Daily D – Judges 2:1-3
The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, “I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your ancestors. I also said: I will never break my covenant with you. You are not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You are to tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed me. What have you done? Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap for you.”
JUDGES 2:1-3 (CSB)
Everybody’s got problems.
I do not know a single person who does not have problems. Every person I know struggles with something.
There are at least two classes of problems. There are the problems others cause us, and there are the problems we cause ourselves. If you had to choose a seventy-thirty split, which kind of problem would you want in the majority? Would you choose the problems you create because of decisions you make to honor God and serve others? Or would you choose the problems created for you because of your disobedience?
A couple of generations into the Promised Land, Israel chose the problems created for them because they did not obey God. This book records a slide from bad to worse to pure evil in its few chapters. Sometimes God’s expectations and requirements seem hard. Harder yet are the problems arising from disobedience.
We have noticed from Genesis 1 through Joshua that where God guides, God provides. This is true for the rest of the Bible as well. It is true today in our lives. We have also noticed that where people chose their own way rather than God’s way, they made things harder than they had to be. Consequences ranged from painful to downright deadly.
Everyone has problems. We have a choice in which kinds of problems we have more of. We get to join God in solving problems by his grace and in his compassion.
Our God is a problem-solving God. On this Tuesday of Holy Week, let us remember the problems Jesus solved. Can you name a range of his miracles? He turned blind eyes into those full of vision. He returned a firm grip to withered hands. He made dangling legs dance. He opened deaf ears to the music of laughter and celebration. He filled empty stomachs. He raised deceased loved ones to life.
Jesus also ultimately, finally solved our sin problem. The one thing standing between us and relationship with our Father in heaven was removed by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
You will have problems today. You get to choose the source and the solution. Just a suggestion, but don’t make it harder than it has to be.
I will choose the problems that accompany honoring God and serving others.
Our Father, you are the Problem Solver. I will get myself into trouble today. May it be good trouble. I will cause problems. May they be good problems. I will experience difficulty and challenge. Solve those problems for me through your grace and compassion. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.