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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)

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

I am normally very slow to anger, but my husband and I are "trying" each other lately and I find myself getting angry over small things, then scheming in my mind. Ephesians 4:31 tells us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger. Last night I had to pray this verse before I slept and again today I will keep it and this Proverb in my heart. I won't let the evil one control my mind, I will remember Jesus who gives me life to drive the thoughts away. A friend of mine said that scripture and evil thoughts couldn't occupy her mind at the same time, there wasn't enough room for both! A great reason to be in the word!

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.
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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
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"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.)
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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.

Samson
[Re-cap from yesterday]

Noticed something I missed last year.

Judges 13:12-14
So Manoah asked him, "When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy's life and work?"

The angel of the LORD answered, "Your wife must do all that I have told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her." NIV

Father asked how he was to raise the boy, and the Angel of the Lord gave the same answer as before - what his wife was to do.

So often we want to know how to fulfill God's plan or what to do to serve the Lord - when really that is not ours to know. We are to do what WE are suppposed to do - and let God's plan unfold. He will put us in the position we need to be in, and work on the people we are to deal with - we should just be obediant and walk through the doors opened for us by God.

Samson would develop as the Lord wants by the Lord - the parents responsibility was pre-birth.
======================================================
Cycle in Judges is Broken

Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord, God's anger kindled and they were punished - BUT

There is no cry of repentance by the nation - no cry for mercy - the cycle is not the same as in previous chapters of Judges.

The Nazirite vow as outlined in Numbers 6 is temporary and made with the idea of a focus on God - a time of cleansing - and then end. None of thes things are exhibited by the parents or Samson. this Nazirite life was commanded by God for life, and Samson was not a deliverer as other judges - only a "partial deliverer".

Judges 13:5b
"...because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines." NIV

Samson was raised up to be a picture of Israel in their rebellious state.

"The nation's character was distilled to a single person in Samson; he was living out the thinking and the spiritual insensitivity of the entire nation around him. The fact that God would choose this man to be their leader was saying something about the people: that they were out of control that they were protected by the power of God who was faithful to a faithless people, that they did not love righteousness. He was teaching them to see themselves by focusing on this individual." - Steve Zeisler

When the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him - the Hebrew is interesting - it indicates Samson was not filled with the Spirit but pricked or agitated by the Spirit into action.
======================================================
Judges 14
Sees a Philistine Woman

"Over and over again we find Samson enthralled with Philistine women, Philistine parties, and the Philistine life-style. He was periodically enraged with them and killed them in whole-sale lots as well, as it turns out, but he preferred them to his own people and his own traditions, and he was mirroring the nation of Israel in these matters. They, too, were captivated by the godless things of the world and loved the lifestyle of the unfaithful." - Steve Zeisler

God's power was reflected in Samson's physical feats. But God's power was not working in the inner man. Just as Israel had not repented and asked for God's deliverance - Samson had never asked God for anything or consulted Him about his life.

His act of killing thirty other Philistines to pay off his wager showed his lack of wisdom, maturity, and thoughfulness in dealing with the situation - it was pure instinct and a power move - the marks of a "Hollow Man".


OT
a wonderful story. Im pleased God helped Samson one last time after all the people were worshipping their God not the one true God

Pslams
God is merciful and gracious. He has forgiven me for mistakes I have made in the past. He has removed my sins and thrown them far and wide. I thank God everyday for His undeserved unconditionlly love.

Proverbs
I think one way to be smart and learn is by reading The Word and studying as we are

Judges 15-16

Samson lived a life all about him. He saw what he wanted, did what he wanted, and because He could( by God's gift of power)- Samson thought it was his right to do as he pleased.

Samson seemed to think when he had his vengence, it was settled - finished. But the same rights Samson (wrongfully) thought he had - the Philistines also thought they had regarding Samson. The cycle of "the need for revenge" was never ended.

As Christians we are to forgive and let God settles the score. Although we are to forgive - it is not wrong to want justice - just let God handle the situation. There is never a hint of forgiveness in Samson - just as there was none in the Philistines.
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Samson finally recognizes God

Judges 15:18
"Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the LORD, "You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" NIV

Finally, Samson acknowledges God - that God gave him the victory. He lapses into an accusing state in the next words, but it is a start.

Samson judged (led) for twenty years. God allowed this hollow man, who was starting to change, to rule for twenty years - I believe - to keep the Philistines off the Israelites' backs.
======================================================
Samson and Delilah

Like Israel though - Samson was still plagued by the "pleasure" of his eyes, and was in empty relationships. Just like Israel.

Bad choices, bad women, bad times. Samson was shallow and it was not his hair that gave him strength. His strength left him because the Lord left him.

So why is Samson listed in the Hall of fame of Faith in Hebrews?

I think the answer is in his prayer to the Lord at the end of Chapter 16.

Yes, he wanted revenge. Perhaps though for the first time it was not just for him, but for the mocking of the God of Israel.

Samson used the word "please" - perhaps in his degraded state Samson was now more humble and contrite before the Lord.

Samson asked for himself to die. Samson had never thought about death before - he considered himself invincible. Samson offerd the Lord his own life. Perhaps he is thinking he is no more worthy to live than the Philistines that are mocking the God of Israel.

I think Anka has it right - just like Samson had to die - we have to recognize our pitiful unworthy state and die to our previous lives and be regenerated in a new life through Jesus Christ.

Samson had served his purpose for twenty years of keeping the Philistines at bay from Israel through his strength and power (given by God). Now in a humble and contrite postion with the right heart - he had finally come to the Lord. God used Samson for judgment on those Philistines, and took Samson to be with Him.

God knew his heart - what is your heart like towards the Lord??????????

I love reading John! When I do my daily readings I always read too much than I'm suppose to, all because I'm reading so passionated! John is the first chapter I read in the Bible, it's great to read about Jesus' life.

John 2:10 "A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” ~ This reminds me of a sermon in church not too long ago. Our Pastor used The Wedding at Cana as an illustration of 'Our Old and our New Life" (Old and New wine ... ) When we choose for Jesus we start a new life. Before that time we lived in the world, we think it's fun, we think it's okay and all of a sudden we accept Jesus as our personal Saviour and a much better life starts. So we drink the wine, we think it's a good wine and then ... Jesus fills the jars with water, His living water! "But you have kept the best until now!”. I think that was a good illustration. Maybe that's the 'sign' John is talking about? "This miraculous SIGN at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him".

please,send me one year bible reading programs.i can not find email easily.
my address ;
wondo genet college of forestry and natural resources
p.o.box-128
shashemene
Ethiopia

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