for you to cry out to Him.  If you are willing to follow Him, He is willing to lead you.  Do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Learn from your own history and the history of countless other generations before you, and press in closer to God today.  Allow Him to be Lord of your life, and break the cycle for good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Consequences of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 9,10; Psalm 49; 1 Corinthians 16

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 9:1-6

Most believers know what the Bible has to say about the consequences of sin.  In fact, even unbelievers are familiar with an often-quoted verse in Romans 6:23 that says, “For the wages of sin is death”.  For those of us who follow Christ, we understand that our sins affect our relationship with God.  They serve to separate us from Him and cause us to live a life that is less than what He intends for us.  Sometimes, though, we can wrongly believe that this is where the consequences of sin end.  We all know that sins affect us personally, but sometimes we fail to recognize that our sins can have a more far-reaching effect on others.  In today’s key passage, we read about how one man’s sins go on to affect a whole nation.

A few days ago, we read about Gideon’s need for assurances and the military successes he achieved because of God’s favor.  (To read this post entitled Needing AssurancesCLICK HERE).  Yesterday, though, we read about one of his sins.  In Judges 8:30-31, we read, “He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.”  Though Gideon was a hero to a nation for what he did in battle, he was still a sinful man in his personal life that took a concubine and had a son with her named Abimelech.  In today’s key passage, we read the story of Abimelech.  Though there was only supposed to be one king in Israel – God – following Gideon’s death, Abimelech decided that he wanted to be the king of Israel.  In his selfish zeal for power, he killed 69 of his 70 half brothers so he would not have any competition, and was declared king.  He served in this role for three years, until Schechem rebelled against him.  At that point, Abimelech attacked Shechem and destroyed the city, burned down the tower of Schechem killing about one thousand more people, and was finally killed while attacking Thebez.  None of this would have happened if not for Gideon’s sin in taking a concubine and having a child with her.  Gideon’s sin was passed down to Abimelech, who in turn allowed his sinful desires for wealth and power to affect other people.  Because of Gideon’s sin, all but one of his sons were killed, and a nation was devastated.

Today’s story clearly shows that one man’s sin can affect many other people.  The sins of a single man can affect his wife, his kids, his brothers and sisters in Christ, and countless others in the blink of an eye.  The next time temptation strikes and the rationalizations to sin fill your head; remember the far-reaching consequences of sin.  Remember that in most cases, you will not be the only person your sin affects, and ask God for the strength to fight off the temptations and walk in His path.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Learning from History


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 13:1-5

As I have been reading Judges for the last week or so, two famous quotes have come to mind.  The first, attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke is, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  The second, attributed to a variety of people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  These two quotes seem fairly appropriate to any discussion of the book of Judges.  During the period of the Judges, the Israelites found themselves in a pattern of destructive behavior.  When they had no one to lead them, they would turn away from God and “do evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  Because of their evil, God would deliver them into the hands of an enemy who would oppress them for a period of years.  When the Israelites could no longer take the abuse, they would “cry out to the Lord” for help.  At that point, God would give them a judge – a person to lead them who would conquer their enemies.  When that person would die, the Israelites would once again turn away from God and the whole cycle would repeat itself.  It seemed that no matter how bad things were when they were far from God or how great things were when they were close to Him, they could not seem to break this cycle and they would always choose to ignore their own history.  They would do the same things over and over again and expect a different result.

As is common when we study the Bible, it is pretty easy to look back at the Israelites in hindsight and see their mistakes.  It is easy for us to wonder how they could possibly keep turning from the Lord when it always went so badly for them.  The sad truth, however, is that most of us do the same thing as the Israelites in one degree or another from time to time.  Think about it – every time we give in to temptation and sin, are we not turning away from God?  Are we not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord?  When things get bad for us because of our sinfulness, do we not cry out to the Lord for help, repent, and do everything we can to follow His ways again until the next time we fall to temptation?  Just like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of sin, guilt, and remorse.

Fortunately for us, we have hope in breaking this cycle.  First of all, we have history to study to help us learn what happens when we stray.  Like the Israelites, we can look at our own personal histories to see the cycle of sin and see what happens when we choose to turn away from God.  Unlike the Israelites, we have something more.  Instead of just looking at our own history, we can also study the history in the Bible to see this same cycle through the ages.

Secondly, we have the help of the Holy Spirit living with us to break this cycle.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome any temptation, no matter how great.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God does not want to see us fail.  He does not want to see us in the same cycle as the Israelites.  He wants us to have freedom over temptation and sin, and He wants us to stay close to Him.

Finally, we have hope in knowing that in His limitless grace and mercy, God is always waiting for us with open arms if we fall.  Time and time again, when the Israelites cried out to Him, He answered their call.  Time and time again, when they were ready to follow Him again, He was there to lead them.  No matter how many times you have fallen, He is waiting for you to cry out to Him.  If you are willing to follow Him, He is willing to lead you.  Do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Learn from your own history and the history of countless other generations before you, and press in closer to God today.  Allow Him to be Lord of your life, and break the cycle for good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Consequences of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 9,10; Psalm 49; 1 Corinthians 16

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 9:1-6

Most believers know what the Bible has to say about the consequences of sin.  In fact, even unbelievers are familiar with an often-quoted verse in Romans 6:23 that says, “For the wages of sin is death”.  For those of us who follow Christ, we understand that our sins affect our relationship with God.  They serve to separate us from Him and cause us to live a life that is less than what He intends for us.  Sometimes, though, we can wrongly believe that this is where the consequences of sin end.  We all know that sins affect us personally, but sometimes we fail to recognize that our sins can have a more far-reaching effect on others.  In today’s key passage, we read about how one man’s sins go on to affect a whole nation.

A few days ago, we read about Gideon’s need for assurances and the military successes he achieved because of God’s favor.  (To read this post entitled Needing AssurancesCLICK HERE).  Yesterday, though, we read about one of his sins.  In Judges 8:30-31, we read, “He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.”  Though Gideon was a hero to a nation for what he did in battle, he was still a sinful man in his personal life that took a concubine and had a son with her named Abimelech.  In today’s key passage, we read the story of Abimelech.  Though there was only supposed to be one king in Israel – God – following Gideon’s death, Abimelech decided that he wanted to be the king of Israel.  In his selfish zeal for power, he killed 69 of his 70 half brothers so he would not have any competition, and was declared king.  He served in this role for three years, until Schechem rebelled against him.  At that point, Abimelech attacked Shechem and destroyed the city, burned down the tower of Schechem killing about one thousand more people, and was finally killed while attacking Thebez.  None of this would have happened if not for Gideon’s sin in taking a concubine and having a child with her.  Gideon’s sin was passed down to Abimelech, who in turn allowed his sinful desires for wealth and power to affect other people.  Because of Gideon’s sin, all but one of his sons were killed, and a nation was devastated.

Today’s story clearly shows that one man’s sin can affect many other people.  The sins of a single man can affect his wife, his kids, his brothers and sisters in Christ, and countless others in the blink of an eye.  The next time temptation strikes and the rationalizations to sin fill your head; remember the far-reaching consequences of sin.  Remember that in most cases, you will not be the only person your sin affects, and ask God for the strength to fight off the temptations and walk in His path.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

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Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Learning from History


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 13:1-5

As I have been reading Judges for the last week or so, two famous quotes have come to mind.  The first, attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke is, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  The second, attributed to a variety of people including Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  These two quotes seem fairly appropriate to any discussion of the book of Judges.  During the period of the Judges, the Israelites found themselves in a pattern of destructive behavior.  When they had no one to lead them, they would turn away from God and “do evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  Because of their evil, God would deliver them into the hands of an enemy who would oppress them for a period of years.  When the Israelites could no longer take the abuse, they would “cry out to the Lord” for help.  At that point, God would give them a judge – a person to lead them who would conquer their enemies.  When that person would die, the Israelites would once again turn away from God and the whole cycle would repeat itself.  It seemed that no matter how bad things were when they were far from God or how great things were when they were close to Him, they could not seem to break this cycle and they would always choose to ignore their own history.  They would do the same things over and over again and expect a different result.

As is common when we study the Bible, it is pretty easy to look back at the Israelites in hindsight and see their mistakes.  It is easy for us to wonder how they could possibly keep turning from the Lord when it always went so badly for them.  The sad truth, however, is that most of us do the same thing as the Israelites in one degree or another from time to time.  Think about it – every time we give in to temptation and sin, are we not turning away from God?  Are we not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord?  When things get bad for us because of our sinfulness, do we not cry out to the Lord for help, repent, and do everything we can to follow His ways again until the next time we fall to temptation?  Just like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves caught in a vicious cycle of sin, guilt, and remorse.

Fortunately for us, we have hope in breaking this cycle.  First of all, we have history to study to help us learn what happens when we stray.  Like the Israelites, we can look at our own personal histories to see the cycle of sin and see what happens when we choose to turn away from God.  Unlike the Israelites, we have something more.  Instead of just looking at our own history, we can also study the history in the Bible to see this same cycle through the ages.

Secondly, we have the help of the Holy Spirit living with us to break this cycle.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, we can overcome any temptation, no matter how great.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we read, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” God does not want to see us fail.  He does not want to see us in the same cycle as the Israelites.  He wants us to have freedom over temptation and sin, and He wants us to stay close to Him.

Finally, we have hope in knowing that in His limitless grace and mercy, God is always waiting for us with open arms if we fall.  Time and time again, when the Israelites cried out to Him, He answered their call.  Time and time again, when they were ready to follow Him again, He was there to lead them.  No matter how many times you have fallen, He is waiting for you to cry out to Him.  If you are willing to follow Him, He is willing to lead you.  Do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Learn from your own history and the history of countless other generations before you, and press in closer to God today.  Allow Him to be Lord of your life, and break the cycle for good.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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