The world is a pretty messed up place.
We talk a lot at I Love My Shepherd about living in beauty and heartache all at once. We know Jesus, we know the hope of eternity. We can even appreciate His plans and all He is doing in our days, our months, our years, and still struggle with the darkness, the worry, the fears, and the struggle of the moment.
The people of Israel in the Old Testament were just like us.
Ok, they didn’t have dishwashers…or cars…or the internet.
Maybe there are a few ways they look very different from us! In fact, what else can you think of - what else didn’t the people of Israel have in the Old Testament?
Oh, they also had things we don’t have:
some of us would love to have a tribe to be a part of, a more solid people group or family identity
some of us wouldn’t mind trading in our cars and planes for a camel who brings transport, but also brings maybe a little comfort too
What else can you think of - what else did the people of Israel have or might have had that we don’t have?
Then, there are a few places we overlap:
we both need God, we both need a Savior
we both need leadership and guidance
we both need protection and care, comfort for our day, and hope for the next
This spring, I want to introduce you to more about these long-ago people and their long-ago problems and solutions, and see what we can learn. The book of Judges, in particular, shows us the universality of humankind’s needs, and what having relationship with God brings into our lives, and what the lack of relationship with God steals and takes from our lives.
We all need a Deliverer.
This is a common theme in the book of Judges. The Israelites needed a deliverer, and in this way we are no different. We need someone to come in and lead us through all the problems of this world and someone to rescue us when the enemy comes in and seems to be winning - stealing our strength, our smiles, and our spirit.
We all need a Leader.
We need someone to teach us where to go, someone to walk us back when we walk down roads that only will only hurt us, and someone to make our paths clear with plans full of grace.
We all need a Mighty God.
We need forgiveness when we refuse help and connection. We need to be told we are little and He is big. We need to be reminded who is in control and remember that it isn’t us.
Judges 3:9a tells us,
“But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them…”
Judges teaches us to cry out. It also teaches us the Lord saves.
I invite you to join us on a low-key journey through the Judges -
Judgement and Mercy: Family Devotions for Lent
Nine men and women following one God full of deliverance, leadership, mightiness, and mercy. See how very much we are like the Israelites and what work God is doing in HIs people, as well as in our families. Every word points to Jesus, our perfect Judge, Deliverer, Leader, and Mighty God who sits on the mercy seat announcing our salvation.
Here’s the design:
Look for one post every week for 8 weeks - March 5th through April 23rd.
Included in the post will be:
1 Warrior Card - a printable piece of character/warrior art, specially designed to engage children in a family around the Bible story for the judge of the week. All of the warrior cards are done by a Nebraskan teen artist, Adam Boggs, who has a lively, vibrant graphic-novel style.
1 family-friendly (i.e. short without too many giant words) blog post about the warrior of the week
1 Family Conversation Question for each warrior
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In the meantime, here’s a question or two to get you started:
Deliverer, Leader, Savior, Mighty God - Jesus. Mark your calendars and set a reminder. I look forward to studying with you!