I did it! I completed Kings 1 and 2, Chronicles 1 and 2, and Ezra and Nehemiah. I’m past this passage in Esther, so here’s the next block of the Bible Sampler Quilt:
The photo makes it look very poorly executed. To be honest, it is. I tried my best, and besides, I’m pretty sure it’ll quilt out.
Before I reflect on Esther, I’d like to write about the books I finished. The Israelites, God’s chosen, seemed to fall into a predictable cycle. If I had to summarize as if writing a school book report, it would go something like this:
First, they seek to please God and follow His law. God is pleased and they enjoy peace and prosperity.
The next generation laxes up on the law and first thing you know they are intermarrying with Canaanite women. Pretty soon they’re all worshiping false idols and performing evil rituals on their children.
God is not pleased, He removes His blessing, and the children of Israel suffer. They lose their temple, their land, and their freedom.
Then a noble ruler, an obedient priest with a remnant of true believers, and/or a genuine prophet steps up. They’re all God needed, and He uses them to bring the Israelites back to their roots. They repent, cleanse the temple, put away the evil wives and rituals, and begin again.
God is pleased, and the children of Israel prosper in peace.
You can guess what happens next. The theme repeats generation to generation.
I don’t think the great nation of Israel fell because of mighty battles, political coups, or governmental decrees. I’m persuaded to believe that women were the cause. Those non-Jewish women used their womanly powers to turn the heads of the men. Soon their hearts followed, which led them away from God. I can imagine the “discussions” that occurred when they were setting up their newlywed tents. Maybe they put up some resistance, but the men eventually caved and allowed a Baal shrine in the corner. Even back then, they knew: “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.
Stay tuned for Queen Esther’s use of woman power.