Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday, September 12th: Judges 13-15, John 5:1-24 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Judges 13-15; John 5:1-24

It's interesting to note that the Angel of the Lord (Jesus pre-incarnate) told Mrs Manoah that she was to abstain from wine and unclean food because her son was to be a Nazirite his entire life - and that included the womb.   I had never noticed before that this passage is applicable in the "when life begins" argument.  Clearly, life begins in the womb.

Bob Deffinbough says:
Here is a man whose birth was a miracle, and it was announced by a two-fold appearance of the Angel of the Lord. He was born into a godly home and raised (so far as we can tell) in a way that honored God. During his childhood, he experienced the blessing of God and was “stirred” by the Spirit of the Lord. Who could ask for any better beginning than this? ... Samson had been blessed with every advantage, and thus we anticipate great things from him in the following chapters.

But our high hopes are about to be dashed on the rocks of reality in chapters 14-16. While God will use Samson to break the Philistines’ grip on Israel, he is not a deliverer that we will be proud of (no matter how much we seek to clean up Samson’s image in our children’s Bible story books). Samson will kill his thousands, but his motivations are primarily anger and revenge, based upon his frustrated efforts to indulge himself with illegitimate pleasures.

Starting well does not guarantee ending well.  We see this in the life of King David as well.  We can never lose our vigilance when it comes to pursuing holiness and becoming like Christ.  You never retire from Christianity.

The story of Samson is a beautiful example of how God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility inter-mesh. There are many who feel it necessary to embrace one or the other – God’s sovereignty or human responsibility – but not both. But our text demonstrates both principles at work at the same time. Samson is a man who must (and does) make choices. These choices are almost always sinful and self-serving. And yet God purposed and promised that Samson would begin to deliver Israel from bondage to the Philistines. And that is exactly what God did, through a disobedient and pleasure-seeking Samson.

Do not think that God’s sovereignty removes all freedom of choice from men, or accountability for those choices. God’s sovereignty is so complete that He can give men freedom and yet still be in complete control of His world.

Yet, for all his faults, Samson did turn to God - he is listed in the Hebrews Hall of Fame.  And THAT is the good news.  God saves sinners like Samson, and sinners like you and me.  Human leaders (like Samson) will always disappoint us, but Jesus never does.

In our NT passage we see Jesus claiming, very clearly. to be God.  Some people like to claim that Jesus was simply a good person, but the Bible does not leave us that option.  As CS Lewis said, we are only left with 3 options of who Jesus is - lunatic, liar, or Lord.  A liar does not die for what He knows to be a lie, so that leaves us with 2 options.  We can call Him crazy if we wish, but if He was crazy He clearly would be one of the worst teachers or all time, not the greatest.  Which only leaves us one option - He is who He says He is - Lord.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Judges 16-18; John 5:25-47


Nathan Reimer said...

Good analogy by CS Lewis, leaves us with no choice but to believe Jesus is who He said He is. Makes the ones who doubt Him seem foolish

Pamela said...

"Starting well does not guarantee ending well" How true.

What is encouraging is that no matter where you start you do have the choice to end well.