Trek Through Judges
Scripture reading for April 15th: Judges 19-21, Acts 2
Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.””
Peter, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, preached to a crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. He declared Jesus Christ as Lord and Christ. Those who heard him were convicted and asked what they could do. Peter gave clear instructions: “Repent and be baptized.” He also instructed them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was for all who believed in Jesus and repented of sins, even Gentiles! This was prophetic preaching and three thousand were saved and baptized that day. Doing what was right in God’s eyes brought salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone are my King, Lord, and Christ! Help me today to share this good news in the power of the Holy Spirit. I trust You to bring conviction and draw people to Christ Jesus. I know obedience to the Gospel brings salvation and eternal life.
Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Scripture reading for April 14th: Judges 17-18, Psalm 21, Acts 1
Key Scriptures: Acts 1:4-8 “And while staying with them, He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus was always teaching His disciples, preparing them to take over the vision He had given them from the Father to reach the whole world through preaching and making disciples. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared a final time to instruct them to wait for the Promise of the Father–the Blessed Holy Spirit. They were looking for the full restoration of the kingdom but Jesus told them that was not their concern. They would need the power given by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Faith Confession and prayer: My King, fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit today! I know You will come again, but I want to be about Your vision of reaching my Jerusalem and even the ends of the earth.
Judges 17:10 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Psalm 21:13 “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”
Scripture reading for April 13th: Judges 12-16, Psalm 146, Luke 24
Key Scriptures: Luke 24:30-33 “When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem.
After His resurrection, Jesus sought out His disciples to reassure them of His resurrection and the fulfillment of Scripture. He joined up with two of them on their way to Emmaus. Jesus joined in their conversation about the events of their past few days. As they explained their difficulty understanding the women who had visited the grave of Jesus and found it empty, Jesus gently rebuked them for their unbelief and expounded the Scriptures concerning Himself. He then joined them for supper and took the bread and blessed, broke and gave it to them. This opened their eyes to recognize Jesus and they remembered how their hearts burned as He opened the Word of God.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit, who opens the Scriptures to me each day as I read and walk with You. Set my heart on fire with Your love, mercy and truth.
Judges 13:20 “And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground.”
Psalm 146:10 “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!”
Scripture reading for April 10th: Judges 9-11, Psalm 17, Luke 23
Key Scriptures: Luke 23:39-43 “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.””
Jesus had been crucified and hung on the cross between two other criminals. One mocked Jesus in bitterness and unbelief. Jesus was silent. The other rebuked the first, asking if he had not fear of God, the ultimate judge that all must answer to. He then asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. This was a acknowledgement of faith in Jesus and in the resurrection. To this Jesus broke His silence, simply stating that that man would be with Him before the day was over in Paradise! On this Good Friday, look to Jesus and humbly appeal to Him for mercy for yourself and others.
Psalm 17:6 “I call upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my words.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for hearing my prayer for mercy and for granting me a place in Your kingdom. Help me today to share the good news of Your mercy towards sinners. Thank You for Jesus’ great sacrifice and mercy.
Judges 10:10 “And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, “We have sinned against You, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.”
Scripture reading for April 9th: Judges 7-8, Luke 22
Key Scriptures: Luke 22:40-45 “And when He come to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if Your are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, . . “
Jesus went to His designated place of prayer and asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him to avoid temptation. He withdrew by Himself and was praying with great agony and intensity, asking His Father to remove the cup of coming suffering, if it were possible. But Jesus submitted completely to the Father’s will. An angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed again, more passionately than ever, even to the point that drops of His blood mingled with sweat coming from His brow. When He returned, He found sleeping disciples!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone can deliver me from evil and temptation. Thank You for the Holy Spirit and the strength You give. Help me to be watchful and in prayer for me and my family as the terrible times of trouble come in these last days. Keep me from the snares of this world.
Judges 8:27 “And Gideon made an ephod of it (gold spoil), and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.”
Scripture reading for April 8th: Judges 4-6, Luke 21
Key Scriptures: Luke 21:34-36 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus closed out His time of ministry by preparing His disciples for the temptations and trials that would accompany the time just before He would return. Watchfulness was required of each believer because of the temptations and wickedness that would abound before Christ’s return. These temptations would attack all who dwelled on the earth. Prayer and alertness was required to escape the temptations and to stand before “The Son of Man” when He returned to receive His own and judge the wicked. Those not able to stand would be cast out of His presence forever.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, temptations and seduction fill the world in this time that I live. Give me Your strength to stand firm and encourage the brothers and sisters and warn those who are not right with God. May none in my family circle and my friends fail to stand before You when You return.
Judges 5:31 “”So may all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But Your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.” And the land had rest for forty years.”
Scripture reading for April 7th: Judges 1-3, Psalm 16, Luke 20
Key Scriptures: Luke 20:21-25 “So they asked Him, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have? They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”
Some religious Scribes came to Jesus to try and trap Him by asking a leading question concerning paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus was not fooled by their trickery, but turned the tables on them, asking them for a Roman coin, the denarius. He asked them to read the inscription and state what likeness it contained. It was a likeness of Caesar, the Roman ruler. He then instructed them to give to Caesar what belonged to Him and to God what He rightfully had coming. That would be respect and obedience!
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your precious Word, teaching me truth to live by. May I always please God my Father by giving Him what is due and respect earthly authorities He ordained.
Judges 3:1,4 “Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars of Canaan. . . .They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”
Scripture reading for April 2nd: Judges 21, Ruth 1-2, Luke 22
Key Scriptures: Luke 22:26-30 “”But not so with you. Rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stayed with Me in my trials, and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.””
Jesus encouraged His followers to lead by serving others, as He had done for them. Their reward for servitude would be a kingdom! They would recline at His table and sit on thrones! Ruth, a Gentile, clung to Naomi, a Jew, and served her. Her reward was the eternal kingdom!
Ruth 1:16-17 “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your encouragement and promise of the kingdom! I cling to You today and always! Amen.
Scripture reading for March 30th: Judges 17-20, Luke 21
Key Scriptures: Luke 21:33-36 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus told His disciples that prayer and watchfulness were necessities to survive the testing that would come upon the earth before His coming again. God’s people must live by faith in every Word He has said!
Judges 17:5-6 “And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for doing my own thing. Help me to live in faith by Your Word. Amen.
Scripture reading for March 29th: Judges 13-16, Luke 20
Key Scriptures: Judges 13:17-20 “And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the Lord, to the One who works wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar.”
God appeared to a childless couple and told them that they would have a son who would deliver Israel. He gave them instructions that this child be raised as a Nazarite from conception. This is a type of Jesus Christ, from Nazareth who was set apart to God from before the world began!
Luke 20:24-26 “”Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’;s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch Him in what He said,. . .”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your wisdom, “Wonderful” Name and works of wonder! We give you praise and honor! Amen!