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Judges 13:1-14:20

In verses three through five in the 13th chapter of Judges it seems, Mike, in my understanding of the text in the NLT, and I went to other translations also, except in the Message translation, Manoah’s wife is told before she is to become pregnant that she is to either cease from consuming unclean food, or not eat any at all, as well as eating/drinking fruit from the vine. Reading this brought to mind the words spoken to Jeremiah in the first chapter,

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5 KJVR)

The implication here is that conception begins in the mind of God and not at the moment of conception. That is way DEEP!

In also reading about Samson, I wonder if his family rehearsed within his hearing the calling upon his life? Did they tell him of the circumstances of his birth; and if they did, did he think they were just some crazy nuts who gave birth to him in their old age? The fact that he killed the lion, ate the honey out of the carcass of a lion, and didn’t tell them may mean that had warned him, told him about the laws governing his life.

I’m wondering if Samson was a little arrogant and impressed with his own “press” because of his strength. Did he not understand that who he was and what he was able to do came from God? Did he think he was “all that?” When he turned in to see the state of the lion, while going to his wedding, was it to see his handiwork. Knowing that human nature and our tendencies to “dance” at the goal line when we make a big score is not a new phenomena, leads me to think Samson was not very humble, like Moses. Which begs the question, Am I like Samson?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Psalm 102:23-28 is a great reminder to invest in what will outlast us--our relationship with the Lord. "Even they will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they wll fade away. But you are always the same; your years will never end. The children of your people will live in security. Their children's children will thrive in your presence." Even though I/we may resist change as we 'age', God remains the same, and we anchor ourselves to Him, and when we do that, it impacts the lives of those around us, especially our children and grandchildren.

I love that it says, "their children's children will thrive in your presence." (vs 28) I pray this will be true of all our children and grandchildren, that no matter what comes in this life, 'they will thrive as they live in His presence."


Note this about Samson from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

"(3) He also prayed, and Yahweh answered him, though in judgment (Judges 16:30).

But he was prodigal of his strength. Samson had spiritual power and performed feats which an ordinary man would hardly perform.

But he was unconscious of his high vocation. In a moment of weakness he yielded to Delilah and divulged the secret of his strength. He was careless of his personal endowment.

He did not realize that physical endowments no less than spiritual are gifts from God, and that to retain them we must be obedient.

(4) He was passionate and therefore weak. The animal of his nature was never curbed, but rather ran unchained and free. He was given to sudden fury.

Samson was a wild, self-willed man. Passion ruled. He could not resist the blandishments of women. In short, he was an overgrown schoolboy, without self-mastery."

NOTE:
Yet, with all of this, it is an amazing testament to God's grace these two (2) facts:

FACT 1. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson's parents, to confirm God's covenant with His unfaithful people

Judges 13 (NKJV)
2
Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.
3
And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.

21
When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.
22
And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”

Note that the New King James Version (as well as the Amplified Bible and other versions) calls this angel the “Angel of the Lord” with a capital “A”. This means that this “Angel” was in fact God. This means that many scholars feel this is the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus before He came to earth as Savior. For only one being in history has ever appeared as man and God at the same time.

Jesus is, and has always been, the One through Whom God has established His promises and His covenant.

2 Corinthians 1 (NKJV)
20
For all of the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

FACT 2: Note this quote from the above commentary on Samson: “In short, he was an overgrown schoolboy, without self-mastery."

Even with Samson’s issues of spiritual and moral immaturity, God still placed Samson in the list of one of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.

Is not it amazing that the living God is willing to take a chance on you and I—fickle human beings redeemed by the Lord Jesus—so He could accomplish His will on the earth so other fickle humans can see and experience God’s grace for themselves?

Psalm 31 (NIV)
19
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men those who take refuge in you.

Psalm 31 (NKJV)
19
Oh, how great is Your goodness, You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

Vance

Mike, thank you so much for using Greg Olsen's pics...they are so beautiful & tender (Jesus loving His sheep). Also, there is a new website like myspace...it is www.oaktree.org for Christians...they are just developing the site & it is great; everyone check it out.
You can post prayers, etc & become involved in different ministries & it is free.

jano

Mike, I found a great flying video regarding the Proverb today...http://www.wimp.com/thechase

This video & song encouraged me greatly when the enemy was telling me I was pushy...yes, I'm pushy for God & that is the way He likes me & made me...laying down my life for others...

"Push"

You push me
To go the extra mile
You push me
When it's difficult to smile
You push me
A better version of myself
You push me
Only you and no one else

You push me
To see the other point of view
You push me
When there's nothing else to do
You push me
When I think I know it all
You push me
When I stumble and I fall

Keep on pushing like nobody

[Chorus]
Every race I win
Every mood I'm in
Everthing I do
I owe it all to you
Every move I make
Every step I take
Everything I do
It's all because you push me

You push me
When I don't appreciate
You push me
Not to lie and not to hate
You push me
When I want it all to end
You push me
When I really need a friend

You push me
All I wanna do is cry
You push me
When it's hard for me to try
You push me
When I do it for myself
You push me
Only you and no one else

Keep on pushing like nobody

[Chorus]

You push me

Keep on pushing like nobody

[Chorus]

To go the extra mile
When it's difficult to smile
A better version of myself
Only you and only you and only you
To see the other point of view
When there's nothing else to do
When I think I know it all
Only you and only you and only you


John 1

Nathaniel and Thomas

Bookends in the Gospel of John

Both doubters - Christ revealed himself to both.

One through the mind, the other through His resurrected body.

Both declared Christ's deity.

The apostles did great things, but perhaps the key to our doing greater things is that we Believe first, then we see the Hand of God in our lives, as he works through us to His glory.

I had a hard time with the verse that God had wanted Samson to like a philistine woman,it was in His plan.Then I wondered if God had meant to show Samson that the wife that pleased him so much was going to use emotional black mail on him then sell him out so Samson may loose his taste for philinstine women.Delilah used the same trick and fooled him again.I wonder if God lets certain things in our lives happen as a warning of things to come...30 people got killed at the wedding feast so I don't see a town wiped out in judgement.Things are really getting strange in Judges....
God bless you all

I understand that everything that happens to us then & now is first sifted though His hands...sometime I forget that He is in control at all times & when I do remember it...it is very comforting even though it may be painful...the big word is TRUST in the good times & the bad!!!

jan

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