Our chapters today combine to create an abundance of thoughts for our meditation. We must read them carefully and reflectively. In Judges we read how Gideon learnt to “draw near to God” – but his experience followed from when “the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you’ ” [ch. 6 v.12]  What this incident reveals has ‘proved’ true ever since – and previously – in the lives of godly men such as Noah, Abraham and Moses.

What an inspiration are the words we found in Isaiah ch. 33. They provide us with several inspiring perceptions.  Verse 2 is like a prayer, “O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.” Troubled times are increasingly with us – and we should use this ‘prayer’ constantly.

Verses 15 & 17 shine like a beacon of light in our increasingly ‘dark’ world.

He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil … Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty …”

We can add to this – words from v.20 – 22. “Your eyes will see Jerusalem … there the LORD in majesty will be for us …  For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.”  

What a heart inspiring vision of the kingdom!

Finally we turned to the letter of James and his challenging – and inspiring words in ch. 3.  We must seek  “the wisdom from above” which  “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” [v.17]  This leads to “a harvest of righteousness” [v,18] And then in ch. 4, we are challenged to  “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” [v.8]  James tells them (and us) to “Cleanse your hands … purify your hearts” and “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” [v.8,10]

You must agree there are intensely thought challenging words for meditation in our readings today – yes, not just for reading, recall what David said in the Psalms, ” I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” [119 v.15] and in this way he – and ourselves – are able to genuinely “draw near to God.”

By Bro D.Caudery

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