He goes before us

Perhaps due to some recent beautiful summer mornings or maybe specific stories in my life, almost every day this thought comes to me, seemingly random: What will you do with this new day that has been given to you?

As I fantasize about all the great things I’ll do, a dose of reality also sets in. I am reminded that I am a sinner in need of a savior, following the ancient pattern: Doing evil, suffering the consequence of sin, a call for help, God showing mercy and grace resulting in reconciliation.

This is the pattern we repeatedly find in the lives of our ancestors thousands of years ago as described in the Bible and so it continues in today’s scriptures:  Judges 4-5.

A few things that stood out as a lesson and reminder for our lives today:

  1. We’re not that different than the people of Israel as we too are sinners, doing evil in the Lord’s sight. (Judges 4:1)
  2. Slavery is a metaphor for sin, as it holds us captive. (Judges 4:2)
  3. God makes promises. He promised victory. (Judges 4:7).
  4. Leaders need followers. Deborah was a leader but also a follower of God’s commands, and 10,000 soldiers followed Barak and Deborah into battle. (Judges 4:10)
  5. Evil forces never cease. (Judges 4:12-13)
  6. God goes before us, he is undefeated and the victory is his alone. In my mind it didn’t matter if Barak and Deborah had 1 or 1 million soldiers. (Judges 4:14-15)
  7. God is a promise-keeper; his promise of victory in Judges 4:7 comes to fruition. (Judges 4:16, 23-24)

What will we do with this new day that has been given to us? How will we respond to the promises of God? Will we put our trust in Jesus or ourselves? When our head hits the pillow, will we reflect with hearts of repentance as well as gratitude for this God who goes before us and always keeps his promises?