Monday, May 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me."

Gideon's army was 32,000 strong as it was coming up to battle against the Midianites. Then the Lord tells Gideon to reduce their numbers. For that large of an army would tempt them to say they did it of themselves. In the end there was only a tithe of 300 men remaining. In the end they succeeded. I pondered on how they succeeded by relying on the Lord. I reflected on various scripture stories of the weak being made strong. I also thought of the times I have plead to the Lord to give me strength that was not my own, in order to accomplish what was needful. Then I was strengthen to do things I was otherwise not physically able to. I have also seen help come to assist in answer to my prayer.

I reflected on a time when I was given strength that lasted over several days. When the days job was done I would make it to my car and drive home. Then complete exhaustion would hit me, and I could barely walk into the house. I was left physically drained, and in terrible pain. Yet the next day somehow I could do it all over again. The miracle of it all left me in amazement. I knew the only reason I was given the strength beyond my own was simply to assist another in greater need. I would be crippled in pain at home, but in their home I had a strength and energy that was not my own.  I knew I had experienced a miracle because I trusted the Lord to help me do what was required in order to serve him. I have come to learn that when I put my trust in the Lord, and give it my all to serve him, he will make me strong enough to finish the task.

The thought now occurs to me, maybe that's why my physically strength has been reduced. Simply so the Lord could show me what wonderful things he can do for me, when I serve him.

Day 793

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10
"And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice."

I pondered on the connection between not obeying the Lord and  fear. I would not fear other people's gods or them if I only feared the Lord. Which means to reverence the Lord and serve only him. Having fear is my first sign I am straying from what I need to do. Obeying the Lord has only brought peace. I have found over time that when I start to have fear or panic, that something is amiss in my life. Once I draw back to the Lord the fear leaves me and peace fills my heart. I can be in the middle of sore trials or during times when I should be happy, and found it matters not the circumstance. The root of fear is always the same.

Day 792

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3
"Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel."

This verse made me think of Doctrine & Covenants 25:12

"For my soul deligheth in the song of the heart; ye, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

I love to sing the hymns at church. I am trying so hard to memorize them. I remember a story told me long ago of prisoners of war that  would sit for hours trying to recall scriptures or hymns from their memory. It would bring them comfort and peace. Just last Sunday as I was singing the hymns that story came to my mind, and once again tonight. I want to never be left without access to my scriptures or my hymns. No one could ever take them from me if I have treasured them up in my heart and mind. Even if I became blind and deaf I would find comfort in hearing them in my mind and recalling all these sweet words. I know the Lord loves the hymns, they are like prayers to him. That is the music I wish to sing.

Day 791

Friday, May 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."

I did a little research to understand how Deborah was called a prophetess. From this chapter I figured she was some type of judge, because people came to her for judgment. I then read this in the March 2014 Ensign article "Faith and Fortitude Women of the Old Testament".

We read in Judges 2:7 that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua.” However, the Israelites then began to forget the Lord, and the next 200 years were characterized by periods of apostasy and repentance. During this time, individuals known as judges, chosen either by the Lord or by the people, served to deliver the Israelites from their ever-present enemies.

Deborah was one of these judges, the only woman recorded in scripture to serve in this capacity. She was a prophetess, judge, and deliverer. In her role as prophetess, Deborah did not hold the priesthood or possess ecclesiastical keys but enjoyed the gift of prophecy in a more general sense (see Revelation 19:10).

Deborah and the Israelite captain Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and then sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (see Judges 4–5). Deborah’s courage and faith inspired the Israelites so that they enjoyed a 40-year period of peace."

So it appears that during a period of apostasy the people chose Deborah for their judge. She obviously was a righteous woman. She prophesized that a women, later identified as Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, would be the one to kill Sisera. I pondered on how during periods of apostasy it may not mean everyone has apostatized. With her being selected it reminded me of how in the Book of Mormon I have examples of righteous, faithful men chosen to lead the people. Even thought the people were in apostasy they selected Mormon to be a chief captain at the tender age of 16.

I knew there was a scripture in the Book of Mormon that mentioned that they chose their chief captains because they were righteous men. I couldn't find it, but I did find this in Jarom 1:7

"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance."

I find it rather interesting that during periods of apostasy people will still strive to have righteous people be their leaders. Doesn't mean it always happen, but people still look for them. In this case the people selected Deborah. I'm sure they could see in her great wisdom to judge them, even if they didn't recognize where the source of that wisdom came from.

Day 790