Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Fighting Like a Girl!

February 7, 2012 • Category: Variety Week

Today’s scripture: Judith 8:11-17 (NRSV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

Have you ever heard the story of the Hebrew hero named Judith? If you haven’t, it’s no surprise. The book of Judith is a little known Apocryphal book that didn’t make into the final cut of the Protestant Bible for some reason, but is sacred none the less. It is a book about a heroic woman who saved the Israelite people during a time of desperation. Here is a bit of her story.

Judith’s setting is a little town in the region of Samaria called Bethulia where the Assyrian enemy had set up an assault to take the town for their king, Nebuchadnezzar. After enduring the assault for some time, the Bethulians saw no choice but to surrender and become slaves to Nebuchadnezzar. As one final act of hope the people decide to wait for five more days and in the hopes that God would deliver them within their time limit.

News of that decision reached a godly widow named Judith who felt God call her to deliver her people from the Assyrians. She confronted Uzziah, a town official who hatched the “five day plan,” and reproached the people who had tried to put God in a box with deadlines and limits. Her words to Uzziah and the men of Behulia were included in chapter 8, today’s reading.

Judith’s act of challenging the ideas of the male community leaders was so brave that it alone should warrant our respect; but what she said in her challenge is even better! “Who are you to put God to the test today, and to set yourselves up in the place of God in human affairs?” She goes on to say something like, “Did you really put God on a time limit? What do you think you are doing? You don’t even understand the workings of the human mind or the human heart and yet you dare to put God, who created all of humanity, in a tiny little box to meet your demands?”

Judith understood something that it seems the officials in the town did not — God’s ways are beyond us and it is futile for us to put limits and boundaries around God. Instead, what God longs for is our complete surrender, our trust in the divine love which is greater than any force humanity has ever known. Putting God in a box only serves to limit the possibilities of that divine love.

Judith fought against the decision of the people and, in doing so, broke through to a deeper understanding of what God could do in their midst. Because they followed Judith’s plan, the Bethulian people defeated the Assyrians and were saved from slavery. Judith knew how to fight like a girl by surrendering to an uncontainable God!

What about you? When was the last time you surrendered to your uncontainable God?

Thought for the day: Take the Judith challenge: Keep God out of the box, remove the limits you’ve placed on divine love, and watch what miracles will unfold!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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