OT Fire Starters – Day 100: Judges 10-11
READ: Judges 10-11
THINK: What makes you mad? Is it obvious, or is it tough to tell when you’re irritated? All of us show emotion in different ways-some constructive, some unhealthy-yet we all experience anger. The things that arouse our anger and the ways we handle that anger say something about our character. God’s anger also gives us a glimpse of His character. It shows His attitude toward sin, cruelty and injustice. God’s anger is an expression of His goodness and love for what is right and true. Jesus’ followers must learn to love what God loves and hate what He hates, keeping in mind that the objects of our anger should not be people, but the sin that works to destroy them. Above all, our anger should cause us to promote God’s justice and demonstrate His mercy, while leaving judgment to the Lord.
RESPOND: How did worshiping the Baals and Ashtoreths defy God and degrade people? (See 10:6 note.) How can loose morals and a lax view of God’s grace lead to similar sin in churches today? (See 10:6 note, subpoints 2 & 3.) In what way is God’s anger over sin an expression of His character and goodness? (See 10:7 note.) How should this affect our attitudes and responses toward sin and evil? Even though God desired to show mercy, what did the people have to do before He would help them (10:13-16)? (See 10:16 note.) What does Jephthah’s background indicate about the type of person God can use compared to the type of person other people might choose (11:1-3)? How did Jephthah show wisdom and diplomacy in how he approached the situation with the Ammonites? How did he show a lack wisdom in his vow to God? (11:31)? Does it appear that Jephthah physically sacrificed his daughter? Why or why not? (See 11:39 note.) What sacrifice does it seem the daughter had to make? How can a person’s promises, commitments or actions toward God directly or indirectly affect others-both negatively and positively?
PRAY: Ask God to help you love what He loves and hate what He hates. Pray for self-control so that your anger is reserved for justifiable reasons and always leads to positive, healthy and constructive attitudes and actions.
ACT: How are your choices and actions affecting those around you? Make every effort to put others ahead of yourself and to ensure that your influence is positive and constructive. Also, keep control of your temper and reserve your anger for the right causes. Don’t just get emotional, do something to make things better.