Spiritual Rants: “Not Lion” May 1, Daily Bible Readings in a year: Judges 13:1-14:20 John 1:29-51 Psalm 102:1-28 Proverbs 14:15-16

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Old Testament:  Judges 13:1-14:20

Samson devised a parable from a dead lion, later to the Philistines he caused them to have a bed to lie in.

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Judges 13:1-28   A Sunny Day

Do you know how many times so far in the book of Judges it says Israel “again did evil in the sight of the Lord”?  This is the fourth (3:12; 4: 1; 10:6; 13:1).  How would you like that said of you?  This is not good.  The result was that Israel was put in bondage to the Philistines for forty years.  This wouldn’t have happened if they had cleaned all the pagans out of the land like they were supposed to.

One of the tribe of Dan, Manoah had a barren wife.  The “Angel of the Lord” aka Jesus appeared to her to announce that she’d have a son.  He was supposed to be a “No Razorite” aka a Nazirite.  He wasn’t supposed to cut his hair, drink alcohol or eat anything unclean (see the requirements in Numbers 6: 1-21 cf. http://jerryrothauser.com/one-year-bible-reading-march-6-thursday/).  Her husband entreated the Lord to confirm what his wife had said and the Angel appeared to him, too.  Even cooler was when He disappeared.  He disappeared in the flame!

So the boy was born and his parents raised him a Nazirite.  His name was Samson which meant “Sunny.”  He had great strength but it was tied to his Nazirite vow.  Apart from his vow, he would have been a normal whimp.  In fact, McGee theorizes that his body was quite normal and he was probably a bit fragile.

Judges 14:1-10  He Wasn’t Lion

Samson saw a Philistine chick he wanted to marry so he asked his parents to get her for him.  They objected at first, not realizing it was his way to get at their arch-enemies the Philistines who were oppressing the Israelites at the time.

A lion approached Samson as he was going to visit his fiancé.  The Spirit of the Lord came on Samson and he ripped the lion apart with his bare hands.  While he was coming back home, he noticed the lion had a swarm of bees around it and there was honey in the carcass.  He brought some home with him but didn’t tell his parents where it was from.

Judges 14:12-20   A Riddle Wrapped In Raiment

His father threw a wedding banquet for him. Thirty Philistine men showed up for it.  Churchill once said that Russia was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.  Samson challenged them with a riddle that was wrapped in linens.  He promised thirty changes of clothes for whomever could solve it.  He gave them the seven days of the feast to do it.

The Philistines accepted the challenge.  So Samson gave it to them, ““Out of the eater came something to eat and out of the strong came something sweet” (v. 14).  After three days they couldn’t figure it out so they got Samson’s wife to ask Samson and get the answer or they’d burn her house down.  Sweet guys.  The wife did the girly, weepy thing until he gave in on the seventh day and told her the answer.  She told the Philistine guys.  They told Samson.  Samson said if you hadn’t cheated by getting the answer from my wife, you’d wouldn’t have been able to answer the riddle.

So he turned like into the Incredible Hulk but without the green color, went to a town about twenty miles south and killed thirty of the townspeople.  He took their clothes and gave it to his partygoers.  He went back home after that but his wife was given to the best man.

New Testament: John 1:29-51

Jesus told his disciples about a tree of figs, later he told them about His heavenly digs.

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John 1:29-34  On The Lamb

John saw Jesus approaching him and heralded, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (v. 29).  John told everyone that when he was baptizing Jesus that he saw the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove.  John said he didn’t know who He was at first but God told him that this person would not baptize with water but with the Holy Spirit.  He said this person was the actual “Son of God.”

John 1:35-51 Philip’d Out

The next day, John was standing with a couple of his own disciples and told them Jesus was the Lamb of God.  The two of them left John and started following Jesus.  One of them was Peter’s brother, Andrew.  Andrew went and got his brother who was then known as Simon.  When he brought Simon to Jesus, Jesus changed his name to Peter.

The day after that, Jesus went to Galilee and found a guy named Philip and told him to follow along.  Philip then found a guy named Nathanael and told him they had found the Messiah.  Nathanael was skeptical that anything good could come out of Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.  When Jesus saw Nathanael, He said, ” I can’t believe it, an Israelite that always tells the truth!”

Nathanael wanted to know how Jesus knew so much about him.  Jesus said He saw him standing under a fig tree before Philip talked to him.  Nate said Jesus was “the Son of God.”  Jesus said you believe in Me because I said I saw you under a fig tree?”  Jesus added, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Some day you’ll see the heavens opening and angels going up on the Son of Man like He was a ladder.”  By that Jesus was referencing Jacob’s ladder in Genesis (Gen. 28:12) and affirming He was indeed the Messiah God and the only way to Heaven (cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Psalm 102:1-28     A Lament By Anonymous

The Psalmist told God of his affliction but then he realized how he could use it for application.

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Psalm 102:1-28    A New Wardrobe

This is another poem by the famous Anonymous.  Or is it?  Maybe it is David.  I report.  You decide.  It may be a description of David’s suffering at some point in his life.  But in a fuller sense, it represents Jesus in the garden before he was crucified.

Once again, the psalmist cries out to God to hear his prayer (v. 1).  Does he really think God won’t hear?  I don’t think so (cf. Ps. 66:18-19).  I think he’s just getting focused which is a good thing to do when you are praying.

He is hoping God will not walk away from him in his time of need (v. 2, cf. Ps. 91:14-15).  The psalmist is in a world of hurt.  His bones are aching and he can’t see past the haze he is in (vv. 3, 5,  see Flying On Instruments).  He has a pain in his heart, too (v. 4).  He thinks he looks like a skinny bird out in the wilderness or on the top of a roof (vv. 6-7).

His enemies have been mocking him and using his name in vain (v. 8).  He doesn’t have much of a diet.  Ashes are a symbol of mourning and he has them for breakfast, mixed with a bit of tears (v. 9).

He blames his situation on the Lord, that God is mad at him (v. 10).  His days drag on and he feels like grass that shrivels up as the sun comes up in the morning (v. 11).

The Lord will show His love to the nation Israel and be faithful (vv. 12-13, cf. 1 Thess. 5:24).  Though she may be torn down by enemies, the Lord will preserve her and listen to the prayers of the Israelites (vv. 14-17).

The psalmist realizes he is writing for future generations (v. 18).  He knows in the future people will look back and see that the Lord has preserved Israel (vv. 19-21).  In the millennium, they will praise Yahweh and converge to serve Him (vv. 21-22).

The psalmist realizes that his sickness will result in a shorter life (v. 23).  Of course, as applied to Christ in the garden, He took on sin and His days were shortened by His sacrifice.  Normally, a person lives seventy to eighty years (cf. Ps. 90:10).

As in Psalm 88, the psalmist pleads to God to allow him to live longer so he can serve the Lord (v. 24, cf. Ps. 88:10-12 and commentary My Hero).

Verses 25-27 are quoted by the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 1:10-12.  We know Ps. 102 is a Messianic psalm since Hebrews uses these verses to refer to Christ.  In their original context, they refer to Yahweh.  They speak of God’s eternality.  Of course, that means that Christ is eternal since Hebrews associates the Psalms verses with Him.

Verse 26 says that God can change the earth like a person changes their clothes.  God will change the earth like someone does a remodeling job.  It’s called a “new heaven and new earth” (cf. Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).

Verse 28 speaks of the future for Israel.  The children of the children of the psalmist’s generation will worship God forever!

Isn’t that a great comfort?  Believers will prevail and God is a forever God!

Proverbs 14:15-16    Secondary Consequences

You make think you are a glider but be careful that you aren’t a backslider.

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I probably shouldn’t but I like to have fun with naive people.  I think they forgive me.  I say ridiculous things to them for fun and they answer back seriously.  I like to try to get people to think.  A lot of people just don’t think.  It is too much of an effort (v. 15a).

When you vote, do you think about secondary consequences?  If you vote for someone that promises to give you whatever you want, coca-cola in the water fountains, for example, do you think of what will happen after that?  People will be on constant sugar and caffeine highs.  The fountains themselves will corrode.  Taxes will go up to pay for it all.

Another example, what if a candidate promises peace.  What will happen then?  Will other countries invade us and take away all our rights?  Including the coca-cola in the water fountains?  See what I mean?  “Naive” people believe anything but a “sensible” person will consider the secondary consequences (v. 15b).

An astute person will think about something for a while before making a decision and trust God for the results (v. 16a).  They know anything evil is not from God (cf. James 1:17; 3 John 11, see “Think Ahead!” as part of Houston, We Have A Problem).

Fools, aka, unbelievers or even believers who act like unbelievers, will end up in a ditch (v. 16b, Ps. 141:10; Eccles. 10:18).

Choose Life: Scripture:  Judges 13:18    NASB    “Incomprehensible”

“But the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask my name, seeing it is *[I.e. incomprehensible] wonderful?’”  Judges 13:18

We saw “the angel of the Lord” not long ago in Judges 6 (see blog Practicing His Presence).  The Angel of the Lord is a theophany or Christophany.  (If you’re at a dinner party you can drop either of those terms and really impress people.).  A theophany is an Old Testament appearance of God, a Christophany is an Old Testament appearance of Christ in the Old Testament.  Of course, both are incarnations of God and so both are Christ, the second person of the Trinity.

The structure of the Hebrew for “angel of the Lord” is different than the occurrence “angel” by itself when we find the phrase in the Old Testament.  But here we have another hint that the Angel is Jesus.  His name is “wonderful.”  Does that sound like another verse you might know?  We hear it a lot around Christmas time:  Isaiah 9: 6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

The term wonderful could also be translated “incomprehensible” as in the NASB note.  The NIV translates the word in verse 18 as “beyond understanding.”  As we seek to know God better, we should try to learn Scripture and interpret it properly.  But we should also realize that we will never know everything (cf. 1 Cor. 13:12).

We should always be open to learn and realize that others in the body may know some things that we don’t.  No one can learn without humility (cf. 1 Cor. 8:2; 1 Pet. 4:6).  Though God may be incomprehensible, we should always strive to learn more about Him and know Him more deeply.

If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Do you take your relationship with God for granted or are you trying to know Him better?  Commit yourself to reading this blog each day and you will learn basic Bible and come to know God in a much deeper way.

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:   He Wasn’t Lion

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