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bible reading for july 24

Bible reading for July 24. 

Judges 7

The LORD said to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'" (Judges 7:2)

NATURAL MEANS, SUPERNATURAL RESULTS. In giving victory God often uses very natural, normal, even lowly things to achieve his purposes.  In Judges we see such things as an ox goad, a storm, a tent peg, and here, clay pots, (to come: donkey jaw bone) to bring about unusual, miraculous results. This applies to believers today: we too use natural, everyday means to see God's supernatural results. For example, God uses church fellowship, reading the Bible, prayer, witnessing to our neighbors, words of encouragement, acts of mercy, etc., to bring about wonderful results. People are won to Christ, sanctified, transformed into his image, given the ability to discern truth from error, right from wrong, choose courage over fear, faith over unbelief, love over hate, justice over injustice, service over selfishness, and walk in holiness rather than worldliness. Natural means, but supernatural results!

STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS. Gideon's army is reduced to 300 men, which humanly speaking, was ridiculous. But the glory for victory goes to the Lord not to us. Paul learned this, too: "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Cor 12:9). We also learn through the history of the OT that there are no perfect, sinless heroes. The moral failures of the judges, and even the blemishes upon the great king David, teach us that the only perfect leader is the one King of kings, our Lord Jesus himself.    

"WE SHALL BE CALLED GIDEONS." In 1899 three businessmen in Wisconsin met together to form an association dedicated to handing out Bibles and sharing their testimonies. You likely have seen, or have in your possession, a Gideon-place Bible (note, "Gideon-placed," not "Gideon Bible"). Why did they take that name? "When it came time to decide the name of the Association, the men held a special prayer time to ask that God might lead them to select the proper name. After, Mr. Knights arose from his knees and said simply, 'We shall be called Gideons.' He then proceeded to read the story of Gideon from the sixth and seventh chapters of Judges." The symbol they chose was a flame burning inside a clay pot.  Read more about this faithful ministry, Gideons International, here

A PAUSE IN WRITING. I will be taking a break from writing for a few days while we enjoy a visit with family. As you read on, I encourage you to make use of the excellent notes supplied with the NET Bible, along with Tom Constable's commentary, online here.  Here's the upcoming schedule...

July 25:  Judges 8

July 26:  Judges 9

July 27:  Judges 10

July 28:  Judges 11


Acts 11.

"When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, 'Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.'" (Acts 11:18)

THE NEW HAS COME. Sometimes Christians think the New Testament church was so pure and powerful that they didn't really have any problems. Well, not so. One group causing dissension within the early church were observant Jews who became believers in Jesus, and who maintained that any Gentiles coming to Christ needed to comply with all the Mosaic laws to be "kosher," or ceremonially clean. These became known as "the Judaizers." The issue: did Jesus and the New covenant merely complete and reinstall (so to speak) the Mosaic covenant (as the Judaizers believed), or was the newness of the New covenant much more than merely refurbishing the Old? It was a problem that needed to be worked out. The Judaizers will show up again in Acts 15 and in Paul's letter to the Galatians. This was not an easy transition. The second half of chapter 11 tells us how Saul of Tarsus, now a believer for a few years, comes to be teaching in the Gentile church at Antioch in Syria. From there he and Barnabas will launch the first missionary journey (chapter 13). 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE. As noted above, I'm taking a break from writing.  There are excellent notes to help you at the NET Bible online

July 25:  Acts 12

July 26:  Acts 13

July 27:  Acts 14

July 28:  Acts 15

Image credit. Photo of a sparrow is by Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash. 
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The NET Bible is a free, online resource, and a ministry of


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