The Book of Judith // Day 7 Faith

Image by Melissa Clayton

Image by Melissa Clayton

Judith 5

Most of what constitutes Alchior’s speech is pure description of the Israelites: their ancestral history, their reliance on the God of heaven during adversity, and their strength.

The last part of Alchior’s speech is an interpretation of this description and how it is relevant to Holofernes’ attack on the Israelites.

We witness faith on two accounts, then: first, the faith of the Israelites on God and second, Alchior’s well-intentioned council grounded on great belief in God’s power to save the Israelites if they have been faithful to Him.

Alchior does not have to explicitly say that he believes in the God of heaven, but his faith in God’s power is palpable by how he chooses to give council to his master, Holofernes. Ultimately, this faith in God is interpreted by Holofernes’ officers as weakness of Holofernes’ armies and is greatly offensive.

The officers aren’t convinced by Alchior’s description that the Israelites will be shielded by their God.  They completely disregard the presence of a higher power that can strengthen the Israelites’ weakness. They even agree that Alchior “should be cut to pieces”!

But all alone and unwavering, Alchior stands firm in his belief, no matter how subtle it may be. Did Alchior know what the outcome would be for this sort of belief in a higher power, who is infinitely stronger than Holofernes’ armies—how he would be punished by Holofernes? Perhaps.

Whether or not he did, I greatly admire this quiet, strong conviction. It makes me ask myself in how many cases would I be willing to stand up for what I believe in, even when I am all alone, for the things that truly matter, no matter who would be offended by the truth?

When it comes to matters of faith, I pray that you find yourself as strong as Alchior in the belief of the great power of God.

 

Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.