I’m reading the book of Judges in the Old Testament. One of your favorites?! ‘Judges’ were leaders chosen to help Israel follow the Lord. After Joshua’s death, the nation faces a power vacuum. Quickly the people turn away from God, reject Him and worship idols. Things go terribly wrong for God’s people. I wonder why?! Israel cries out for help. God provides leaders, the judges. A few have familiar names–Gideon, Deborah, Samson and Samuel. But many do not.
Like the two from today’s reading. Tola and Jair. Who? What did they do to help Israel? We know little about them, though they ruled collectively for 45 years! Of Tola, we only know the names of his father and grandfather(imagine a name like Dodo!), and that he was of the family of Issachar but lived in the hill country of another family, Ephraim. That’s it. After leading Israel for 23 years, he died and was buried in Shamir of Ephraim.
Then comes Jair of Gilead, east of the Jordan River, between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. Judge for 22 years. Has 30 sons, rides 30 donkeys, controlling 30 towns. Died and buried in the town of Kamon. That’s it… again!
Don’t we want our lives to count for more than that? There’s got to be more. Looking in the mirror of life, I’d like mine to count for more than stale, bare-bones facts. Remembered… for living for the Lord? No reference to God is mentioned with the names of Tola and Jair. How sad. I hope that’s not said of me. You too? Of course. Remembered… for loving the Lord. For sharing Jesus with others. For giving to missions where I couldn’t or wouldn’t go. Far from perfect, but knew the Perfect One to go to for forgiveness and renewal. Had a few tough breaks, some of his own making, but who ended better than he began. Ended well for the Lord. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.
With those godly goals in mind, I know how to live. What decisions help or break them. How about you? Looking to the end will help you focus on how you live your life now. How would you like to be remembered?
Prayer: Lord, we genuinely want to live for you. That our lives matter, not only for the here-and-now, but for eternity. For you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.