Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Small Fish

O. T. #529  "Small Fish "
June 2, 2015
Judges 10
... and he died. Judges 10:2,5


When I was a kid, my parents enjoyed going fishing down at my grandfather's creek. Often times we would only catch perch, a small fish. Although small, they were good eating, so we took them home instead of throwing them back into the creek. Now, bass was even bigger and better to eat than  perch, which was quite bony. Mom fished for them. (I have a picture of her catch one day.)

Speaking of fish, I consider myself to be a small fish in small pond. In the scope of the world, my achievements go unnoticed, not making headlines, yet God notices. I am striving to serve Him in my small world, wanting to bring people to Jesus so they can experience His love and salvation. Perhaps you think of yourself in a similar way. Friends, nothing done in Jesus' name and for His glory goes unnoticed. We will reap a good harvest if we tarry. Our work for Jesus is important. Israel had some small fish, minor judges, of whom we know very little, yet they did a good work, in today's reading. Their work was significant or else it would not appear in the Bible, right?

We are in the fifth sin cycle, as I call it, for Israel. They repent of their sin of idolatry, worship God for a while, then turn away and repeat it again, so God sends oppression by a group to bring His children back to Him. (Do we do the same?)

Gideon was the fourth judge of Israel, with a peaceful 40 years. Then his son Abimelech ruled for 3 years, leading them into idolatry. But God took care of the evil men of Shechem and evil Abimelech, who got a stone and a sword. His fall was literal.

Now in chapter 10, we read of two good judges, considered the fifth, though we don't know much about them.
Liberty Bible Commentary describes the first mentioned Judge Tola:
  • He was the son of Puah, the son of Dodo,
  • Tola was a tribal name (Gen. 46:13). (a son of Issachar, one of the 12 sons of Jacob, who were servents)
  • He was one of the lesser known judges of this time, without any mighty deeds recorded about him.
  • Commentators Bruce and Wood suggest that these two judges were merely judicial arbitrators or military leaders who held the office of judge at a time when no military activity was necessary.
  • Tola lived at Shamir (identified with the later Samaria) on Mt. Ephraim, near the previous judgeship of Deborah (4:5).
  • His 23 year judgeship was the longest of any of the minor judges.
  • He arose to defend Israel, like other judges, whose mission was to save or deliver Israel.
Tola delivered Israel while Abimelech destroyed it. (David Jeremiah)

Sounds like Tola took a messy government (due to Abimelech's ruling in idolatry) and cleaned it up.

Are we encouraging others to faithfully live for Jesus?
Or are we living for our self?


The second mentioned is Judge Jair:
  • He was a Gileadite.
  • He served on the opposite side (east) of the Jordan, compared with his predecessor, Tola on the west.
  • He served 22 years, which may have overlapped with Tola, since their service was located near each other.
  • Jair was one of three minor judges who is said to have had a large family, suggesting his influence in the community.
  • His 30 sons, who rode on 30 donkeys, may have served as administrative assistants.
  • Havoth-jair were the 30 cities over which he reigned and were tent dwellers.
  • Jair and Jephthah were the only judges who served on the east side of the Jordan. They were of the half tribe of Manasseh.
Thirty sons, 30 donkeys, 30 cities. Hum, is there a pattern here? No significance that I can find, though.

Jair's son rode from place to place in their several circuits administering justice. (Matthew Henry)

Sounds like they were gentlemen doing good in their land.

What are you doing for God that is of worth and has a lasting effect?
When your life is over, will people remember more than just what was in your bank account or the number of years you lived? Will they recall our serving spirit or self-serving spirit?

Let me throw this in here: The judgeship of Jair coincided with the time period of Ruth. (MacArthur)


I read this morning in Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling, which is written as though Jesus is speaking to us:
Let go of cares and worries, so that you can receive My Peace. Cease striving, and know that I am God. Let go, relax, be still, and know that I am God.
Linda, let go and let God...

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