GodSpeak: Missed Links – “Tola”

GodSpeak for the Week of June 10



We continue this week with our new, recurring series – “Missed Links.”  While we have this three-year, assigned reading schedule for worship (called the Lectionary), if we just followed that schedule we would miss important, insightful…even funny…parts of God’s Word.

“Missed Link” Sundays will feature these passages of God’s Word overlooked by those who cobbled together the Lectionary.

This week features a character – Tola – who is only ever mentioned…and, given “press”…in two verses of Scripture.  This week’s is a super-short passage, with big lessons from which to learn.

Day 1…Read Judges 10:1-2

  • Consider this – all that is ever mentioned of Tola…in Scripture, virtually in history…is written here.
  • Answer this – but, what was going on in Israel BEFORE Tola came to power (e.g., in Judges 9)?
    • What happens in Israel AFTER Tola (and, his successor, Jair)?

Day 2…Read Judges 10:1-2

  • Consider this – when it comes to Hebrew, names usually have insightful meaning. Thus, “Issachar” was the son of Jacob and Leah; “Puah” means “splendid”; “Dodo” means “beloved”.
  • Answer this – what does this say about the family line from which Tola came?
    • How does that contrast to how Abimelech is viewed?

 Day 3…Read Judges 10:1-2

  • Consider this – in Hebrew, Tola’s name means “a worm,” especially a worm that has emerged from rot (I know, “Yuk!”)
  • Answer this – what, therefore, does Tola’s name tell us about him?
    • Now, dovetail the meaning of Tola’s name with how other members of his family line are viewed/defined – what kind of picture of Tola emerges?

Day 4…Read Judges 10:1-2

  • Consider this – Tola lived, died and was buried in the town of “Shamir” (which, in Hebrew means “sharp point” [i.e., a “thorn”]
  • Answer this – how does this information tell us more about Tola and his role in God’s leading of Israel?

Day 5…Read Judges 10:1-2

  • Consider this – all told, Tola faithfully “rose to save Israel” over a period of 23 years. Yet, the only mention of him in all of Scripture is THIS PASSAGE!
  • Answer this – imagine how Tola might feel/what he might say, if he knew this was all the “press” he’d received for his service. What do you think he might say about this?

Day 6…Read Matthew 6:1-6

  • Answer this – in light of everything you’ve learned about Tola this week, how do Jesus’ words add to a better understanding of Tola and how he’s treated by Scripture?


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