“I have so much to do before Christmas. It’s overwhelming. Some things I planned to do last week didn’t get done.”
Judges 9:52-53, “So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53) But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull.” NASB
Abimelech had just killed a thousand men and women by setting a tower on fire, Judges 9:46-49. He planned on doing the same thing here but a woman fought back!
She didn’t kill him but she wounded him. He asked his armor-bearer to kill him. He didn’t want people to say a woman killed him.
Whatever situation you face – never give up! Do something. One small action may diffuse the entire situation. With God, nothing is hopeless.
“I finally finished Laura’s quilt. It took me 13 years to embroider the signatures on her tee shirts, sew them together, and make the quilt.”
Judges 13:12, “Manoah said, ‘Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?'” NASB
The angel didn’t answer Manoah because God gives that information to each child. He will guide them and train them for their life’s work.
I was sure Luke would be a preacher. He practiced preaching to Laura! Derek told me that he would join the army.
Luke is a career soldier and Derek earned a Certificate of Ministry. He is my boss on the worship team!
“I made the candy that I planned to make yesterday. The fudge was set up before I got all of the sweetened condensed milk stirred into the melted chocolate. I had to beat it and it still has lumps. It doesn’t look good. I didn’t get the cookie dough made.”
Judges 14:2, “…get her for me as a wife.” NASB
In Biblical times, a son did not choose his wife. His parents arranged marriage from their own tribe. Parents wanted their children to live close by. Both parents, v. 3, asked why he wanted a Philistine wife.
His reply? “She looked good,” 14:3.
“I need to take cookies to the E3 Party tonight. I mixed them up and chilled them for two hours. They were the consistency of toothpaste. I couldn’t roll them out. I finally texted the team that my cookies flopped. Christy offered to have her teens make extra. Thank God for Christy!”
Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” NASB
Proverbs 21:2, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” NASB
“I rolled out, cut, baked, and frosted the cookies. While mixing up “Merry Cherry Bars,” one beater stopped completely. I tried to finish with one beater. When the bars were in the oven, I made the pie for David’s bosses.”
Judges 20:22, “But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and arrayed for battle again in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day.” NASB
When 400,000 Israelite soldiers couldn’t overpower the 26,000 Benjaminite soldiers, they encouraged themselves and tried again. When they were unsuccessful on the second day, they wept, fasted, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, v. 26.
Why were they unable to overcome the Benjaminite soldiers?
Because they were “slingers.” They could stand in a protected area and sling their stones. They never missed. Seven hundred of them were left-handed. The stone would come from the side you were not expecting, 20:16.
The only way to win the battle was to draw them out of the city.
Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” NASB
The Benjaminites fought for the right to do whatever they wanted – including gang-raping which killed the concubine, 20:5.
“I planned on making two lasagnas for our Christmas Dinner tomorrow. Mom’s recipe used Laury’s spaghetti mix. It is no longer available. I decided to make my homemade marinara. I doubled the recipe. I forgot that I always double the recipe. I quadrupled it! I had just enough celery for the “Bucket Salad” and enough carrots and broccoli for appetizers. God knew what I needed.”
“This beautiful Old Testament story gives new meaning to our prayer, ‘Give us this day, our daily bread,’ as well as incredible insight when the baby Jesus (the Bread of Heaven come down) is placed in a manger (a feeding trough) in Bethlehem (House of Bread). It is hard to imagine that all these parallel elements are an accident. Our Great Kinsman Redeemer is ready, waiting for the return of His longed-for Bride and willing to redeem.”
Introduction to Ruth, The Founder’s Bible, The Origin of the Dream of Freedom, p. 429
Ruth 1:9, “‘May the Lord grant that you may find rest, …” NASB
Seek God, find rest.
Ruth 2:12, “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” NASB
God rewards my work. He pays my wages.
Ruth 3:2, “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? …” NASB
Boaz could have married one of the maids. But he didn’t. Perhaps his father Salmon instructed him to wait for the bride God had chosen. His mother was Rahab. She hid the spies and converted to the Hebrew faith. Salmon “redeemed” her. As the wife of an Israelite, she had a position of respect.
Boaz was not a young man, Ruth 3:10, but he was rich. He waited a long time for his bride and prepared well.
Ruth was not known as a foreigner, or a poor widow, she was called “a woman of excellence,” 3:11. The first two were facts but the truth of her character trumped the facts.
“If you’re having a tough Christmas, don’t beat yourself up. Remember, you can get through anything for one day. (See Deuteronomy 33:25). Jesus understands. He came to ‘heal the heartbroken,’ so turn to Him this Christmas and ask Him to restore your peace and joy.”
The Word for You Today, 12-23-22
“Our family Christmas is today. I was up at 3:30 a.m. My daughter had to work in the morning and she dropped off her gifts and food before driving to work.
After devotions, I cleared the table and set it. I decluttered the buffet and laid out towels with tablecloths over them. (Then I don’t need hot pads.)
It’s zero degrees. I had to wash our long johns. When the laundry finished, I set out the supper items on the washer and dryer. I put the ham in the Crockpot and plugged it in.
Back upstairs, I cleaned the house and put the lasagnas in the oven.
The pretty Christmas paper plates could not handle the lasagna. It burnt our fingers and left marks on my wooden table. After we ate, I put most of the food away and changed clothes for practice.
Right before the service, Derek reminded me that I was supposed to play a Christmas Carol for communion. I forgot. I ran to an extra piano and pounded out the chords to “Away in a Manger.”
I had asked Lois to play “Silent Night” during the candlelight part. I panicked when I couldn’t see her. She was behind me in the wings. She did great!
Back at home, I found the power bar that the Crockpot was plugged into was not on. (Sigh.) Luke rescued me by cutting the ham in half and cooking it in the Instapot.”
Luke 1:1, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us. …” NASB
Luke wrote it:
- Exactly as he heard it by eyewitnesses and students of the word, v. 2.
- Appropriately, v. 3.
- Investigated it carefully, from the beginning, v. 3.
- In consecutive order, v. 3.
- To share the exact truth, v. 4.
- About the things you have been taught, v. 4.
Luke 1:17, “…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” NASB
Mary, Elizabeth, and Zacharias were filled with the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:35, 41, 67.
“Everyone gathered up their gifts and took some food home. I put the perishables in the refrigerator and went right to bed. I couldn’t have survived this week without the Holy Spirit.”
Join me in reading December’s chapters and the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!
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