From Handbook to Scripture, Day 67
READING: JUDGES 2
During the days of the judges, “there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6). This book records the results of turning away from the Lord through apostasy, idolatry, and immorality. After the generations of Joshua and the elders who outlived Joshua, the children of Israel succumbed to the lure of idolatry and served the gods of the surrounding nations. They went through several cycles that moved from sin (idolatry) to servitude (oppression by a foreign power) to supplication (the people would finally cry to the Lord) to salvation (the Lord would raise up a deliverer-judge) to silence (a period of rest until the cycle began once again after the death of the judge).
Prayer: Lord, the cycles in the book of Judges illustrate the monotony of sin and the creativity of Your saving works on behalf of Your people. May I not linger under sin’s dominion, but quickly return to You when I fall into disobedience.
Meditation passage: verse 7
From A Simple Book of Prayers
Pursuing Others’ Good
As I approach Your throne of grace today, I am grateful that You care about the things that concern me and that You want me to offer them up to You.
May my conscience testify that I have conducted myself in the world in the holiness and sincerity that are from God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, especially in my relations with others. (2 Corinthians 1:12)
Take a moment to share your personal needs with God, including your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual concerns.
I will not repay evil for evil to anyone, but I will pursue what is good for others. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
I will treat subordinates with respect, not threatening them, knowing that both their Master and mine is in heaven; and there is no partiality with Him. (Ephesians 6:9)
Lord, I praise You that You are the ruler of all things and that You save the humble. I thank You for Your goodness, and I ask that I would pursue what is in the best interests of others.
From Handbook to Renewal
The Attributes of God
I will give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. (Psalm 85:10–11)
The Works of God
Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18–19)
The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
My Relationship to God
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. I will not be wise in my own eyes, but I will fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5–7)
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
The Character I Want to Cultivate
Before his downfall the heart of a man is haughty, but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:3–5)
My Relationship to Others
Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you, not seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21–22)
I will love my enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then my reward will be great, and I will be a child of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil. I will be merciful just as my Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35–36)