During my evening devotion on October 13, 2020 I was led to the scripture Judith 1:1-16. I read the entire chapter, but for some reason I kept re-reading verses one through four (1-4).
The chapter tells the story of how Nebuchadnezzar built up his kingdom, and the intricacies of the protective wall he built around his city. The building of the wall stood out to me because of the king’s investment into the security of his territory and city. Perimeter walls were built at 105 feet high and 75 feet wide with foundation spanning 90 feet wide.
I thought about the magnitude of the construction project described in the scripture and imagined how onerous and agonizing such a labour intensive undertaking must have been. I imagined the direct and indirect costs associated with such a build, and all the other variables such as identifying suitable material and means of transporting it to the building site. All these considerations brought me to the conclusion that the king was cognizant of his ambition and had faith in his ability to bring his plans to fruition. He also knew the worth of his possessions and was willing to do everything in his power to preserve and protect it.
I reviewed verses 1-4 a few times with great appreciation for the investment the king made in the security of his prized possessions and immediately became bothered by the fact that God’s chosen people (Israel) do not Value the Lord or their souls as much as this king valued his earthly possessions. We spend 90% of our free time on social media, playing games, watching shows and movies that mock our history, or idle jesting.
As children of the Most High God, Israelites – who have been discontinued from our heritage (Jeremiah 17:3-4 & Psalms 83:4), we should be zealous to protect our souls and enthusiastic in loving the Lord in measures similar to the zeal and enthusiasm Nebuchadnezzar towards the protection of his possessions. We must spend time reading the word of God and commit them to our memories, where the word becomes the reinforcement walls that protect our minds from the attacks of the enemy. Proverbs 7:3 says to “bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart”. When I say we are to study the word of God I am not only talking about the 66 books approved by Rome, but also the 18 books which were removed-called apocrypha. You can download the bible from your App Store by searching for “1611 KJV (King James Version) with apocrypha.
The moment we repent of our sins, accept Jesus as our saviour and begin keeping the commandments of the Most High God – which are the works of our faith – we become an enemy of the world and it’s powers. The devil and his many helping spirits will be coming at us through temptation or attacks of diverse nature, but be reminded of Hebrews 2:18 which says “for because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted”. In defence of our souls and salvation we have to read and retain the word of God so that in times of temptation we have them to use as weapons. Here are some scriptures that may be helpful in self-encouragement when tempted: 1 Corinthians 10:13, Galatians 5:16, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:10-18, Psalm 46:1-3, Psalms 23:4, Matthew 10:28 and Isaiah 41:10.
Upon repenting of our sins and beginning our new lives as children of God and keepers of His laws, statutes and commandments, we automatically become spiritual infants. That means we will need milk, water and food to stay alive! As long as we stay connected to God through Christ we will always have living waters flowing to our souls, however we cannot survive on water alone. We also need to feed our souls with the word of God in the same manner that we feed our flesh with physical food (1 Peter 2:2-3 & 1 Corinthians 10:3-4).
The more time we spend in the word and with God is the more we get to understand the ways of God, the more we learn his commandments, the more we learn to live a Christ-like life and the more the Holy Spirit dwells in us – manifesting itself through the fruit of the spirit (12 fruits). Hebrews 5:12-14 demonstrates that we should not remain in our infant stage indefinitely. Jeremiah 3:15 say “and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding”. Similar to human development we are expected to feed and grow spiritually; from milk diets to solid food, from being susceptible to the wind of every doctrine to a state of wisdom, understanding, purpose and discerning skills.
It is not rocket science! You know it as much as I do. We do our best to not make wasteful investments in our academics by studying hard and passing our exams but are not willing to study the word of God with as much might and will as we do our academic pursuits. We limit our distractions for academic gains but allow all distractions to hinder us from fully connecting with God, the life source to our spiritual health and strength.
Do you feel guilty when you go a day without reading the word of God? Is there a voice in your head that keeps you honest with yourself and points out when you have done something wrong? If your answer is no! you could be headed for spiritual death or starvation and may need to spend some time with the lord to make it right.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these (your needs) things shall be added unto you.
Mordecai Amon Israel