Sometimes in our suffering, we wait for God awake and alert to the possibilities that God will reveal. And God comes, issuing promises of deliverance. But deliverance does not always come the way we expect.
This is one of those lectionary passages that leaves us hanging. Reading further in Judges,...
God of the unexpected, enable us to remain awake and alert to your possibility, and to act with bold assurance when it arises. Amen.
Like us, the Israelites struggle to be consistently faithful to God. God therefore allows a foreign king to rule them until the people come to their senses and cry out for help. The prophet Deborah gives instructions for the battle that will begin the deliverance of the people. The readings from Psalms and Zechariah demonstrate that this pattern of unfaithfulness and restoration has occurred frequently in the history of God’s people. In Thessalonians, Paul echoes what Jesus says in last week’s Gospel reading: We must always be prepared for the return of Christ because we do not know when it will occur. God gives us resources to use for the kingdom, and in Matthew Jesus indicates that God will ask for an account of how well we have used them.
Read Judges 4:1-7. Who has been a judge—someone who helps you discern—in your life? How can you help others discern the way?Read Psalm 123. How do you focus on God through conflict and struggle?Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. When have you encouraged someone in a time of darkness? When have you been the one in need of encouragement?Read Matthew 25:14-30. What would change if you considered your dreams and desires as from God? What first step can you take to enact your desires?
Respond by posting a prayer.