KJ Jan. 8-14

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January 8, Sunday


Covenant Maker — The “angel of Yahweh” had said, “I will never break My covenant with you” (v. 2). This is the ancient covenant God made with Abraham that He would choose the multitude of his descendants to be His people and that they would be given “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:8).  God keeps His promises.  Moses led those people to the edge of that land, Joshua took them across the Jordan River to begin taking possession of the land, and at today’s reading, they were living under the leadership of judges.  While God was faithful, however, the people gradually slipped into practices of making covenants with the Gentile inhabitants of the land and adding false gods to the worship of Yahweh.  There are consequences for breaking covenants, and here, “the angel of Yahweh” pronounced judgment: The people that Israel neglected to drive out “will become [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods will become a snare to you” (Judges 2:3).  God not only promises, He also punishes.  When the New Testament “angel of Yahweh” became flesh, Jesus gave us many promises and many commands.  It is our responsibility to be obedient in order to avoid the thorns and snares of discipline.

A Charge to Keep I Have – YouTube


January 9, Monday


Come to Help — Deborah was an unlikely leader in Israel, since she was a woman, but God used her mightily.  God had called Israel’s Barak to assemble 10,000 soldiers to fight against the Canaanites, but he was pretty cowardly.  When challenged by Deborah, Barak said, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go” (Judges 4:8).  They both went and Yahweh used them to accomplish the victory.  Our reading for today is part of Deborah’s Song, sung following their triumph.  In the middle of this victory song, we see “the angel of Yahweh” again (5:23).  This time, He curses Meroz, which was apparently a community of Israelites near the battle scene who refused to help in the fight.  There is a lot of uncertainty about these circumstances, but a lesson we can draw from this is that, when we see a need, we should pitch in to help.  The battle is the Lord’s, but He insists that we help.  What needs of others have you been intentionally ignoring lately?  Resolve today to do something about it!  Don’t be lazy, like Meroz, and don’t be cowardly, like Barak.

I Am Resolved – YouTube


January 10, Tuesday


Gradually Revealed — Again, we see an appearance of “the angel of Yahweh” in this passage.  Israel was in trouble because they had disobeyed God by incorporating false gods into their worship, and God was using the Midianites to wake up His people.  God’s revelation of Himself to Gideon was very gradual in this story.  He apparently showed up in the form of a man because Gideon didn’t seem startled.  His first statement was, “Yahweh is with you,” calling Gideon a “mighty man of valor” (v. 12).  Gideon’s response ignored the fact that God’s assured presence in this encounter was to one man, not to the whole nation; God was going to use hesitant Gideon.  Then, He revealed a little more of Himself, when He showed His authority and power: “… have I not sent you?” (v. 14).  This human-looking messenger was now giving orders, and He repeated that “I will be with you” (v. 16).  Gideon would not be going alone.  At this point, Gideon sensed that this visitor may be, in some way, God Himself, so he asked Him, “do a sign for me that it is You who speak with me” (v. 17).  The sign was dramatic, with the food being miraculously consumed by fire on top of a rock, and the visitor suddenly vanishing (v. 21).  Gideon then knew that he had been visited and commissioned by God Himself.  The passage goes on to say that still-hesitant Gideon went out by night to pull down the large images of false gods that his father had constructed on their property.  We often have feelings like Gideon in that, although we know that God has called us, sent us to proclaim the gospel to others, and promised to be with us, we hesitate in fear of the consequences of rejection.  God’s promise to be with us includes not only His presence, but also His power.  He will accomplish what we cannot do alone.

I Need Thee Every Hour – YouTube


January 11, Wednesday



Awesome and Wonderful — There are some interesting parallels between this story and events in the life of Jesus.  First, the focus was on the woman.  The name of Manoah’s wife wasn’t even recorded, yet “the angel of Yahweh” chose to come to her rather than to Manoah.  Even when he prayed that “the man of God” be sent again “to us” (v. 8), He came only to the woman and she had to fetch her husband.  When the birth of Jesus was announced, the angel Gabriel was sent first to Mary, not Joseph.  Secondly, the mother of Samson described to Manoah that what she saw was a “man of God,” that He had the “appearance of the angel of God,” and that He was “very awesome” (v. 6).  He looked like a man, but He had a supernatural quality.  Isaiah said that the coming Messiah would have “no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2), yet Jesus had an obvious divine quality that attracted godly people to Him.  Thirdly, did you notice that “the angel of Yahweh” didn’t answer any of Manoah’s requests?  Manoah asked to know “the judgment [governing] the boy and his work” (Judges 13:12), yet only what had been told to the woman was repeated.  When Manoah asked for His name, He replied only that “it is wonderful” (v. 18).  I love that!  It is too wonderful!  It is like the most important name of God in the OT, Yahweh, and the matchless name of Jesus in the NT—wonderful!  The last parallel was when “the angel of Yahweh went up in the flame of the altar” into heaven (v. 20).  In response, Manoah and his wife “fell on their faces to the ground,” knowing that they had seen God.  That sounds a lot like the miraculous ascension of Jesus before the eyes of His disciples, as “he was lifted up … and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).

What a Beautiful Name – YouTube


January 12, Thursday


The Forever Kingdom — Eight times in this passage, the word “forever” is used.  First, God promised three times to establish forever “the throne of his [Solomon’s] kingdom” (v. 13), and the “kingdom” and the “throne” of David (v. 16).  Then, in David’s humble and grateful prayer, he mentioned God’s choice of Israel to be His people “forever” (v. 24), that God would confirm His word (i.e., “promise”) “forever” (v. 25), that His name would “be magnified forever” (v. 26), and that David’s “house” would “be blessed forever” (v. 29).  It is hard to miss the emphasis on permanence here!  There is only one God, and He is permanent (“…there is none like you, and there is no God besides you”—v. 22).  There is only one nation God has chosen to be His people, and it is permanent (“…what one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people…?”—v. 23).  There is also a connection to Jesus here.  Although God spoke of David’s son, Solomon, when He said, “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” (v. 14), the writer of Hebrews quoted this verse and applied it to Christ (Heb. 1:5-6).  Jesus was born as a physical descendant of David, so as the promised Messiah, He was the final and permanent King of Israel.

King Jesus – YouTube


January 13, Friday


Sin’s Consequences — We see “the angel of Yahweh” again in this passage (vv. 12, 15, 16), this time dispensing the judgment of Yahweh.  David had sinned in ordering a forbidden census of the people, and although he confessed his sin, God sent a plague on the whole nation, ending at Jerusalem.  There are often consequences of sin, even sin that we have confessed and forsaken.  They are God’s disciplining consequences that teach us to value the importance of obedience.  It is significant that “the angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan” (v. 15) with his drawn sword, because that was apparently the same spot that Abraham held his knife above his son, Isaac, a thousand years earlier, on God’s appointed mountain in “the land of Moriah” (Gen. 22:2).  It would also be the same spot that Solomon would build the temple “in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah” (2 Chron. 3:1), and the same city that the Incarnate Christ would be sacrificed for us.  In great distress, David humbled himself before God because he knew that “His compassions are exceedingly abundant” (1 Chron. 21:13).

Just As I Am – YouTube


January 14, Saturday

To listen to an audio recording of the following, please click on the left play arrow below.


Arise and Eat — The reappearance of “the angel of Yahweh” in this passage was not to apply judgment but to supply sustenance.  Elijah, a man of faith and courage in the power of Yahweh, became a cowardly fugitive with the threat of Jezebel.  That should remind us of the spiritual roller coaster we sometimes ride in our own experience—up and down, hot and cold.  Elijah ran away in fear from Mt. Carmel to Beersheba in southern Judah, a distance of about 120 miles (193 km), and he was exhausted.  It is doubtful that God had told him to run away, but at the end of his flight, “the angel of Yahweh” showed up to strengthen him with miraculous food—baked bread and a jug of water in the desert!  It is reminiscent of the cooked fish and bread that the resurrected Christ provided for seven of His disciples at the shore of the Sea of Galilee almost 900 years later (John 21:9).  Twice, between naps, “the angel of Yahweh” said to Elijah, “Arise, eat!” (1 Kings 19:5, 7).  That food was also miraculous in that it sustained Elijah for 40 days and nights as he traveled another 250 miles (400 km) to Mount Horeb, or Mount Sinai (Ex. 31:18), the place where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses approximately 500 years earlier.  Elijah had learned to depend upon God, but even when he faltered, God continued to watch out for him and provide for him.

God Will Take Care of You – YouTube

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