Bible Reading Plan
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Weekends: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂

 
 
 
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How To Soul Journal
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Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Judges 20

Scripture

Judges 20:26-28

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 And the Israelites inquired of the Lord. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, 28 with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.) They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites, or not?”

The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”

Observation

Although this is the 3rd time they were coming before the Lord and preparing for battle, it was the first time that they 1) fasted, 2) presented burnt offerings and 3) presented fellowship offerings to the Lord.  His response was “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”

Understanding

It almost seems as if the Israelites made their own plan and came to God for His stamp of approval instead of seeking His counsel as to what they should do. 

When the Israelites heard of what had happened – the thoughtless murder of the concubine, they knew something needed to be done.  They desired justice.  But (and this is a big but!) they did not seek God first.  They came together and devised a plan, THEN came to God…and, in doing so, they missed the mark.

Even when our hearts are in the right place, we must seek God first. 

In verse 18, they ask

“’Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?’

The Lord replied, ‘Judah shall go first.’”

But while they are asking the Lord for direction and He does answer, it appears as if the plan itself was of men.  The end result?  Twenty-two thousand men are struck down.

In verse 23, again they ask God

“Shall we go up again to fight against the Benjamites, our fellow Israelites?”

The Lord answered, “Go up against them.”

Again, he answers and provides direction…and 18,000 men are struck down.

But the third time they come around, they truly SEEK God.  They take time to fast.  They honor him with burnt offerings.  They offer up fellowship offering.  And this time God says he will give the Benjamites over to them.

God desires to be first and only.

From seeking God first (Matthew 6:33)…to giving of our first fruits (Prov. 3:9-10)…to the first two commandments…

Exodus 20:3-5

“You shall have no other gods beforea] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,

God makes it very clear where He wants to be prioritized in our lives.  And, just like he did in vs. 28, he promises to provide and deliver – whether it’s victory in a battle, overflowing barns (Prov 3:9-10), clothes to wear and food to eat (Matt. 6:33).

God’s promise remains the same – He will provide.

Life Application

God, thank you for your jealous heart!  Thank you for your desire for relationship with us – you children.  Thank you for your provision.  May I remember in proper order the priorities that lead to that provision, that fulfillment…ultimately, putting you first.  May I take time to seek your counsel in my daily decisions – both big and small – and always hold space for what you desire to do through them.  May I be used by you today – to right injustices, to make your name known, to show your kindness and love…and, ultimately, to draw others near to you. 

In your name I pray, Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei



Judges 19

Scripture

Judges 19:1

In those days Israel had no king.

Observation – What does it say?

This chapter contains one of the most horrible and gut wrenching stories in my opinion. Wickedness has become rampant in Israel. When some of the wicked men of the city were denied the opportunity to have sex with another man they took an innocent woman and raped her to death. This isn’t a horror movie. This isn’t fiction. This is real life, real people, real horror. Why? What could lead to this kind of moral decline? The first verse explains why, setting the bigger stage for this story: Israel was without a king.

Understanding – What does it mean?

We are desperate for good, godly leadership.

Judges 21:25 elaborates on this verse and says, In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”

Without good leadership in place, wickedness grows without resistance. When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, it is a recipe for disaster. Our culture has been swinging in this direction for some time. Subjective morality is rampant. “What’s right for you is right for you,”  “To each his own,” and “I’ve found my truth,” are all common and respected phrases in our culture. Although they don’t prove to be biblical or even logical arguments, they are still quoted by many.

It’s obvious from this chapter that this isn’t a road we want to see our culture go down!

Life Application

Pray for good, godly leadership! And, choose to submit to the godly leadership God has already placed over me.

God, thank you for being our King! Thank you for your word that you use to instruct us in how to live. May we submit to your leadership and the delegated leadership you’ve placed over us in your church. And, we also pray for the elections coming up. Have your way in our nation and give us all wisdom as we vote. Have mercy. Let your kingdom come. In Jesus’ name, amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


Judges 18

Scripture

Judges 18:19-20

They answered him, “Be quiet!  Don’t say a word.  Come with us, and be our father and priest.  Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?”  Then the priest was glad.  He took the ephod, the other household gods and the carved image and went along with the people.  

Observation-What does it say?

The Danites were looking for a place to settle, so they sent 5 men to explore the land. Along their journey, they ended up near Micah’s house, where they met a young Levite priest.  They asked him to inquire of the Lord whether their journey had God’s approval.  The young Levite priest told them to go in peace as their journey was approved by the Lord.  After scoping out the land, the 5 warriors returned home to Zorah and Eshtaol and encouraged the Danites to attack Laish.  On their way back to Laish, they decided to stop over at Micah’s house again and steal their idols. In addition to stealing their idols, they also convinced the young Levite priest to come with them and be their priest.  He willfully consented.

Understanding-What does it mean?

God judges the heart, not the outward appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7

The young Levite priest knew religious phrases and gave the impression that he operated in authority of being close with God, as he gave permission to the 5 warrior spies to proceed on their journey in peace (vs. 6), but his heart was obviously far from the Lord.  Being a priest was just a job to him and he was in it for the wealth and recognition. When the opportunity came for him to increase his fame, pride set in and the love of money set in and he willfully agreed to go with the Danites.  In addition, he was the one who took the ephod and the other idols/gods when he went along with the Danite people. (Reference: Jeremiah Study Bible)

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Matt. 15: 8-9

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  1 Timothy 6:10

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matt. 7:22

Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  Matt. 7:15

Life Application

“It’s not about lip service, but about the heart.” -Brian Moen

Being in God’s Word daily helps us to discern what’s true from what’s false. In Soul Journal class a couple of days ago, the Holy Spirit directed me to lead the class to soul journal on Philippians 3. Paul was speaking about how although he had reason to put confidence in his flesh (and listed those reasons), he had NO reason to boast, except to boast in Jesus Christ. His righteousness was not of his own, but rather righteousness from God through faith in Jesus Christ. As a result of this discussion, one of our Catalyst students, Brian Moen said, “It’s not about lip service, but about the heart.” and that applies to our chapter today. The religious leaders and Jews in those days knew all the right words to say, but their hearts were far from the Lord. Their motives for serving God were not pure. Because their hearts were far from God, their rebellion was inevitable.

Let’s not just honor Him with our lips, but with our lives. Let our actions prove that He is Lord of our lives and not money, fame, popularity, or selfish gain. And let our love for each other also prove that we are His children.

Dear Lord, it’s easy to know all the right things to say, especially growing up in the church and hearing it my whole life.  But I pray that my actions would also prove that I belong to You alone and the choices I make would be a reflection of my identity as Your daughter and not the world’s. I pray against the devil who constantly tempts me to take my hope and trust away from You, but I thank You for giving me Your Word and Spirit to guide me into all wisdom and truth.  Please continue to strengthen me by Your power alone to live out my calling for You, regardless of what anyone else says or chooses to do with their lives. I ask this all in Your Name for Your honor and glory alone.  Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Judges 17

Scripture

Judges 17:6

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”

Observation

Israel has fallen away from God’s ways once again. They had no godly king or judge ruling over them. They should have turned to God, and proclaimed Him as their king. Instead, they let other people’s outside influences once again determine how they would act. They began creating idols and worshipping false gods. Ultimately the people “played God” and did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. 

Understanding

We must put God on the throne as King of our lives in order to truly see what is right in this world.

Micah and the people of Israel are really acting no different than the people of this world today. They were surrounded by a society and world that tried to justify their sinful actions. They were more concerned with PLAYING CHURCH, rather than BEING THE CHURCH. Then to top it off, the people basically took the attitude of, “if it feels right, it must be right.” That is a very dangerous approach to take. They were putting themselves on the throne of judgement, determining what was right and wrong. By doing this, they were repeating the history of what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and letting themselves be deceived by the enemy.

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:5-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

So who is truly sitting on the throne of my life? 

If God sits on the throne of my life, does He have total authority to tell me what to say or do? Or do I try to fight Him over control, and only allow Him authority over me when it is convenient to me?

It kind of reminds me of the old bumper sticker I see from time to time that reads “GOD IS MY CO-PILOT”.  Now I’m sure the people who made this bumper sticker had their hearts in the right places when coming up with that saying, but it just still isn’t quite right if we plan on putting God on the throne of our lives. It still portrays a picture that it is us in the driver’s seat, going where we want to go and doing what we want to do, and if the road gets a little too bumpy, we have God on our side, who can steer us back on track. Now what the bumper sticker should read is “GOD IS MY PILOT, AND I AM HIS CO-PILOT”. Now this paints a more accurate picture of what a life should look like if God is truly on the throne of our lives. It is God who is driving, He is the one who has total control of our destination and how long or fast it takes to get there. We are there alongside Him, to listen to Him, submit to His instructions , learn from Him, and follow His lead along this journey. If we can manage to do that, we are ensured to reach our “final destination” and enjoy being in paradise with the One who loved us enough to lead us through all of life’s long, twisty, bumpy, and treacherous roads. 
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Judges 16

Scripture

Judges 16:24-24
When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

Observation

Samson decides to spend the night with a prostitute in Gaza. When the people of Gaza hear of his presence in their city, the people of Gaza lay in wait at the city gate with plans to kill Samson in the morning. In the middle of the night, Samson awakes and defeats the plan by tearing loose and removing the city gate.

Sometime later, Samson falls in love with a Philistine woman by the name of Delilah. The rulers of the city bribe Delilah into seducing Samson so that he will reveal the secret of his strength. After three failed attempts to subdue Samson (because he gave Delilah false information) and unable to bear Delilah’s constant nagging and manipulating, he finally tells Delilah the truth that his strength comes from the fact that no razor has ever touched his head; and that if his hair were to be cut, he would be as weak as any other man. After receiving payment for her betrayal, Delilah lets men into her home to shave Samson’s hair. Without his strength, Samson is easily taken captive, has his eyes gouged out and is sent to forced labor in prison.

Later, during a pagan feast in honor of the Philistine god, Dagon, the rulers bring out Samson to perform for and entertain them. Aware that his hair had grown back while in prison, Samson asks to be tied between the supporting pillars of the temple and then asks God to strengthen him one more time to get revenge on the Philistines for his eyes. Asking to die with his enemies, Samson pushes on the pillars causing the roof to cave in and in doing so killed more Philistines when he died then when he lived. Samson’s family then claims his body and buries him in the tomb of his father. Samson judged Israel for twenty years.

Understanding

Song of Solomon 2:15
[It is the] little foxes that spoil the vine

 The man of God who began his life heralded by the angels; who was said to be dedicated to God from the womb; a man who did great deeds in the power of the Spirit of God ends his life as a buffoon; a prisoner performing like a clown before for the enemies of God. As he sat in prison, blind, broken and powerless I wonder if Samson asked the same question that any child of God asks who find themselves so very far from the time and place when they walked in God’s power, will and Spirit –“How did I get here?” If Samson looked honestly at his life, he would see that it wasn’t any one great mistake or sin that brought him to such uselessness and humiliation, but a lifetime of small compromises that, one after another, led him away from God’s will and into the hands of the enemy. It is the same today and for all time. No man wakes up one morning and decides, “Today, I think I’ll have an affair!” No one out of the blue decides, “I think I’ll become a heroin addict this week.” No, it is many small choices of compromise, rationalization, rebellion and rejection of the voice of God’s word and His Spirit that eventually bring us to a place where we never thought we would end up – and in doing so allow the enemy to mock our faith and our God.

Life Application
Proverbs 6:27
Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

2 Corinthians 6:17
Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

Any compromise in my life, and certainly a pattern of it, will sear my heart and deafen my ear to the prompting and warning of the Holy Spirit. The only way to not get tainted by sin is to not handle it and to understand that there is no such thing as safe sin. In order to safeguard my heart against compromise that leads to disaster I must study and memorize God’s word; pursue intimacy with the Holy Spirit in prayer; commit to a life of obedience (and when I fail, confess and seek repentance); walk in my identity of holiness in Christ; and welcome accountability and correction from trusted members of my church family.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
 – Gary Parker

 

 



Judges 15

Scripture

Judges 15:18-19

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.

Observation

If I can be honest, my first observation was that this chapter was bizarre…Samson gets a goat then goes to visit his wife.  He is denied by her father saying, “I was so sure you hated her that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”  So, Samson gets mad and goes after the Philistines – using foxes and fire – then ends up killing a thousand men…with a jaw-bone!  After all this, he’s thirsty.  [See, bizarre.]

Understanding

God is the ultimate provider.

 Despite the crazy circumstances that Samson finds himself in, God provides.  In verse 14, “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him” and he takes on a thousand men.  When Samson is done, he’s thirsty and calls out to God – who provides water, essentially out of nothing.  And with just a drink of this God-provided water, Samson’s strength is returned and he is revived.  

I’ve never gathered 300 foxes or killed 1,000 men (or even one on either account); but I’ve run a few races and had few workouts, so I have certainly experienced the thirst that follows a big energy expenditure.  And while I’ve found it refreshing, it’s not as though I was ready to go run another race or do another round of my weight training.  Our physical bodies require recovery – nourishment, rest, electrolytes, hydration.  Yet, in this situation, God provided water and it sounds as if Samson was almost immediately revived. 
 
So, not only does God provide; His provisions fulfill.

Life Application

God, thank you for being our ultimate provider!  It is so comforting to know that our creator is watching over us and has us in His hand, knowing our needs and desires even before we do. 

May I find strength in your spirit.  May I trust you wholly – living out my faith in such a way that it is so evident and that others are drawn to you too and find themselves fulfilled.

May I never lose hope, never lose focus and forever press on towards you and your will for my life.  In your name I pray, Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei

 



Judges 14

Scripture

Judges 14:4

(His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

Observation – What does it say?

Because it would cause Israel to drift from him and be influenced to worship the false gods of other nations, God had commanded Israel not to intermarry with them. They were to be set apart and separate from the rest of the world as God’s chosen people.  

But, there was no stopping Samson when his eyes laid hold of a beautiful Philistine woman. He appeared to have no regard for the command of God and no respect for the the pleas of his parents to find a suitable woman within Israel. Dishonoring the command of God and desire of his parents, Samson pursues marriage with this foreign woman. However, in the midst of these things the Lord was orchestrating something greater.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God, although not pleased with any sin, was pleased to use Samson’s bad choices to bring about the confrontation with the Philistines he was seeking. A few things that stand out to me in all of this:
  1. God’s activity in our lives is not his stamp of approval on our character. We can’t be deceived into believing that the Lord coming upon Samson meant that he was condoning his actions. There have been many people who operated strongly in the gifts of healing or prophecy or words of knowledge but had lives of secret sin. Eventually, their secret lives were exposed and they lost their churches and influence. They had mistakenly believed that the gifts God had given them were evidence of his approval of their lifestyle.
  2. God works all things, including our sin, to accomplish his purposes (See Romans 8:28). Given my rebellious past, I have been asked many times if I wish I could go back in time and change things. And to be honest, my answer is always no. Although I’m not proud of my past, God has used it to shape who I am today, to reveal himself to me, and enable me to relate with others who are struggling with addictions and rebellion so I can point them to Christ.
  3. This truth is not a license for us to sin. Romans 6:1-2 1“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Life Application

Trust that God is using even the bad decisions and actions to accomplish his will.

God, you are sovereign! There is nothing and no one that can thwart God’s plans. Whether it’s my falling short or those in political positions of authority making poor decisions, you are still God and working everything in conformity with the purpose of your will! God, thank you that when I fail, it doesn’t disqualify me. Thank you for your grace! Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


Judges 13

Scripture
 
Judges‬ ‭13:12-13‬ ‭
 
“So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boyʼs life and work?” The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her.”
‭‭
Observation
 
The Israelites were doing evil again and as a result, they were in slavery at “the hands of the Philistines for 40 years (Vs. 1).” God, who is just, yet merciful at the same time, planned their deliverance through Samson. An angel of the Lord told Samson’s mother that her son was going to “deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines (vs. 5), but she had a part to play in it. His mother had to follow these rules (vs. 7): 
1. No eating of unclean foods or drinking any wine or fermented drink.
2. No razor is to touch his head.
3. Their son had to be set apart to God.
 
Understanding
 
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm‬ ‭127:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
Samson was a gift and blessing from God to his parents. Scripture says that they couldn’t conceive and remained childless because Manoah’s wife was sterile. But, God blessed them, not only with a son, but a son who was going to be Israel’s deliverer. They had a huge role to play in Samson’s fulfillment of HIs God given destiny.
 
Life Application
 

 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We are responsible for raising our children up in the Lord and training them in righteousness. However, it starts with us first as their examples. Our choices makes an impact not only on us, but also our descendants after us. We must be pursuing righteousness and our lives must reflect obedience to the Lord; we must honor and respect God by choosing to be set apart from the world; we must choose to live lives of integrity; we must put Him first and teach our kids to do the same. Our calling as parents is huge. Whether it is our own kids or the kids He’s given us spiritually to lead, we need His help with this great responsibility, as it is an impossible task without Him.

Dear Lord, I am reminded that You do not call us to a lazy/passive faith, but rather an active faith. As Your Word showed us, although Samson’s destiny was great, his parents had a role in shaping that destiny. Please forgive me for the times when I don’t take this calling seriously. You have blessed me with my children. They are truly gifts from You. I pray for Your constant help and wisdom as I raise them up. I pray that my choices would lead them to You and not away from You.  I desire them to fulfill Your calling for their life and with Your help, commit to doing my part in it. Amen.

To check out discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Judges 12

Scripture

Judges 12:4

“The people of Ephraim responded, “You men of Gilead are nothing more than fugitives from Ephraim and Manasseh.” So Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and attacked the men of Ephraim and defeated them.”

Observation-What does it say?

Jephthah and the men of Gilead have come back from defeating the Ammonites in battle. To the victors come the spoils and the glory. Now here comes the army of Ephraim, crossing the Jordan River and questioning Jephthah. They wanted to know why Jephthah did not ask them for help with the fight against the Ammonites, to which Jephthah replied that he did summon them at the beginning of the dispute, but they refused to come. So when Jephthah realizes that they weren’t coming, he and his army risk their own lives in battle against the Ammonites, and the LORD granted them victory over them. 

Now I don’t know if it was jealousy that made the people of Ephraim upset with Jephthah for going into battle without them, and they felt robbed from experiencing the spoils of victory, but it obviously made them upset enough with Jephthah and the people of Gilead.  They insulted them by calling them “nothing more than fugitives from Ephraim and Manasseh.” This causes a war between the two sides, a war which Jephthah and the men of Gilead win, and end up killing 42,000 men of Ephraim during that time.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Them are fightin’ words!

Once the people of Ephraim started to throw insults at the people of Gilead, you know things were about to get ugly!  As we learned this past Sunday about the sixth commandment, “Thou shall not commit murder”, we learned about how our choice of words (if spoken negatively), are just as if committing murder. Jesus said:

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There are plenty of scriptures within the Bible that warn us to watch our words and choose them wisely. Our words can either be used to uplift, or destroy. In the case of today’s passage, the people of Ephraim used their words unwisely. It ultimately led to war, and ultimately to their deaths.

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭NIV

L‬‬ife Application

Think before speaking and remember that our words have enough power in them to bring upon death or life. 

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”-Psalm‬ ‭141:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Father God, may the words that come out of my mouth today be pleasing to You. May they bring encouragement instead of hurt. I ask if there are any words of encouragement you want me to give to someone, that you may reveal them to me. May I not only be your hands and feet today Lord, but also your mouth. In your Holy name I pray, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Judges 11

Scripture

Judges 11:29
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah.

Observation

Because Jephthah’s mother was a prostitute his brothers shun him and drive him from their presence. Later, when the Ammonites come against Israel, Jephthah’s brothers appeal to him and his “band of scoundrels” to command their armies. After securing the promise of position and leadership upon his return, Jephthah confronts the enemies of Israel. Before advancing against the Ammonites, Jephthah makes a vow to sacrifice to God whatever comes out of the door of his house upon his return. Jephthah is devastated when his daughter (and only child) greets him with music and dancing to celebrate his victory. Upon hearing of her father’s vow and his commitment to keep it, Jephthah’s daughter submits to him, asking only that before her death he allow her to “roam the hills and weep with her friends” to lament the fact that she will never marry. Jephthah grants her request which would later result in an Israelite tradition of a four day celebration by young women of Israel in commemoration of Jephthah’s daughter.

Understanding

1 Corinthians 3:16

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

In this chapter; throughout the Book of Judges and also through the Old Testament we read of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon someone for a specific task or challenge. The Spirit comes from without to equip the chosen vessel or messenger, and then departs – usually resulting in a return to sin and compromise. The experience of the New Testament believer is radically and miraculously different. The Spirit of God actually dwells within me! I don’t have to wait for Him to come or ever fear that He will leave me. The Holy Spirit lives in me because I am “In Christ” and He is always at work in me as the Counselor and Comforter; the One who convicts me regarding sin and righteousness, and the One who speaks for me and who guides me into all truth. He is the Advocate and the wisdom of God in me. He is the One who is transforming me into the image of Christ and the producer of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in and through me. He is the seal and guarantee of God’s promised resurrection and He lives in me! Hallelujah!!

Life Application

John 10:22
“…receive the Holy Spirit”

Lord, thank you for deeming me holy and righteous so that the Holy Spirit can live within me. Help me to remember that even though you elected and chose me when I was dead in my sin, I am still an agent of free will and can choose to either heed or ignore the prompting of your Spirit. If (when) I fall into sin and compromise, it is not because He left me but because I took my eyes off of Him. Help me to seek, discern, treasure and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that I may walk in your will, power and victory all the days of my life and for the glory of your great Name.

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-Gary Parker