Bible Devotions

There May Be a Test

Read Judges 2

Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, 21 I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, 22 so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.” 23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua. Judges 2:20-23 NKJV

First some background. The people did wickedly.  They were the generation who didn’t know God.  Therefore, the Lord raised us judges to deliver them out of oppression. However, when the judge died the people turned away quickly.

The result is described in the Judges 2:20-23 above.  The Lord was angry with them.  Because the people would not follow God’s commands, He stopped doing them the favor of driving out the nations before them.  Instead God choose to test Israel to see if they would keep His ways or not.

This is revealing. Very clearly it says the Lord was testing Israel. Therefore, it is quite possible the Lord will test us too.  Have you noticed your prayers going unanswered lately? Stop and check yourself.  Are there any sins you need to confess?  Are there any relational conflicts you need to resolve?  Are there any commands God gave you that you are not heeding? Correct them.

If you are sure you have done everything the Lord requires, then perhaps the trial you are in is a test.  Maybe the Lord wants to see you persevere by keeping the ways of the Lord and walking in them.  Don’t give up for you will reap a harvest of righteousness at the appropriate time if you don’t lose heart.

Lord, we thank you for loving us so much that you want us to grow spirituality mature.  Teach us your ways and help us follow them.  Test us if it is in our best interest.  You Lord are the One who provides the desire and the will to follow you.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit guiding us in your truth.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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The Generation Who Knew Not the Lord

Read Judges 2

When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Judges 2:10 NKJV

This is quite disbursing.  All that Israel had been through, all the precious miracles the Lord did on their behalf was forgotten.

There could be a few explanations for this.

(1)   The parent who witnessed it failed to teach their children.

(2)   The children of the parents who saw it all, didn’t pay attention to what their parents said.

(3)   The children could have completely rejected their parent’s stories.

(4)   No one sought the Books of Law to read and understand them.

(5)   The parents became complacent in the Promised Land and forgot to talk about it with their children.

There could be many more reasons why this new generation did not know the Lord. But as a result, Judges 2:11 “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD” and 2:15 “Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.”

We have an awesome responsibility to share the Lord with our children.  If we fail, we put our children in harm’s way.  Do you take your children to church?  Do you talk about God with them?  Do you pray with them?  Do you read God’s Word with them?  Do you point out every day examples of God’s mercy and grace?

In what ways have you shared the Lord with your children? Take a moment to comment.  Readers of this devotion might learn from what you share.

Lord, thank you for drawing close to you. Equip us to share with our children so they won’t be in harm’s way.  Help us stay in sync with you so sharing with our children is a very natural thing to do. We love you Lord. In Jesus’ name Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.


Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

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Humility is Key

Read Judges 1

Of the nine and half tribes mentioned in Chapter 1, only three were able to drive out the enemy.  The rest of them did not get rid of the enemy.  Instead they allowed the enemy to coexist with them.

Why were only three tribes successful?  Reading this chapter more than once might help you spot it.  Try it.

I found two things different about these three tribes.  The first difference is they asked for help.  Judah asked Simeon to help them take their land.  Joseph asked a man leaving the city to show the way to the entrance.

Why is asking for help important?  People able to ask for help are humble.  They have a sane estimate of themselves.  A prideful person can not ask for help, for they foolishly think they can do it on their own power. God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.

The second difference I noticed was the Lord was with them.  There is a good possibility these two differences are correlated.  For God resists the proud, but He is with the humble.

Let’s make this practical.  Here are a few Scriptures talking about the benefits of humility.

The Lord Hears the Humble: 2 Chronicles 34:27 “because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the LORD.”

The Lord Saves the Humble: Psalm 18:27 “For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks.”

The Lord Teaches the Humble: Psalm 25:9 “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”

The Lord Gives Wisdom to the Humble: Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.”

The Lord Gives Joy to the Humble: Isaiah 29:19 “The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, And the poor among men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.”

The Lord Exalts the Humble: James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

After looking at these benefits, are you able to ask for help?

Lord, thank you for enabling us to humble our self before you. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. Ezekiel 3:17

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The godless know they are doing wrong

Read Judges 1

Judges 1:7 …as I have done, so God has repaid me

Those against God know they won’t get away with it forever, as was the case with Adoni-Bezek.   We don’t know much about this guy.  He was cruel, though.  He captured 70 kings and cut off their thumbs and big toes.  These kings were further humiliated by having to beg for scraps under Adoni-ezek’s table.

Imagine loosing your thumbs.  It would be terribly difficult doing the most basic things, like holding a toothbrush or tying your shoe.  I have been told our big toes give us balance so we are able walk.  Cutting them off would make a person shaky and unstable.

Oh the humiliation this guy doled out.  The 70 kings were royalty and accustom to power and influence. They probably had the best of everything brought to them. Yet after being captured, tortured, they were left to beg for food to stay alive.

Yes, Adoni-Bezek was a cruel man.  Even in his cruelty he knew what he was doing was wrong.  Only when his own torture methods were used on him did he confess his failure.

In the end, God used the tribes of Judah and Simeon to dole out just punishment to this very wicked man.

In what ways can you relate to Adoni-Bezek? What you dole out to others may come back to you in the end.  Wouldn’t it be great if love, understanding, mercy came to you instead?

Choose to love by asking Jesus into your life.  His unconditional love, understanding and mercy never fail. Once you’re filled with Him, you have power to love others the way God loves you.

Lord forgive us for being like Adoni-Bezerk in choosing our way instead of yours.  Come into our life and fill us with your Holy Spirit equipping us with love and mercy.  Thank you for loving us and saving us from our sin.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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