90 Day Bible Challenge – Day 29

90 Days BibleViolence. Cutting off heads. Ripping babies from the stomachs of pregnant women. Sounds like a horror show, right? Wrong. It’s the Bible! This week has been 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings. These are some violent, fighting-filled books. Sometimes I forget about that. In the past, I’ve breezed through some of these books, captivated by the non-stop action. But this week, I saw and felt the violence. War is horrible, then and now.

Onward. The thought for this week is best captured in a scripture covered in an earlier week, Deut 9:4-6 (NIV):

After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

I saw this scripture played out in this week’s readings. Israel won and lost battles, but their winning was not a result of their righteousness. Deut. 9 makes that clear. Sometimes they won because the other people were just so much worse. Sometimes they won because of a vow God make to one of their ancestors.

So what application does that have for us today? Well, I think it reminds us that we shouldn’t take God’s blessings as signs of His approval. He blesses for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes the blessing is to get our attention when we’ve lost sight of Him. Our hearts aligned with his Word should be our gauge of whether we have His approval. It’s not hard to figure out, though sometimes we pretend that it is. I’d say it’s time to stop pretending. As one of my old pastors used to say, “If you can’t say Amen, say Ouch!” Me: Ouch!

Okay, that’s it for me this week. Now tell me what you learned.

2 thoughts on “90 Day Bible Challenge – Day 29

  1. Angela, I’m really getting addicted to my daily reading. It IS tempting to keep going past the 12 pages some days. Unfortunately I am still behind you guys. I’ve just completed day 19, and I really regret that b/c I want to share in the weekly discussions with you. I’m going to try to read a little ahead this weekend and maybe over the course of the next few days, I’ll be caught up. I think it makes the journey more enjoyable when you can share your thoughts and insights with others.

    This reading has DEFINITELY caused me to be more conscious of my daily walk with God. I’m more conscious of my actions. Again I say, thank God for sending Jesus–thank God for forgiveness.

    Reading God’s Word everyday has caused me to feel much closer to God, you know? Like I’m seeing Him in a whole new light, a whole new level.

    I see the way the Israelites continued to have to FIGHT to keep ownership of what God promised them. And even though it was b/c of their own sin, one thing I realized is that what’s worth keeping is worth fighting for, even if you’re the one that caused yourself to almost lose it! Does that make sense?

    David is getting ready to be anointed King. I can’t wait to read tomorrow. I really AM going to try to catch up. Give me til the end of next week! πŸ™‚

  2. Geigh, Amen to everything you’ve said. Don’t feel like you’re behind though. You’re on schedule–your schedule. One good thing about the blog messages –they aren’t going anywhere! πŸ™‚

    I really loved your insight about fighting to keep what’s yours even though you’re the one who caused it to be at risk. Talk about an “ouch” moment. I’m going to ponder on it all day. Thanks for sharing.

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