(Reminder: I’m doing an A to Z devotional blog.)

His name means “Lion of God,” and he saved Israel from their sins. He’s mentioned twice in the Book of Judges, but he doesn’t say anything; he’s a man of action. And actions always speak louder than words. Othniel’s uncle was Caleb—one of 12 men Moses sent to scope out the land of Jericho. Ten returned with terrifying reports to Moses.
“We’re like grasshoppers in their sight.”
“They’re huge!”
“We’ll surely die.”

Only two out of the 12 returned to Moses and said, “Because God is with us, we can take this city!” Those two men were Joshua and Caleb. And Caleb’s nephew was Othniel.

Othniel learned a lot hanging out with Uncle Caleb. I’ve discovered the more I’m around people of faith, the more my own faith is strengthened. Uncle Caleb’s boldness, integrity and action rubbed off on Othniel, and he followed in his uncle’s footsteps.

We’re introduced to Othniel in the first chapter of Judges:

“And Caleb said, ‘I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.’ Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.”
(Judges 1:12-13 NIV)

Othniel sprang into action. He was ready. He was filled with faith. He had learned a lot from Uncle Caleb. We meet up with him again in Judges 3:7-9.

“The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.” (Judges 3:7-9 NIV)

Othniel was the first judge of Israel, and by his obedience to God and allowing the Almighty to work through him, he saved the country from their sins. Wow! That’s

But why did God choose Othniel? He was a man of faith. And he became a man of faith by being discipled by Uncle Caleb. Othniel had learned how to live out a bold faith and act courageously by watching Caleb.

Caleb’s life was one of action and boldness and obedience. And if Caleb could live that way, Othniel figured he could, too. Hanging out with the right people is a wise thing to do. We can’t help but be “infected” by whom we’re with. Determine to become infected with the right people. And commit to infecting those around you with integrity, holiness and obedience to the LORD.

Olive is another O-word in the Bible. Olive tree is mentioned several times throughout Scripture. The olive is first mentioned in the story of the Flood, when the dove that was sent by Noah from the Ark, returns with an olive leaf:

“When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.” (Genesis 8:11 NIV).

Orange juice, OUCH and orangutan aren’t found anywhere in
the Bible.
Was this an Oversight?
No. God is omniscient. He knows all. He never makes mistakes.
So I guess orange juice, OUCH, orangutan and even Orlando just weren’t meant for Scripture.

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This weekend I’ll fly to Knoxville, TN to speak at the East TN District Family Camp. I’m excited about opening God’s Word to this wonderful group of people. Please pray He will move in a mighty way.