So often, we struggle to relate
to the Old Testament...
these places, these people,
because they are foreign to us.
And we begin to simply skim past,
flip pages, thinking that there is nothing,
no real value contained for us here.
But what if...
we could see them
as simply people more like us
What if Judah...
was simply Judy.
Just a young working mom
doing her best to hold down a job
and keep her family happier at home
What if she was simply
like one of us.
Wanting to make the most
of her life, and serve God...
but challenged to find the balance
in a stress-filled life
She struggles for that
of who she is meant to be.
Getting home from a long day at work,
laundry folded, dinner... hot on the table,
homework-helper for her kids,
and advice-giver to her best friends.
She's lucky if she can grab something
lukewarm, and to-go on the way home
from a late day at work,
since her new boss, Alyssa
just gave her three new projects.
Once home, she re-starts the dryer,
hoping to finally fold some laundry,
squeezes in on the couch
next to her TV-watching daughter,
who swears homework is done.
And checks her Facebook to find
her best friend left for vacation,
posting the latest "perfect family" pics.
How will she ever
get out from under this pile?
How will she ever
match up to the rest?
Alyssa has taken over...
She is the new manager at work
who has changed the dress code,
re-organized the workflow,
and threatened to down size
unless productivity increases
within the next quarter.
And Judy cannot afford to lose.
Which is the only reason
she has enlisted the help of Eric...
her best friend's ex.
Barely able to stand herself,
she swears, it's just until...
this new tyrannical, ogre of a boss...
Alyssa, backs off a bit
and learns to trust her skills.
She has never been a fan of Eric.
But he works just down the hall
and he has all the right connections,
knows the ropes, and...
he promised Judy that he could help.
But now that she sits here...
the drone of the TV in the background,
she feels shame, humiliation,
trusting in his shadow,
hiding behind his shield.
What if he takes advantage of this situation?
Now she owes him too much.
Is this really the right thing to do?
What if her friend finds out?
What will others think,
when they start seeing the posts,
hearing of this on social media,
the emails, the texts, the lunches...
this may turn into more of a mess
than she meant it to be.
Judy's mind begins to swirl...
all this trouble, all this anguish,
Lord, what should I do?
Judy made choices
out of need,
based on change
of her circumstances.
Even though she knew,
even though she heard,
somewhere deep with in..
that God was wanting her to ask
Him for help
For He is all she needs
He can lift the pressure,
and while her circumstances may change
her God never will.
And she she sits still wondering
how things might be different...
If only she had cried out to God first?
Judy, Eric, and Alyssa...
A story of people
much like us today,
making choices, living life.
Judah, Egypt, and Assyria...
A history of people
much like us long ago,
making choices, living life.
Judah was a nation of
God's chosen people,
the southern kingdom,
who stayed loyal, longer to God.
But now they were threatened
by the powerful Assyria.
So Judah made an alliance with Egypt.
They sent bribes by messenger
to win them over, to keep them loyal
so that Egypt would be their strong ally...
so they would stand by them,
defend them, if and when the time came.
The burden against the beasts of the South...
They will carry their riches on the backs
of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people who shall not profit;
But God told them how foolish they had been
to trust in man, and not in Himself.
Woe to those who go down
to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots
because they are many,
And in horsemen
because they are very strong,
But who do not look
to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the Lord!
Yet He also is wise and
will bring disaster,
And will not call back His words,
But will arise against
the house of evildoers,
And against the help
of those who work iniquity.
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand,
Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together.
But within Judah...
few listened, and
Fortunately, we are not living
in this desert, in this kingdom.
And Assyria is not threatening
to take us over...
captive, prisoner, in exile.
But we still have daily choices...
like Judy, Eric and Alyssa.
And we can turn to God
not man, for strength.
We can turn to God
not man, for shelter.
Blessed is the man
whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
Word of God
train me, today...
To turn first to You for help Lord,
not trusting strength of man for help.
To stay in Your shadow,
to trust in Your shield.
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