Judges 1 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, had gone up with the men of Judah from the City of Palms to the wilderness of Judah, which was in the Negev of Arad. They went to live among the people.” Judges 1:16
The term “to go up” in the Jewish mindset denotes more than a person’s direction of travel. The Hebrew word is “aliyah” (ah-lee-‘yah). Aliyah is representative of “going up” to Jerusalem to worship.
Because modern Israel is a Jewish state, its government recognizes the birthright of all Jews, throughout the world, to immigrate. This process of repatriation is called, “making aliyah”. In essence, by allowing Jews to immigrate, they are providing them the opportunity to “go up” and worship the L_rd in Jerusalem.
When the Bible makes the point of including Moses’ “non-Jewish” relatives settling in the land, as “going up”, it is sending a powerful message. That is, Gentiles WERE allowed to settle in the land, and they were quite different from the Canaanites who stayed. Moses’ in-laws had a legitimate, G_d-honoring place.
There is no Biblical precedent of the L_rd denying anyone who honestly seeks to know & follow Him, for any reason. On the other hand, He will rebuke and chastise His children who turn away.
The hope of this passage is that G_d wants for all men to come unto repentance. He chose for the Kenites to be included along side the Israelites, as legitimate settlers. It is important for the World to know that G_d has always allowed for Gentiles to believe in Him…to convert, so to speak. Furthermore, He has always accepted them as part of His covenant with Abraham. For example: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, (and arguably Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite) were all Gentile women; yet we find them listed in the Davidic/Messianic genealogy of Matthew 1. Consider the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“No foreigner who has converted to the L_rd should say, ‘The L_rd will exclude me from His people.’” Isaiah 56:3
Our greater spiritual identity is not determined by our bloodline; it is Messiah Yeshua’s blood that counts! The test of a true follower of G_d is not, “Who’s your daddy?” Rather, “Who’s your Father?”
Daily Devotional, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014