SOAP Journal – 01 August 2017 (Judges 12:8-10)

Now Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel after him. He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters [whom] he gave in marriage outside [the family], and he brought in thirty daughters from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

Judges 12:8-10

I have trawled through more than a few resources this morning hoping that I could find something about Ibzan of Bethlehem that might connect him to Jesus in some fashion. The best I have been able to find is his name. Ibzan means “their whiteness” which makes me think of the verse that says that The Father made Jesus to be sin in our place that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). And that is all. That is where the tenuous parallels stop.

There are plenty of resources discussing whether Ibzan was from the commonly known Bethlehem in Judah or a lesser known Bethlehem in Zebulon. Some that discuss unsubstantiated notions that he and another notable Old Testament person are the same individual. And even one or two that had something to say about his plentiful offspring. None of the things I found connected him with Christ except his name.

And that brings me to an application for my own life. Is there more that connects me with Christ than just the name Christian? There should be. If I am truly a follower of Christ, then my life should be marked by the transformative power of God and not merely by a name. I should find myself transformed into the righteousness of God one step at a time.

Thank You, Father, for wanting more for us than a connection in name only. Please conform me to the image of Your Son that I might truly become the righteousness of God in Him.

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