Category Archives: Wisdom from Judges

SING, O BARREN!


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Sing, o barren!

“He gives the barren woman a home,

making her the joyous mother of children.

Praise the Lord!” (Ps 113:9)

Abraham’s wife Sarai was barren. (Gen 11:30) But Abraham believed God. Then in God’s timing, Isaac, the child of promise was born in their old age.

Isaac’s wife Rebekah was barren. (Gen 25:21) But Isaac pleaded with the Lord and she gave birth to twins – Esau and Jacob!

Jacob’s wife Rachel was barren. (Gen 29:31) But God listened to her prayer, after many other children had been fathered by Jacob through Leah and concubines. Then Rachel “conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach’ So she called his name Joseph.” (Gen 30:22-24) Joseph became the instrument to save Israel from dying off in severe famine.

Isn’t this amazing? All of the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – had barren wives! Yet all eventually conceived by the grace of God and their children were included strategically in God’s plan of salvation for all mankind! Wow! Wouldn’t you wait years for such a child?

Sarah gave birth to Isaac, whose wife Rebekah then was barren; but then Rebekah gave birth to Jacob, whose wife was barren but then gave birth to Joseph. Seems as if a prerequisite for being the mother of the children of God was to be barren! What a paradox! But God is glorified where miracles are needed. God is glorified is His chosen people.

But the story of God’s glory continues beyond the patriarchs. The Scripture is true for all those who believe: “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength…” by the grace of God!

Hannah was barren. “The Lord had closed her womb” until after Hannah poured “out her soul before the Lord.” and she bore a son “ and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord.’” (1 Sam 1:5-20) Samuel became a great prophet.

Manoah’s unnamed wife was barren. (Judges 13:2) But after a word from the Lord, “the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him.” (Judges 13:24) Samson became a great deliverer!

Elizabeth was barren, and … advanced in years. (Luke 1:7) Elizabeth “in her old age” “conceived a son”. She had been “called barren” but look what the Lord has done! (Luke 1:36) She gave birth to John the Baptist! Of him, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke:

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11) [What a “quantum leap” here in – going from the greatest to the least being greater!]

So just why did the Lord use barren women in His plan for salvation? The outcasts, the rejected, those thought to have committed some heinous sin to be cursed with a barren womb? There’s probably more than one good answer to these questions. I’ll let you ponder it.

But I imagine these long-awaited children brought great joy to their parents! They certainly brought great glory to God! And since we New Covenant saints, even the least among us, are “greater than John the Baptist”, because of the Holy Spirit within us, then we too can be used mightily for God’s glory. Our empty, barren, unfruitful lives suddenly by the will of God, according to His divine purpose and timing, will blossom and we will bear the fruit for which we are longing and for which we are pleading. YHWH still is the God of the Breakthrough, the God who opens wombs, the God who moves mountains, and the God who with one word can create a new life in Jesus Christ! May God be glorified in His church! “Sing, o barren!” ( Isaiah 54:1; Gal 4:27)

How A Tyrant Rises to Power


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“Be wise as serpents…”  Matthew 10:16

Not only does the Word give us guidance as to how to live righteously but it also gives us insight as to how evil operates. I suspect this is in the hope that we should avoid coming under the rule of unrighteous men. In Judges 9, we read how the tyrant Abimelech rose to power:

  • Firstly, “he had no call of God to this honour …” (Matthew Henry Commentary) He was a usurper.
  • “None would have dreamed of making such a one king, if he had not dreamed of it himself” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

but

  • He appeals to them on the basis of ethnicity: “I am your bone and your flesh.” (Judges 9:2)
  • He eradicates his potential competition. He slew his brothers, seventy men! (Judges 9:5)
  • The city he first approached to gain followers was a strategic city, Shechem being an influential city. Yet, many of the citizens of Shechem were themselves unrighteous, thieving men (Judges 9:25).
  • He got money out of them, having persuaded them of their advantage: “Which is better for you…?” (Judges 9:2)

but

  • He hired soldiers from the rift-raft of the land, ungodly men themselves. (Judges 9:4) Do righteous men knowingly fight for a tyrant?
  • Abimelech and his deluded followers did not heed the warnings of the righteous (Judges 9:7-20)

Yet

  • Strife is inevitable among the ungodly. So, dissent arose between the unholy citizens of Shechem and Abimelech. Evil is intrinsically selfish and self-centered and so the unrighteous can never truly trust those with whom they have surrounded themselves. We’ve all seen this played out, how the robber kills his accomplice to get more of the loot. So, here also we see this played out. (Judges 9:23-25)
  • Evil will eventually be judged.  Abimelech’s demise came through the boldness of a woman defending her town. (Judges 9:53)   God uses the “weak” things of the world to accomplish deliverance.   (Remember Deborah and Jael? Judges 4)

The good news is that evil is inevitably doomed to destruction (Revelation 20:12-14).  Nonetheless, we would be wise to not allow evil to rule over us in the first place. Therefore, let us teach our children the full counsel of God including how to spot usurpers, tyrants, antichrists and deceivers that we may live in peace under righteous leaders who have a heart for justice and are submitted themselves to the God of Abraham, the Great I AM, YHWH, Yahshua, Jesus Christ!

You may also wan to read my posts: unholy trinity ; Portrait of the Antichrist;

Would You Please Give Gideon Bread?


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I’ve been studying the book of Judges. Yesterday I was convicted to “give bread” to those who are faithfully fighting for our liberties. Not that I’ve never done so, but at “such a time as this” in America when our very way of life, a life of liberty, is being threatened on every side, it seems most important to “give bread” to those that the Lord has raised up to meet the challenge of the day.

Most of us have heard of Gideon’s rout against the enemies of Israel. But the story goes on. In Judges 8:4-28, it is related how Gideon was refused bread to eat by elders of Israel while the army pursued their enemy out of their homeland. Can you imagine that?! The Matthew Henry Commentary notes: “Their crime [in not feeding Gideon’s army] was great. Gideon, with a handful of feeble folk was pursuing the common enemy, to complete the deliverance of Israel…..In contempt of God, they [Israelites] refused to answer the just demands [a request for food] of him whom God had raised up to save them…” !!! [Emphasis mine]

We have a common enemy who is attacking our way of life, a way which includes being able to freely worship the Lord. Our US Constitution is being dismantled while many sleep. We need to “Arise, oh sleeper” (Eph 5:14) because a different type of sleeper, enemy “sleepers” are amongst us, waiting for a strategic time to “steal, kill, and destroy”. But a handful, like Gideon’s army, are alert to the dangers. Let’s not deny the defenders some bread. Otherwise, we may be denied much more. Evil seeks to enslave us and deny us our rights, our “unalienable rights” “endowed by [our] Creator”.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” [Declaration of Independence]

Government should secure our rights, not deny them!

“They” say don’t talk about religion or politics. Religion and politics are the two institutions that, if led by unregenerate men, can most wickedly oppress the people: that’s you and your children and your grandchildren! Therefore, these are subjects that we had better talk about! They most affect how we live. We had better all take notice of what is happening now in the realm of politics and get out and fight. If you can’t fight, at least give support to those who are on the front lines. May the Lord of Lords give discernment, wisdom, strength, courage, and provision to our troops; to those politicians and political action groups who are truly working for justice and liberty; to the ACLJ (J not U); to “the watchmen on the wall”; to our border guards and to Arizona in their battle against invading drug lords.

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” (attr to Edmund Burke)