The Lord is not punishing us, but he scourges those who draw near to him in order to admonish them. Judith 8:27

Disheartened, the people of Israel called upon the Lord their God because their enemies, the Assyrian army had encircled them and had cut off all means of escape. All of them, man and woman, young and old gathered and accused Uzziah and the leaders of the town. When a community starts to look only at what is evil, its bad luck, it begins to loose faith in the future and forgets it has means for getting out of the situation.

The people of Bethulia declared their defeat beforehand because they only saw the human side of the situation what was unpleasant. In their discouragement, they only saw their need and did not measure the consequences of what they were doing. Uzziah had promised and sworn to hand over their city to the Assyrians at the end of five days.

Judith, the Jewess widow heard of the threatening words which the people had addressed to their leaders and the reply given after decision made by the leaders was to disown God and to acknowledge Nebuchadnezzar as God.

In spite of wealth, Judith was an insignificant woman before Holofernes’s military power. The altitude of faithfulness to God stood out in her speech to the leaders of the city. She reproach them for wanting to put time limits on God to fulfill their human plans instead of other people’s interests. Judith who never wavered in her faith set out through the valley and went to present herself to Holofernes, the general-in-cheif of the army. On the forth day, Holofernes gave a banquet.

Later, in the tent of Holofernes, in his darkness, Judith with all her strength struck his neck twice and cut off his head. Then she crossed the camp, passed round the mountain to Bethulia and reached the gates of the town with her maidservant. As truly as the Lord lives, this very night he had crushed the enemy by the hand of a devout woman. Every deed done for the benefit of others involves risking something. Judith risked her life in saving her people by trusting in the mercy of God.

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.