It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

When to Fight, a reflection on 1 Maccabees 9:1-22

After the interjection of the praise of Rome, we return to the story of the assault on the Judeans. Demetrius sent a army of 20,000 foot soldiers and 2,000 calvary to take Jerusalem. In contrast, the army  led by Judah numbered 3,000. When they saw the large army, many deserted leaving no more than 800.

The desertions crushed Judah's spirit, but he said to the ones who had stayed, "Let us get up and go against our enemies. We may have the strength to fight them." They weren't optimistic about their chances. They argued that they should not fight right them but instead go try to get some of their relatives to fight with them. Judas responded, "Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our kindred, and leave no cause to question our honor,"

After a desperate battle, Judas was killed. The rest of his army fled. His brothers Jonathan and Simon buried him in the tomb of his ancestors and wept for him. All Israel mad great lamentation for him and mourned for many days.

When making decisions, how to weigh necessity versus possibility?

When is it wiser to fight instead of withdrawing? How should a question of honor affect this decision?

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