Monday, March 27, 2017

Tola & Jair - the 7th and 8th Judges

Tola and Jair - Not much is written about them but much can be learned from them. The first was known for his heritage - Tola from the line of Issachar (Genesis 46:13) the second was conspicuous for his wealth - Jair who had 30 sons, who each rode around on their donkeys and they owned 30 towns. They both ruled for approximately the same time - Tola 23 years and Jair 22 years. (Judges 10:1-5) God used both of them to lead Israel and provide peace. It was much-needed peace because they had just survived the rulership of Abimelech.

These two judges don't have asterisks next to their names instead, they both had stable leadership, they both had long tenure, they both seemed to be solid good leaders because after they died, the stability was gone.These were two of the few that were noble and prosperous when they were called, but not all need to be noble or prosperous. In addition to being who they were, they had the Godly character necessary for leadership.

They did their part during their lifetime and when they died the Israelites, left to their own devices, did evil again.

Tola and Jair

Jim and Bob

Andrea and Michelle

Nick and Larry

Sheila and Lisa

You and Me - we all have the opportunity to be used as deliverers; to be used to lead based on our desire to serve and honor God. We can be deliverers to our families, our friends, our co-workers or whatever sphere of influence God has placed us in. And like the Israelites, we may have influence while we are there and then as soon as we are gone, that circle reverts back to their old ways.

After they both died; after 45 years the people did evil again; they abandoned the Lord and no longer served Him so they were oppressed by the Philistines and the Ammonites for eighteen years. They served other gods and when they could take it no more cried out to God. Those gods could not do what God could. Those gods couldn't comfort them, couldn't provide them, did not reward faithfulness- because those gods were powerless. God said, did I not rescue you from all of your enemies (the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites), for you to abandon me. Let your gods rescue you. Judges 10: 6-17

Just typing this breaks my heart!  Because at some point I want the children of Israel to get it just like a parent wants their children to be obedient. Like a human parent, the Lord was grieved for the misery of Israel, yet God was still benevolent towards the children of Israel even though they constantly disobeyed.

God didn't give up on the Israelites and he won't give up on you, no matter how many times you mess up. Be willing to listen to who God has placed in your path to lead and to help you - people like Tola and Jair. Tola and Jair did their part - and that's what we're called to do - our part.

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Do you feel God's calling on your life? How do you influence your circle?

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  1. A good reminder for everyone. We can minister at our workplace, at school, wherever God takes us.

  2. What a great reflection, Nylse! I think the Old Testament often gets overlooked in Christian circles, and I love seeing others deep dive into the Hebrew scriptures. As you say, the Old Testament in general and the Book of Judges in particular show us the faithfulness of God, even in light of our own faithlessness. Thank you for this beautiful study! #raralinkup

  3. Hi Nylse, Tola and Jair! Seriously? Someone else in the Bible I've never heard of?! Thanks for shedding light on these competent and godly leaders who served diligently for God. Coming your way via the God Sized Dreams linkup!


  4. I really enjoyed this. I've been struggling to figure out what my part is lately, but I know that I will only have peace if I follow God, like Tola and Jair, and stick to what He has placed before me. Well written, thanks for sharing!

  5. Such a great reminder, Tiffiney, and thanks for sharing it with us at 5 After 5!

  6. We are studying the book of Judges at church now. I like to learn about the less popular. Great job relating it to us today too!

  7. I've read the Bible through a number of times and these names don't ring a bell. Honestly, when I'm reading books like Judges I think my mind glazes over things like this.

    I do recall a few judges who did honor God so I'm guessing it was Tola and Jair. ^_^


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