FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 12/29/2012
Saturday, December 29, 2012
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This is my Prayer, Sat, 12/29/2012
GOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!
UNKNOWN MEN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE, Lesson 13c
1-5 THE MESSAGE THEY PREACH
Tola and Jair served for a total of 45 years. They did not lead armies. They did not build cities. They did not write books. What they did was for more important. These men stood for God in an evil day. Their lives, though little is recorded about them, still preach to us today. Let me show you a few lessons we can learn from these unknown men.
There is a lesson in their names.
“Tola” means “Crimson Worm”. This speaks of the Coccus worm found in oak trees. These worms were used to produce the red dye that used in the articles made for the tabernacle. It comes from the Hebrew root “tala”, which means “to be clothed in scarlet”. Tola is the son of “Puah”. His name means “light”. Thus, Tola was “the son of light”.
In his names, Tola is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. Tola was a man who through humble service and self-surrender became the savior of Israel. He reminds us of Jesus Who is “the Light of the World”,( John 8:12). Our Savior was literally clothed in scarlet when He gave His life for the sins of the world, (Isa. 53:1-6; 52:14). Jesus even called himself a “worm”, (Psa. 22:6). Tola reminds us of the Lord who humbled Himself so that He might save lost sinners from their sins, (Phil. 2:5-8).
“Jair” means “the enlightener”. He reminds of our Lord who is the “Sun of righteousness”, (Mal. 4:2), and “the Light of the World”, (John 8:12). We are told that Jair was a wealthy man who was able to give all thirty of his sons their own donkeys. He was also able to give each son his own city. In this he reminds of the Lord Jesus Who owns everything and shares everything He owns with us, (Rom. 8:17).
Jair is associated with donkeys. The donkey is an animal associated with peace, unlike the horse which is associated with war. Jair was a man of peace in a world filled with turmoil. He speaks of our Savior, who is “The Prince of Peace”,( Isa. 9:6). God raised up Jair to bring peace to a nation. God raised up Jesus to bring peace to our souls and to reconcile us to the Lord. Jair had sons who were ambassadors of peace to the nation of Israel. Jesus has children who are His ambassadors of peace and salvation to the entire world, (2 Cor. 5:20).
There are other lessons from their lives.
You do not have to be famous to make a difference – Tola and Jair are not well known, but their lives made a difference for thousands of people living in Israel in that day.
The same is true for you. Some people think they can’t be used of the lord because they are not well known. Just remember that God has placed you exactly where He wants you. He knows where you are and when He has a bigger assignment for your life, He will come for you and use you in ways you can never imagine. Your duty is to grow where you are planted and to keep doing the last thing He told you until He tells you to do something different! (For example: David with his sheep; Moses with his flocks; Peter, Andrew, James and John with their nets; etc).
You do not have to accomplish great deeds to live an extraordinary life – Tola and Jair never did anything extraordinary, but their lives still testify today.
Most of us will never be famous, nor will we accomplish great things after the world’s standard. Even though you may not accomplish things this world calls great, your life can still be extraordinary. If you live for Jesus, faithfully serve His church and His people, raise your family to honor Him and His word and tell lost sinners about Jesus, your life is extraordinary!
God can help you make the best of a bad situation – Tola and Jair inherited a country in trouble. God gave them the ability to hold their nation together for nearly 50 years.
There will be times of crisis that will come your way as you walk with the Lord. He has designed those times just for you. His goal is to make you more like His Son, the Lord Jesus, (Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 4:13). He will give you the grace to stand in the hard times, (2 Cor. 12:9). He will give you grace to thrive in the midst of hardship. (For example: Joseph and his trials and ultimate promotion).
God is honored by, and He will honor, a consistent life – Tola and Jair did not accomplish anything that stands out, but just a look at the length of their judgeship reveals that they were consistent. They stood for the Lord for many years and God honored their faithfulness.
Few things honor the Lord like our being faithful to Him. It is His desire that every one of His children live a faithful, consistent life before Him, (1 Cor. 4:2).
So, let me encourage you to keep living for the Lord regardless of what is going on around you. Keep living for Him even when times are lean. Keep living for Him even when others fall away. Keep living for Him even when you are attacked for it. Keep living for Him even when it is unpopular. Keep living for Him even when others walk away. At the end of a life of faithful, consistent love for the Lord you will hear these words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,”( Matt. 25:21). Those words from our blessed Savior will make every mile of the trip worthwhile!
Conc: Tola and Jair lived and died in obscurity, but their lives continue to speak to us about our own walk with the Lord. Thus, their lives were not in vain.
Neither is your life in vain. You matter to God. You matter to your family. You matter to the church. You matter to your community. You matter!
Stay the course child of God! There is a pay day someday. One day, you will reach the end of your earthly journey. When that day comes it will not matter whether you were famous or not. It will not matter what you achieved in life. All that will matter is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. All that will matter is your love for Him, your labor for Him and a life lived for Him.
Are there needs in your life that should be addressed today? Are you faithful and consistent in your walk with the Lord? Do you need to come before Him and say something like this? “Lord, it doesn’t matter who knows me as long as they can see you. It doesn’t matter where I am as long as you have placed me there. It doesn’t matter what is happening to me as long as you control it. It doesn’t matter to me what I accomplish in life as long as I accomplish everything you have saved me for.”
Let’s mind Him today!
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” By: Thomas O. Chisholm (1923)
1. “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
2. Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Sovereign Father, Beloved God! As time for 2012 comes to end, we thank YOU for providing all our needs and for watching and caring for us. Help us not to forget anyone in our prayers, especially show us the people who feel forgotten so we can remember them in our intercession. Bring specific people to our mind, who, need a miracle of healing, a blessing of salvation, a word of comfort, a message of encouragement. Show us who needs Your guidance, Your instruction, Your direction. Enable them to sense Your love in us so we may share it with them. Bless them as You bless us in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in His marvelous name that we pray. Amen!
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