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'His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."' John 2:17 NIV

That's what I need - consuming zeal.

Samson was a man filled with passion yet he lacked restrain and he had no regard for anyone.He dumped his wife and burnt down fields when she wouldn't accept him.His love for women blinded him spiritually;Delilah turned him in 3 times and he didn't even question her motives for trying to find out his strength.In the temple he wanted revenge for his eyes,his prayers to me seem rather filled with vengeance other than repentance however his last request"let me die with them"got me thinking maybe he realised he was always going to fall into the same old traps and that maybe only in death could he glorify God.Only when we die to self can God be glorified.Samson in his death killed more enemies of God than when he was alive!So many times I try to understand the bible using my intelect and I fail to get it.I see my self arrive at wrong conclusions and assumptions then a thought came to me"my thoughts are not your thoughts"..I pray I not only read the bible for head knowledge but that I let the words of God go deep in my spirit and transform me...my prayer today is Lord teach me how to die because I really don't know how to live for you unless you teach me,I really don't know how to love you and others unless you show me...
God bless you all

Judges 15:1-16:31


Anka, thank you so much for posting your thoughts and your insights: they have gotten me to think along an area I never really thought deeply about before, Sampson’s lack of restraint: What it looked like and how it would truly drive him. I’m going to add something to what you stated about him not “getting it”, what Delilah was planning.

I believe Sampson, like so many of us do, mistake the mercy of God for either God’s indifference or His approval. Like each of us, or like a child testing the boundaries of what is acceptable, Sampson knew what was right and what was wrong. At least he knew as a Nazirite what the expectations where, as stated in his final and costly remark to Delilah regarding his strength. I think his arrogance and the mercy of God formed a type of “rope” that bound his rational thought, a rope he could not break. Sampson was captured before his hair was cut off. He was given enough rope (mercy) to hang himself, so to speak.


As I stood at the window of my house looking out through the shutters, Watching the mindless crowd stroll by, I spotted a young man without any sense Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived, then turning up the path to her house. It was dusk, the evening coming on, the darkness thickening into night. Just then, a woman met him-- she'd been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him. Brazen and brash she was, restless and roaming, never at home, Walking the streets, loitering in the mall, hanging out at every corner in town. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, boldly took his arm and said, "I've got all the makings for a feast-- today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid, So now I've come to find you, hoping to catch sight of your face--and here you are! I've spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed, colorful imported linens. My bed is aromatic with spices and exotic fragrances. Come, let's make love all night, spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking! My husband's not home; he's away on business, and he won't be back for a month." Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech. Before you know it, he's trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, Like a stag lured into ambush and then shot with an arrow, Like a bird flying into a net not knowing that its flying life is over. So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously. Don't fool around with a woman like that; don't even stroll through her neighborhood. Countless victims come under her spell; she's the death of many a poor man. She runs a halfway house to hell, fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.
(Proverbs 7:6-27 MSG)

Mike, you said:

>>I know I probably should not chuckle about this - but a donkey's jawbone?? >>

Hmmm, maybe that was the jawbone from Balaam’s donkey and he talked the Philistines to death! (Bad joke, bad joke—Bad Ramona, bad Ramona)

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Part of Samson's lack of restraint has to do with his appetite and part of it has to do with the surrounding culture. He is so much like any of us in our culture who are supposed to be called out in difference, and yet will do whatever we can get away with thinking that we are still okay. Samson has no one holding him accountable--no godly friend, no one who is speaking truth to his life. When we are all alone we can easily fall asleep in Delilah's lap and when we shake off our slumber we don't even realize that the Spirit of God has left us:

"He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him."

Since the heart is deceitful, and the enemy is the father of lies, we need so much to depend on Jesus to keep us from falling asleep in the arms of the world and not even realizing that our sins have separated us from God's blessing.

One would think that Samson would have learned his lesson/s....The harlot in Gaza deceived him and so did Delilah. Dr. Charles Swindoll says in a sermon on Samson that "Samson was a 'he-man' with a 'she-weakness'". Samson is a classic example of what happens to men when they 'objectify' women. Here was a guy who was given EVERYTHING you could ever have--godly parents, a call from God, etc, and he throws it all away. Sadly, his continual poor choices put him in a place where his conscience wasn't working and his moral discernment was destroyed. Samson even deceived himself. The saddest verse in the Bible is coming up in Judges 16:20b "He didn't realize the LORD had left him". I think King James says, "But Samson did not know that the LORD had departed."

Perhaps Jesus' word in John 14:21 is appropriate here. "He/she who has my commandments and keeps them, he/she it is who loves me, and he/she who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him/her and manifest myself to him/her." (RSV)

God loves to give us second and third chances, and so he responds to Samson's plea to deliver him, and God does, but imagine what Samson could have done in his life had he chosen to keep God's commandments all the way through his life....The blinding, grinding, and grinding effects of sin caused him to walk in darkness and die in darkness, even though God forgave him and restored his strength, but He did not restore his sight or his ministry......

It all boils down to this...if you love ME, you will will obey Me & all else falls in line...the blessing instead of the curse. Although, with Job...he was a very righteous man tried & tested by the Lord to refine Job as pure gold, which will happen to all of us if we are true sons & daughters.

jan

Please pray for my sister's family; her husband's sister was found dead this morning of an overdose of prescription drugs. She has had a drug/alchohol addiction for several years now & in her early forties with 3 older teenage sons. She has been in & out of rehab with no change. I ask you to pray for the generational curse to be broken with her/Shirley. It is so sad that someone has to come to this in their life & that the enemy took a life that could have been abundant in Him. Her mother passed away a few years ago & her dad has much of nothing & they don't even have enough money to bury her. My sister & brother-in-law are financially able to help but his/Gerald's heart has become so hardened toward his sister, I don't know if he will help with burial expenses, which makes my sister feel really bad. Please pray for the Rounsaville family & the sorrow & healing that needs to take place in their lives & that God will somehow be glorified in this instance.

jan

John 2

Random thoughts

Water into wine:
Bob talks about the distancing of Mary's role from Jesus and the bountiful nature of God's works.

-Mary was Jesus's mother. Here he addresses her as "woman". Not a derogatory term, but one clearly meant along with his question to her - to distance their relationship. His ministry had started and was to be on God's timetable. To her credit, Mary backs off and leaves the initiative to Christ.

- The jars were not just filled, but filled to the "brim". Jesus' work produced 120 - 180 gallons of wine. Now that is bountiful.

Clears the Temple:
The money changers and sellers of spotless animals to sacrifice were connected (related) for the most part to the Temple priests. The priests got their cut. (I have to go back through a lot of notes to find the source on this). This probably added to the fury of Christ.

I often wondered why Bethlehem? Why was Jesus born there? Yes, I know it was in prophecy, but why that town? Besides the fact that Bethlehem means "House Of Bread" and Jesus was the "Bread of Life", it was also David's home area. Jesus is from the Line of David. In addition the water and grass were so good there and it is only seven miles from Jerusalem, that the spotless lambs that were sold in the Temple were raised there and taken to Jerusalem for sacrifice.

So is it ironic - or just a neat piece of the puzzle - that Christ who was the "Lamb of God" (the final sacrificial lamb) was born in the same town where all the other sacrificial lambs were raised?
Edersheim in The Life And Times Of Jesus The Messiah, in Book 2, Chapter 6
http://www.bible-truth.org/BirthPlaceofJesus.html

"Zeal for your house will consume me."

It is often commented that this pertains to how Christ felt, and I believe this is true.

In addition, I also think you can look at it as the "zeal" the temple priests had for the temple - the law, the money made from the courtyards, their way of life revolving around the temple - kept them from seeing Christ as the Messiah. In the end, this "blindness" (zeal) would end in Christ's crucifixion, and even though he was consumed (destroyed, killed)the glory is HE rose from the dead. (Perhaps a stretch, and it is my own thought.)

Lastly,
"many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man."

Why were these people not saved? They "believed in his name". Yes, they believed with respect to his name - Jesus Christ - the messiah. Perhaps with head knowledge or emotion, but the criteria to be a Child of God (John 1:12-13)is to not only "believe in his name" - but to RECEIVE Him. Jesus knew what was in a man, and He knew they had not received Him.

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