Judith 7-9; 1 Corinthians 6

Judith 8: 9-17  So when Judith heard of the harsh words that the people, discouraged by their lack of water, had spoken against their ruler, and of all that Uzziah had said to them in reply, swearing that he would hand over the city to the Assyrians at the end of five days, she sent her maid who was in charge of all her things to summon Uzziah, Chabris, and Charmis, the elders of her city. When they came, she said to them: “Listen to me, you rulers of the people of Bethulia. What you said to the people today is not right. You pronounced this oath, made between God and yourselves, and promised to hand over the city to our enemies unless within a certain time the Lord comes to our aid. Who are you to put God to the test today, setting yourselves in the place of God in human affairs?  And now it is the Lord Almighty you are putting to the test, but you will never understand anything! You cannot plumb the depths of the human heart or grasp the workings of the human mind; how then can you fathom God, who has made all these things, or discern his mind, or understand his plan? “No, my brothers, do not anger the Lord our God. For if he does not plan to come to our aid within the five days, he has it equally within his power to protect us at such time as he pleases, or to destroy us in the sight of our enemies. Do not impose conditions on the plans of the Lord our God. God is not like a human being to be moved by threats, nor like a mortal to be cajoled. “So while we wait for the salvation that comes from him, let us call upon him to help us, and he will hear our cry if it pleases him.

 The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded from Jewish texts and assigned by Protestants to the Apocrypha.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a brief but vivid read: the Assyrians are threatening, and who will save the day? Judith is one of the most memorable women of the Bible; if a movie were cast Angeline Jolie would probably be a leading candidate to play her.  A great speech here about the slippery slope of putting God to the test.

 

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