Holofernes’ Cruel Tyranny
Synopsis Judith 3:4-4:8 10/5/2020
Nebuchadnezzar was king of Assyria. And he commissioned his prime general Holofernes to exact revenge on the western nations. So, Holofernes went out and destroyed every western nation that resisted him. As a result, several nations near the seacoast sent envoys to him. And these men offered to welcome the invading Assyrian army and give him any necessary support.
So, Holofernes marched his army to these nations where he was welcomed with singing and feasts. Yet, even though the nations pledged to give whatever Holofernes required of them, he took what he wanted and then destroyed even the nations that had complied.
Of course, the Israelites heard about these events. And so, they determined to resist Holofernes.
At that time, the high priest was Joakim. So, he made a plan. He instructed the Israelites in the north to hold the mountain passes. If they were successful, the Assyrians would not have a direct line of attack against Jerusalem.
Holofernes Cruel Tyranny
In keeping with his reputation, Nebuchadnezzar instructed Holofernes to act with relentless cruelty. He wanted the nations to abandon their gods and worship him. So, the king intended to teach a lesson.
But extreme cruelty taught the people to lose hope. And once a person has lost hope, they don’t have much else to lose. So, the Israelites decided it was do or die.
Social-contract communities tend to evolve toward tyranny until they are undone through some, typically violent upheaval.
This trend toward tyranny brings with it, anxiety. This is real! In times of political upheaval, I find myself worrying about the future. I worry about the economy. And I worry about my children. In truth, the uncertainty can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Because of this deformation in my thinking, the unseen is poorly positioned to compete with my pressing concerns.
It’s only the habit of prayer, and especially the habit of the mass, that creates enough space for me to regain my bearings. Fostering my relationship with Jesus. It is here that I reconnect to the solid ground.
“God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not fall.” Psa 62:7