Day 124, 2nd January: Judges, John and Proverbs
Where are we in Israel’s history as we start reading Judges? Israel have been lead by Moses out of Egypt and by Joshua into the Promised Land. They now start a difficult period, they are in the Promised Land but it’s not yet all theirs, there are still large portions to fight for. As we read Judges we’re going to see how Israel repeatedly disobeys God. They then tend to get beaten up by the surrounding nations, cry out to God, get saved through a leader God raises up (these leaders are the ‘judges’) and then begin to disobey God again. This same pattern happens over and over.
In chapter 1 of Judges we read the start of this slide – Israel disobeying God by not driving out all the Canaanites. The reality is in our lives today there’s often a similar pattern. We disobey God. Things get pretty messed up so we turn back to God and He saves us. Then we begin to disobey Him again and we grow in selfishness until we need Him. What can we have that this coming year might be one where we follow God’s will and not ours? How can we sustain a close walk with God?
We meet our great hope in John 4. Even though it seems a pretty ordinary description of a well I found thinking about John 4:4-6 amazing. This is the well Jacob and Joseph who we’ve been reading about in Genesis, owned. They would have drank from it themselves and used it to water their sheep. I bet they never in a million years would have dreamed the God they worshipped would, years later wander along and sit down next to it because he was tired.
In the same way the Samaritan woman would never have dreamed of speaking to Jesus. They were separated by all sorts of social boundaries, male and female, Jew and Samaritan. It wasn’t the done thing. But by that well God in human form asks this woman for a drink. And then he does something more amazing, he offers her a drink.
It’s in that offer of a drink that our hope lies. Our only hope is looking to the living water God gives each of us. It’s the Spirit of God living and growing inside you and me that will change us this coming year into God’s likeness.Think of it like this: If you showed me Ronaldo playing football and then asked me to play like Ronaldo I couldn’t do it. If you showed me Jesus’ life and asked me to live like he lived I couldn’t do it. But if the genius that lives in Ronaldo came to live in me, well then I could play like Ronaldo. And if the Spirit that lives in Jesus comes to live in me, well then I could live a life like Jesus.
God offers us His Spirit to drink – and in that offer we find the power to live for Him and like Him
Here’s a video summary of what we’ve read over the last 4 Months. We hope its useful to recap what you’ve read or to bring you up to speed so you can carry on in the New Year.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Luke Johnson. Thanks Luke!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!