The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday August 9th, 2023 was written by Toluwalogo Niji-Olawepo from Kwara, Nigeria
1After the death of Joshua, the Israelites inquired of the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2The Lord said, “Judah shall go up. I hereby give the land into his hand.” 3Judah said to his brother Simeon, “Come up with me into the territory allotted to me, that we may fight against the Canaanites; then I too will go with you into the territory allotted to you.” So Simeon went with him. 4Then Judah went up and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they defeated ten thousand of them at Bezek. 5They came upon Adoni-bezek at Bezek, and fought against him, and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6Adoni-bezek fled; but they pursued him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to pick up scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has paid me back.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
8Then the people of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it. They put it to the sword and set the city on fire. 9Afterward the people of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the Negeb, and in the lowland. 10Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba); and they defeated Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.
Judges 1:1-10 NRSV
When I was young; I had this notion that I had to do everything by myself. I believed that asking for help would give glory to others that belonged only to God. However, as I have gotten older; I have realized that God created me and put me in the midst of people - family, friends, and community - because I need people.
I have learned that accepting help is a way of acknowledging that I can't do it all by myself. I need God and the help of others around me. Over the years, I have seen God come into my life as a friend's warm hug. God has met my needs through people I did no expect, sometimes even comforting me through the kindness of a stranger. God works in mysterious ways.
In today's scripture reading, Judah asked his brother Simeon for help in the battle against the Canaanites. As they fought side by side, God gave them the victory. God often reaches out to us through family and through community. It's okay to ask for help even as we give help to those around us. When we do, we participate in God's miracles.
Thought for the Day
God reaches out to me through my community.
Dear Father, thank you for family and for all the people you have used to accomplish your purpose in our lives. Help us to continually trust in you. Amen.