THERE’S GOT TO BE MORE! Read Judges 10:1-5

I was reading in my devotions today from the book of Judges in the Old Testament.  Judges were rulers or leaders that were supposed to help Israel as a people in following the Lord their God.  After Moses’ and Joshua’s deaths, a terrible power vacuum existed.  Quickly the people turn away from the One True God and worship the idols of those around them.  Sin has its consequences and things go terribly bad for God’s people who turn their collective backs on Him.  Really?  Duh!  Glad none of us has ever done that!  Israel cries out to God for help and He provides leaders, the Judges.  Some are names we recognize like Gideon, Deborah, Samuel. But many are not familiar at all.  Like the two from today’s reading in chapter 10.  Tola and Jair–who are they, anyway?  What did they do to help Israel live for Yahweh God?  We know so little of them and their lives.  Yet, they led Israel for 45 years.  That’s a long time.  Of Tola, we only know the names of his father and grandfather (imagine a name like Dodo!) and that he was of the tribal family of Issachar but lived south of his clan in the hill country of the tribe of Ephraim, in a town called Shamir.  That’s it.  Who and where; but, no what or how.  Just the facts, Mame.  Oh, yes, I forgot…after leading Israel for 23 years, he died and was buried in the town where he chose to live, Shamir.  Then comes Jair of Gilead, an area east of the Jordan River,  between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.  He’s 22 years as leader, has 30 sons and rides 30 different donkeys controlling 30 towns in the region of Gilead.  Did he think the number 30 was lucky?  I don’t know, but I do know that when he died he was buried in a town called Kamon.  That’s it, again.  Dare I speak for you?  But don’t we want our lives to count for more than that?  Now, to be fair, maybe the author of Judges (possibly Samuel, the last of the Judges) felt enough said the better.  Or that that was truly all there was to report.  Regardless, looking in the mirror of my life, I’d like my life to count for more than just the bare bones facts. Something like this– to have lived for the Lord, to have shared Him with others, to have given money so that others can share the Good News with those who would never hear otherwise, who loved the Lord and was not ashamed to admit it, who was far from perfect but knew who to go to for forgiveness and restoration,who had a few tough breaks some of his own sinful making  but who ended better than he began. To end well.   Isn’t that our heart’s desire?  Yours and mine?  That’s why when I daily pray the prayer of Jabez ( 1 Chronicles 4:9-10) where he says to the Lord, ‘…enlarge my territory’, years ago I expanded on that thought–‘ Lord, enlarge my territory…for You…for others!’  Not for more money, more prestige, a bigger car or home, or anything of this world, but to make a greater impact in even the smallest ways for the Lord  and for others to know Him and grow in Him.  That’s my prayer.  That’s the desire of my heart.  For there’s got to be more.  In Jesus, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!   There’s lots more…and more!

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