I facilitate a prayer group for Parent's of College Aged Children. And I just adore our home prayer group. Once a month I put together a study for them. Today's post is the leftovers of the Nov 15th post we used for the actual Bible Study on choices. Today is the like the quilt pieces leftover from the study; the scraps of thought.
Our choices make a big difference in our lives. Attitudes of kindness, optimism, refusing to fret over circumstance we cannot change, make a huge difference in our lives.
And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
1 Chronicles 21:9-23
And the LORD spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10"Go and say to David, 'Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.'" 11So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Choose what you will: 12either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the LORD, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me." 13Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
14So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, "It is enough; now stay your hand.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.
(Isaiah's prophecy about the 2 kings would be Herod the Great and his son Herod Archelaus.)
Cry out again, Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.'"
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
We are reaching a time for National Decision. In another year we will hold huge national elections. Some choices are not trivial.
Judges 4 ~ (The Message)
1-3 The People of Israel kept right on doing evil in God's sight. With Ehud dead, God sold them off to Jabin king of Canaan who ruled from Hazor. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of his army. The People of Israel cried out to God because he had cruelly oppressed them with his nine hundred iron chariots for twenty years.
4-5 Deborah was a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth. She was judge over Israel at that time. She held court under Deborah's Palm between Ramah and Bethel in the hills of Ephraim. The People of Israel went to her in matters of justice.
6-7 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to Mount Tabor and prepare for battle. Take ten companies of soldiers from Naphtali and Zebulun. I'll take care of getting Sisera, the leader of Jabin's army, to the Kishon River with all his chariots and troops. And I'll make sure you win the battle."
8 Barak said, "If you go with me, I'll go. But if you don't go with me, I won't go."
9-10 She said, "Of course I'll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there'll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman's hand to take care of Sisera."
Deborah got ready and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together at Kedesh. Ten companies of men followed him. And Deborah was with him.
11-13 It happened that Heber the Kenite had parted company with the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses' in-law. He was now living at Zaanannim Oak near Kedesh. They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. Sisera immediately called up all his chariots to the Kishon River—nine hundred iron chariots!—along with all his troops who were with him at Harosheth Haggoyim.
14 Deborah said to Barak, "Charge! This very day God has given you victory over Sisera. Isn't God marching before you?"
Barak charged down the slopes of Mount Tabor, his ten companies following him.
15-16 God routed Sisera—all those chariots, all those troops!—before Barak. Sisera jumped out of his chariot and ran. Barak chased the chariots and troops all the way to Harosheth Haggoyim. Sisera's entire fighting force was killed—not one man left.
17-18 Meanwhile Sisera, running for his life, headed for the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite. Jabin king of Hazor and Heber the Kenite were on good terms with one another. Jael stepped out to meet Sisera and said, "Come in, sir. Stay here with me. Don't be afraid."
So he went with her into her tent. She covered him with a blanket.
19 He said to her, "Please, a little water. I'm thirsty."
She opened a bottle of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up again.
20 He then said, "Stand at the tent flap. If anyone comes by and asks you, 'Is there anyone here?' tell him, 'No, not a soul.'"
21 Then while he was fast asleep from exhaustion, Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg and hammer, tiptoed toward him, and drove the tent peg through his temple and all the way into the ground. He convulsed and died.
22 Barak arrived in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to greet him. She said, "Come, I'll show you the man you're looking for." He went with her and there he was—Sisera, stretched out, dead, with a tent peg through his temple.
23-24 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the People of Israel. The People of Israel pressed harder and harder on Jabin king of Canaan until there was nothing left of him.Our minister says all the time, he is neither Democrat or Republican. He has a King. And the rest is gravy.
One of my sons, as a teenager, came home from High School with a many paged questionnaire on politics. He said he'd been dying to prove to me and himself that I am a fascist. (Joy to have teenagers some days, I recently saw a FB post saying raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.) I asked where he was scored and he said the middle range. So challenged, I took his test. And it turns out my son and I are exact political twins. Right in the middle.
It is a good time to examine how you want your country to be run. How you feel about war. About leaders being godly or not. And what the economic plans are for prosperity. Too few of the political debates are about building. They are more about foreign policy = war. Having a plan is a good thing, but the choices about the planning are equally as important. We seem to focus on tax and war. Not so much on recovery for individual jobs and economic incentives for more opportunities. I'm tired of hearing too big to fail. Some humility, some prayer is required.