As I opened my Bible today, I got to reading the Book of Judges. By chapter three I began to see a pattern emerging: every time the Israelites turned away from the Lord, they were chastened by Him.
I noticed the word “prove” appearing again and again, as God was testing their faith. Curious to see exactly what it said in the Hebrew text, I discovered that this word “nacah” is connected to the sense of smell.
It’s like sniffing your milk to see if it’s fresh or sniffing your kids laundry to see if it’s clean. God was testing their faith, searching for that sweet aroma of a surrendered life. And each time He did they drew closer to Him.
It’s almost bizarre really, to see how many times the Israelites went back and forth. One day they’re crying out to the Lord, and the next they’re serving false Gods.
It all sounds quite ridiculous, and yet, we’re not all that different from them. Their god’s had names like Baal, Ashtareth, and Dagon, our god’s have more familiar names like power and money and sex. Some of us spend our entire lives looking for it, when all that we really need is God.
Remember the night that Jacob wrestled with God? (Genesis 32) And, remember how he wouldn’t give up until God gave him a blessing? This is the kind of persistence that God is calling us to through the trying of our faith.
In his book Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, Timothy Keller writes,
The blessing through the Spirit that is ours through Christ, is what Jacob received, and it is the only remedy against idolatry. Only that blessing makes idols unnecessary. As with Jacob, we usually discover this only after a life of “looking for blessings in all the wrong places.” It often takes an experience of crippling weakness for us to finally discover it. That is why so many of the most God-blessed people limp as they dance for joy.
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Tilling the Soil
Read Judges Chapter 3. As you see the Israelites waver back and forth, notice how God chastens them to draw them back again.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:4-6, KJV)
Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife