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Old Testament: Judges 15:1-16:31
Samson thought she was a dee-light but then he found out her bark was not as bad as her bite.
Judges 15:1-20 A Bunch Of Crop
Samson went back to see his wife but her father told him that he gave her to his best man. Her father said, “Here take her younger sister. She’s better looking anyway.” Samson replied that he would be the judge of who is a fox or not.
So Samson went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together with torches in between and set them out to burn the Philistine’s crops. The Philistines wanted to know who did it and they were told the whole story. Then they were mad and burnt Samson’s wife and new father-in-law. When Samson found out, he said, “OK, now you’re really going to get it!” And he slaughtered a bunch of then and hid himself in the cleft of the rock.
The Philistines came to get Samson. 3,000 men of Judah asked Samson if they could bind him and turn him over to the Philistines. Samson said they could as long as they didn’t kill him.
As he was turned over to them, the Spirit of the Lord came on Him as he broke the ropes like they were wet pieces of spaghetti (my description). Then he picked up the jawbone of a donkey and killed a thousand Philistines with it. He then realized he was thirsty and asked Yahweh for water so Yahweh caused water to come out of the ground.
Judges 16:1-14 De-liar
Samson went to Gaza and picked up a prostitute. The Gazites found out and surrounded the place they were in. So Samson pulled down posts of the doors of the city gates and carried them up the mountain with him as he walked away.
That’s when he met Delilah. Her job was to get Samson to divulge the source of his strength. The Philistines offered her cash to find out Samson’s secret. She kept trying her girly stuff but Samson responded by messing with her. Despite the fact that Deliah had him bound each time Samson gave her a bogus answer. You’d think Samson would wise up. But noooooooo. He told her about his hair so she had it sheered while he was asleep and the Philistines bound him with bronze chains. He did realized that he had lost his supernatural strength while he had slept. The enemy came upon him and gouged out his eyes. They put him in prison and made him grind. But his hair started growing back.
The Philistines were rejoicing that they had subdued Samson. They asked for him to be brought in to amuse them. Though he couldn’t see, Samson asked the boy who was leading him in to let him feel the main pillars holding up the house. The house had 3,000 Philistine men and women on the roof watching Samson.
Samson asked the Lord to strengthen him one last time to avenge the loss of his eyes to the Philistines. The Lord granted his wish so he was able to push down the pillars holding up the house. He died but he took the 3,000 Philistines with him. That was more than he had killed his entire life. His family came down to get him and bury him.
He was the leader over Israel for twenty years though they were still ruled by the Philistines.
New Testament: John 2:1-25
At the wedding they thought the drink was just fine until Jesus changed the water into wine.
John 2:1-12 Check Your Signs
The book of John has seven major signs in it. Here is the first. Jesus was at a wedding and the wine ran out. You can’t have a decent wedding party without wine in that day. Jesus’ mother asked Him if He could do anything about it. Jesus told her that His time hadn’t come yet to do miracles. [Don’t get bent out of shape about Jesus calling His mother “Woman.” It was a term of endearment in that day.] But Mary told the servants to fill the water pots with water. So they did. Jesus changed them into wine that was so good that the chief chef was surprised that the best wine was being served late. Usually, the best wine was served first and when everyone was drunk and couldn’t taste it anymore, they’d serve the inferior stuff.
Jesus left there and went down to Capernaum with his family and disciples.
John 1:13-25 House Cleaning
There were two Temple cleansings. This was the first. The moneychangers were legit. They were allowed to change currencies for those Israelites who made the long trek to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations and didn’t want to have to bring their animal offerings with them. It was allowed. The problem was the moneychangers were cheating people in the exchange and blocking up the area of the Temple reserved for the Gentiles to come in and pray. So Jesus took things in His own hands and drove them out.
The Jews asked Him basically Who died and left Him boss. They didn’t know that eventually He would die and show He was Boss. Anyway, Jesus answered them by saying if they were to destroy the Temple, He would rebuild it in three days. They were skeptical since they had taken forty-six years (v. 20) to build the temple. John explained that Jesus was referring to His body. The disciples remembered that He had said this after He rose from the dead.
Many people believed in Jesus during that Passover because He did a lot of signs. But Jesus didn’t trust the people because He knew they were sinful and capable of anything. In fact, they later crucified Him.
Psalm 103:1-22 A Hymn By David
When the Lord forgives your sin as far as east is from west, you realize that His way is definitely best.
Psalm 103:1-22 #blessed
David wrote this psalm to extoll the benefits of a life lived with the Lord. I like David.
He begins by asking that the Lord be blessed (v. 1). Blessed means a sacred happiness. How could God be blessed? The Lord is blessed when we are happy in our relationship with Him. Are you excited about the Lord?
There is not much talk about the Holy Spirit today except to warn about excess. Really? How can you have too much Holy Spirit? That is the flesh of those who want to control God. Are you trying to control God or are you willing to let Him have His way in everything? Just because we are evangelicals doesn’t mean that we have to quench the Holy Spirit. In fact, that is a sin (cf. 1 Thess. 5:19)!
I have been in evangelical schools and fellowships that were essentially cults of intellectualism. I love that our church is called a Bible church but many Bible churches are filled with Christians that may have a lot of “head knowledge” but not much “heart” knowledge.” The found of the seminary I graduated from was centered on the Spirit. His book He That Is Spiritual and his lectures on spiritual life prove this. Unfortunately, over the years, things erode.
David says that we could bless the Lord with everything that is in us (v. 1b)! We cannot be alive without the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:8-9) and we cannot praise God properly without reliance on the Holy Spirit (cf. John 4:24).
One way to encourage ourselves in our worship is to remember what God has done for us (v. 2). The church used to sing a hymn, “Count Your Many Blessings.”
I have gotten some spectacular reports of God’s healing of individuals recently (v. 3a). One woman with a severe disease has made miraculous improvement. A man with stage 4 cancer went into remission without medical treatment. It is amazing how God has been moving lately. I also told my church that we had just as good or better of a record on people being healed as I brought prayer requests before the congregation as guys who spin their coats over people on TV. Genuine healings are done by God and no particular method of prayer is going to facilitate things.
The most important healing that God performs is when He heals our souls, takes away our sins and enables to spend eternity with Him (cf. Isa. 53:5). We are saved from Hell but more importantly have a relationship with Him throughout eternity (v. 4, cf. John 17:3). More than just being saved, we inherit Christ’s righteousness (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). He also shows us “compassion” and hesed, “lovingkindness,” His binding, faithful love (v. 4, 8, cf. Lam. 3:22-23; Exod. 34:6). We sing another hymn with the lyric, “His compassions they fail not . . . .”
God can only give us good things (v. 5, cf. James 1:17; Rom. 8:32). If we eat right and exercise and don’t get hit by a bus, we can live a long time (cf. Ps. 90:10; Isa. 40:31).
Moses had an intimate relationship with Yahweh (v. 6, cf. Exod. 24:2; 34:29-35). Yahweh told Moses things that He didn’t reveal to anyone else face to face. I believe Moses spoke to a pre-incarnate Jesus, aka, a Christophany.
God is slow to anger (v. 8b). Aren’t you glad? James calls us to model Him (cf. James 1:19). The Lord wants to have a relationship with us. He doesn’t want to just be peering over the balcony of Heaven looking for people to stomp out (v.9). In fact, He forgives sins for His Own sake! You probably thought He was doing it for YOU! You self-centered son of a gun (sorry, I was projecting!). Do you think the world revolves around you? Isa. 43:25, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins” (italics, mine).
Verses 10-12 are a few of the greatest verses in the Bible (and there are several!).
I love this: God does not punish us like we deserve (v. 10). That’s called grace! No wait, it’s called mercy! Grace is when we get what we don’t deserve but mercy is when we don’t get what we do deserve. I used to get punished when I didn’t deserve it so it’s refreshing that God doesn’t punish me when I do deserve it.
How high are the heaven above the earth (v. 11)? Pretty high. Usually can’t get that high without a plane. Or a great worship service. How far is the east from the west (v. 12)? I am told that you can measure from north to south but you can’t measure from east to west. They don’t meet. That is how far God has removed our sins from us! Is that unbelievably great? Or, actually, believably great? If you are a believer, it is true for you!
Yes, God disciplines us as a father (cf. Heb. 12:5-11). But He also has compassion as the ultimate Father (v. 13). It is infinite compassion! He knows we are a mess (v. 14). He knows where we come from (hint: look down on the corners of your floor).
Mankind who comes from dirt, has days that last as long as grass does (v. 15). Figuratively speaking, they last as long as beautiful flowers out in the field that wither when the sun comes out (cf. Ps. 102: 4, 11, remember those verses? IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY!). Wind passes over the fields and you can’t see the dead flowers withered and blown away (v. 16).
God’s hesed is just what the word indicates: binding, covenantal, and forever (v. 17). It is for those who “fear” and reverence Him and their children (v. 17). Those who reverence Him will keep the covenant with Him, they will obey His rules (v. 18, cf. John 14:21).
The Lord dwells in the highest Heaven which is central control for the universe (v. 19). Not even an atom can slip away without Yahweh’s consent. Paul was once allowed to visit there, called the third Heaven (cf. 2 Cor. 12:1-4).
There are a lot of angels in that region of various types, flying in and out and doing God’s bidding (v. 20 NIV). The cherubim are the only ones that just hang around and protect God (cf. Gen.3:24; Ezek 10:4, 18-22). They don’t deliver any messages from God to men. The seraphim and other angels perform those duties (“hosts,” v. 21, cf. Isa. 6:2, 6).
David exhorts all of creation to worship God in view of what He has done (v. 22, a, b).
We are to bless God and worship Him with all our being (cf. Matt. 22:37)!
Proverbs 14:17-19 Are You Hangry?
The evil before the good will bow and the righteous will show them how.
Have you ever heard of HALT? H-A-L-T? H-A-L-T means that when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired we have to be especially alert to attacks from Satan. If we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, we should slow down and think more than we usually would. (My daughter calls it “hangry” when we are hungry and angry.)
A person with an anger problem should always slow down (cf. James 1:19). A person with a quick temper usually angers or hurts others. If he does that enough, he’ll be hated (v. 17).
A person who concentrates on learning things and applying them properly ends up being wise (v. 18b). My Latin teacher in 9th grade used to call me a “dim-bulb.” I think it was a term of endearment. Maybe not. Anyway, a true “dim-bulb” ends up a fool and acting, as most do, foolish (v. 18a).
If they don’t end up doing it down here on earth, in the afterlife, people who follow Satan’s ways will end up subservient to those who have followed the Lord (v. 19, cf. 1 Cor. 6:2-3).
Choose Life: Scripture: John 2:24-25 NASB “Spiritual People”
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25
Paul says that, ” . . . we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2Cor. 5:16). So Paul used to see people just the way they appeared but after he was saved he began to see people spiritually. Jesus always saw people spiritually. Because He saw people spiritually, He knew He shouldn’t trust anyone. They were all sinners. Look how Peter turned out. He denied Jesus before the Crucifixion. He later turned things around.
How is your discernment as a Christian? Do you trust everyone or do you evaluate them spiritually?
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Study 1 Cor. 2:10-3:3. Notice that Paul indicates there are three kinds of people. Check out chapter one of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s He That Is Spiritual about the three kinds of people, spiritually speaking. You can also check out my blog, Attacked!, from August 6.
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Deliah, De-Liar