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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?

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."

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

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

OT
lol found Samsons story so interesting forgot to stop reading

NT
I love that verse too John1:29
yes Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world thank you Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us.

i dont think there are many times when He is described as the son of Joseph. I learnt the other day that Jesus' favourite nickname for Himself was Son of God

Psalms
God is the one thing in life that I can count on forever. that is awesome!!

Proverbs
great song by elvis and very true what he said


John 1:35-51

Disciples

A person hears something about Jesus and decides to seek him out - find out more about Him. the invitation from Christ is the same as with Andrew and the other man.

'Come, and you will see.'

A person is being drawn by God, and will eventually be given the opportunity by Christ the same as Philip.

"Follow me"

In both cases it is Come and learn - the question is what will YOU do with that opportunity - if an unbeliever will you read through John and become a believer - if a believer will you learn enough from God's Word to desire to become a true disciple of Christ?????

I find it interesting that Christ has no problem revealing himself to people with the right heart. It is true with Nathaniel, and will be true throughout this gospel. Do you have the right heart?????

Remember, these men were nothing special. You do not have to change your life to discover Jesus - the invitation is to come as you are - in all your sins. Once you become a "beleiver" God will deal with and manage your transformation.
======================================================
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.
======================================================
Ladder Reference

I struggled with this until I read Ray Stedman's explanation.

"Jesus said to Nathanael, "You are going to understand that dream when you learn of me. You will learn that I am the way to God for man, and the way for God to reach man. I am the link, the mediator, who spans the gulf between God and man." - Ray Stedman



I thought it was cool how Manoah and his wife never doubted this was from the Lord! I like the angel's response in being asked his name: "it is too wonderful for you to understand.”

OK, Samson is a very odd guy! I pulled out my Vernon McGee commentary again to try and figure this thing out. haha, Mr McGee's commentary is pretty funny!:
"It is amazing that God would come upon a man like this. But it is obvious that God moved through him. I feel that he was a sissy in every department of his life, and in chapter 14 we begin to see this." [Regarding 14, v. 1-2] "I submit to you that only a sissy would do a thing like that! Why didnt he go and talk to the woman and tell her that he loved her and wanted to marry her? Why didnt he go to her father/ In those days some sort of business arrangement was always made when it came to marriage. Why didnt he take care of that himself? Well, he is a sissy, and mama and papa had to arrange the marriage for him. This was Samson"
haha!
Regarding the lion carcass and bees...very odd! Having contact with a carcass was a violation of the Nazarite law.

In v 18, the men came back with the answer to the riddle after his wife deceived him:
"Samson replied, 'If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have solved my riddle!'”
I guess he is referring to his wife as a heifer, haha. Well I get not his wife because she is given to the best man at the wedding bcos Samson ran home mad! Samson is an odd fellow.

Yes!!! Definitely one of my all time favorite verses of the Bible! "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" I absolutely love that verse also!!

I also love: "the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth." awesome!

Psalms v 12 stood out for me: "But you, O Lord, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to every generation." ....and so it has!

I like Proverbs: "Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps." This is good, we arent to believe everything we hear, but test all things against scripture and see if it is of God. If ppl are into practices, we should see if such practices are in the BIble, like in Acts, the early church and consider how Jesus taught. People can be into very bizarre things, like being slain in the spirit. I dont see that in the Bible. thats weird and not consistent with practices in the Bible, therefore I'm gonna trust the Bible!! I dont care what anyone else says, I want to see what the Bible says! We should all be discerning, not quick to follow every passing wind of doctrine.

Haha, only fools rush in, I was more thinking UB40!

I was tracking with you until you made the Elvis comment... Just kidding! But thanks for the laugh!

Seriously the reading today was great... I've just returned from a week long ministry training-retreat. I am still trying to process all that God has shown me and spoken into my life over the last week it was intense to say the least! Before I plunge into work/ministry......God's beens speaking to me about making rash promises and or comittments. Guiding me to "count the cost". Today's proverb reinforces that for me...

Thanks for you faithfulness... asking God to bless you big time!

My favorite today (everybody's favorite today???) John 1:29 "Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" ~ Yes!!! Jesus is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! We have this song in church that's called "Jesus, Lamb of God". I love that song! I think you all know that song, right? Oh hold on ... come to think of it, I think the name of the song is "All in All".

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the Treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking you as a precious Jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is your name

Taking my sin, my cross my shame
Rising again, I bless your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down you pick me up
When I am dry you fill my cup
You are my all in all

I am very cautious, I try to avoid danger. I have been a 'fool' (talking in Elvis' language lol) many many many times in the pastand I want to make lots of those wrongs right. That's what I love most about Proverbs, it talks about wise men and the foolish. It's very black & white, that's how I understand it best. That's how I can learn how I want it and how I don't. I do have great confidence in God and in myself, I know what I want and what I don't want. I have accomlished a lot with God's help. But besides all the confidence I have, I still am cautious. I trust the Lord ... and I trust that He gave me a good set of brains, so I can make my own decisions, without being a fool!

Sorry that I haven't written anything in so long. I have been in the middle of a family crisis, my aged mother has been ill and a family friend died tragically in an accident. Please be in prayer for my mom and my church family struggling with the loss of the husband and father of 3 young children.

The accident that caused my friend's death was a case where someone foolishly rushed into traffic (the person did not even see my friend until he was under their wheels) There are many applications of today's proverb.

I dropped out of the bible reading . I just started again today. I hape I'm not too late.
I'm into John

I dropped out of the bible reading . I just started again today. I hape I'm not too late.
I'm into John

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