SOAP Journal – 27 July 2017 (Judges 10:1-2)

Now after Abimelech died, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to save Israel; and he lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried in Shamir.

Judges 10:1-2

It might be a stretch to say that Tola has anything in common with Christ, but there seems to be a tiny bit of something when I look up meanings of names.

The name Tola means “worm.” When I saw that, I thought of Psalm 22:6, But I am a worm and not a man, / A reproach of men and despised by the people. Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm; a psalm that prophesies of the Messiah. In fact, Jesus quotes the first line of this psalm from the cross (My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?). Psalm 22 is about the crucifixion. So I come back to Tola and a look into my concordance tells me that the name and the word used in Psalm 22 are from the same root.

Then there is Tola’s father: Puah. Puah means “splendid.” So the worm is the son of the splendid one. The deliverer is the son of the splendid one.

It is not much, but it is interesting to be reminded in the names that the Messiah will be considered a worm, will be the Son of the Splendid One (i.e. God), and will deliver the people.

From Tola, I take away the lesson that what I do in life, even in my service to God, may be worthy of nothing more than a note in passing. The Holy Spirit did not record the acts of Tola in scripture. Only his name. And perhaps that is as it should be. Perhaps the acts of Tola would have detracted from the hint of Messiah peeking through based on his name and parentage. I will never know this side of Heaven.

Father, thank You that what men see as success is not what You see as success. Thank You that what is written is written for our instruction, not necessarily as a exhaustive record. Please work in me to build contentment with service in obscurity and potentially being nothing more than a passing note in the history of Your children this side of Heaven.

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