The Gods of This World

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Judges 17—18

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The call of the first disciples celebrated this past Sunday contrasts today with the whole tribe of Dan falling into idolatry. There is no leadership, leaving the people infected by the local pagan worship surrounding them. We find this expression here: “Doing your own thing.” Life deteriorates when the value of individualism presses against the values of a whole society, which the Lord intends to lead. When God is not at the center, God either becomes unimportant, or at best, a mascot on the sidelines of life. Competition, consumerism, intrigue, vanity—all the gods of this world will move into the sacred turf of your center, if you let them. Look at the dangers when you are not bound and accountable to the integrating, renewing, recreating Body of Christ. The Dans had no accountability to the rest of the Chosen People. There was no Moses to burn their idols …no Christ to overturn their tables.


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


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Version for Children and Families

Grief, or Joy of the Lord

Tuesday of the Third Week in Epiphany
Judges 15—16

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Gerard van Honthorst 1592 – 1656

With all his strength, Samson was weak when it came to lust for women. He had no business letting his attraction for foreign women compel him into marrying one—and much less, the treacherous Delilah. Samson gave her the secret of his strength and he lost it. The tragedy became even more pathetic when Samson thought he still had the anointing of the Lord, but did not.

Feel the power of these words: “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10); “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). With God at work in you, you need no other power.

May you never grieve the Holy Spirit by being unfaithful to the anointing of the Lord on your life.


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Totally Dedicated to the Lord

Tuesday of the Second Week in Epiphany
Judges 13—14

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


When God is about to intervene in a unique way in history, an angel announces the coming birth of a specially anointed deliverer. Such was the case with the birth of Isaac, Samuel, and now, Samson. The season of Advent, just past, had us celebrating the angelic announcement of the two greatest persons whom God was going to use&mash;John the Baptist and of course, Jesus.

In the case of the Baptist and Samson, there was a life style that expressed total consecration to the Lord—no wine or strong drink—and, in Samson’s case, the full Nazarite vow of never cutting the hair. All these outward signs remind the individual and others of loyalty to the Lord; they were set apart and constantly reminded that their life was given to God.

What is there about your life that reminds you that you are to be totally dedicated to the Lord? In Christ you are very special, called to be a sacrament of his presence.


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Going It Alone

Tuesday of Epiphany Week
Judges 11—12

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The story of Jephtha’s daughter is a sad one. While a tragedy in itself, the deeper sadness in this period is that for the most part, only the judges themselves were faithful. They were much like “Lone Rangers,” lacking consistent support from the people to make the victories in war usher in times of spiritual peace. The people refused to follow the Lord’s ways. Jephtha felt that he must keep the vow he made to God, which involved such a sad outcome for his only child.

Are you finding all the support you need to grow spiritually? One of the aspects of these daily readings is the hope that you will find others who are contemplating these passages everyday with you. Together you can reflect upon what the Lord is saying to your lives. The Lord does not want you to go it alone.


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

The Evil of Self As Center

Tuesday of Christmas Week
Judges 9—10

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/08012/images/expand-lamb04.jpg

Abimelech was a son of Gideon by a concubine. He had seventy half brothers. Today you will read what Abimelech did to them. Yes, there are persons and situations in the Old Testament who perform evils so great, that it would be challengeto the movie industry to portray them. Abimilech is one of these persons; he had an atrocious lust for power.

While you may read his story in amazement, just know that there is a potential Abimelech inside of each one of us. The same temptation to power, control, self-centeredness, unconcern for the things of the Lord, can be at work in our own hearts. But for the grace of the Lord Jesus, there go you and I!

The Lord sends persons to liberate God’s people who, in turn, lapse immediately into idolatry. God feels. Pray with a desire to experience God’s hurt.

Is there anything you are doing to avoid placing the Lamb of God as the center of your life?


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Into the Camp of the Enemy

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Kingdomtide
Judges 7—8

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Gideon and the Woolen Fleece

We encounter the man of valor who named the Gideons. Just as Gideon went into the camp of the enemy, so do the Gideons go into “camps” where the Enemy might be at work, with the prayerful hope that the Word of God would move mightily upon the lives of people away from their home.

Note the contrasts in the Book of Judges. There are mighty “Lone Ranger” types with a mission from the Lord; then there are the people who lapse right back into idolatry. The theme is constant in the Old Testament—God’s chosen love and the unfaithful response of the people.

Are you being faithful to the Lord and all that God calls you to be?


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Instruments for God

Tuesday of the Third Week in Advent
Judges 5—6

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Singing and celebrating the wonders of the Lord lift energies from within and link them with the very power of God. Deborah’s source of success was her total confidence that God would always be with her. She knew that victory was not her doing, but the Lord’s.

Note the contrast after Deborah’s song. You might think that such a celebration would have the sense of the divine presence flow from her to all the people. Not so … They return to evil ways of idolatry in chapter 6. Then the Lord raises up Gideon to be the next judge. Success comes because he is an instrument fitted for God’s hand.

Do you want the Lord to use you? Sing in your heart to God and trust in God alone. Get ready for the special call placed upon you. You are a special instrument in God’s hand.


Tuesdays are dedicated to Old Testament history and “The Writings.”
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read the Book of Judges followed by a few chapters of Proverbs.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families