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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019.07.31 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 10:1-5

Questions for Littles: Who arose after Abimelech (Judges 10:1)? Who was his father? Who was his grandfather? From what tribe was he? In what city did he live? Where was this city located? How long did he judge (Judges 10:2)? Then what happened? What else do we know about him? Who arose after Tola (Judges 10:3)? From what region was he? How long did he judge? How many sons did he have (Judges 10:4)? Upon what did they ride? In how many towns did they live? What were those towns still called when Judges was written? What happened to Jair in Judges 10:5?
We don’t really notice Tola and Jair much. Five verses dispatch the two of them, and no specific acts of theirs are recorded.

But the Scripture does give us a few indications that they were actually fairly significant—at least in the work of God, and perhaps even in the eyes of the people.

First, there is the blessing of longevity. When we come later to the divided kingdom, there are a couple periods in which one kingdom has an extended reign that provides stability and prosperity, while the other goes through kings like fast food through the intestines—in rapid, turbulent fashion and out with a bang. 45 years over two judges is a couple of pretty good stints!

Second, Tola’s lineage is very carefully traced—especially for a man from Issachar. We don’t really hear much about Issachar; but someone—by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—cared enough to trace this Issacharite back through three generations.

Similarly, Jair was a man of note. He had so many kingly progeny that, at the time of writing, an entire region bore his name. Surely, there was sin involved in producing that; but God has ever demonstrated Himself able to overcome the personal wickedness of a ruler to use him to do good to His people.

Particularly in a book in which there has been so much instability and upheaval—and will be much more—this little break is a breath of fresh air. Often, in life and the church, we don’t recognize that God’s great mercy sometimes appears not in neon lights and fireworks, but in extended seasons of the boringly normal.
In what ways has God been displaying “boring” faithfulness in your life?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry before Your Come” or TPH1A “That Man Is Blest”

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