Monday, October 25, 2004


Samson - what a study in contradictions (Judges 13-16)

1. The fact he wanted to get a Philistine wife was a God-thing (14:4).

2. God’s Spirit was on him despite his questionable lifestyle (13:24, 25; 14:19; 15:14).

3. Even God-touched-from-the-womb Samson was not above God’s fairness. After he cut his hair (something he as a Nazirite had been commanded never to do), the Lord left him.

4. In his suicidal death, he continued to fulfill God’s life purpose for him - to wreak judgement on the Philistines - by killing more in that one act than he had in his entire life.

What I learn from this:

1. I think I have God figured out but I never really do. He will do as He pleases using means I, from my sanctimonious stance, would never imagine - or perhaps even approve of. How unlikely is the Spirit living in a lush who can’t rein in his impetuousness, has a temper problem, a lustful bent (and, perhaps worst of all, a penchant for making up those dreadful riddles [14:14; 15:16]). Unlike Samson, I can choose to cooperate with God and find a meaningful, joyful place in His plan. Or I can do as Samson did, step over God’s boundaries and find myself destroyed in the process. Either way, God’s plans won’t be thwarted.

2. Even the most favored person can lose God’s touch. I think these are the saddest words of Samson’s story: "But he did not know that the Lord had left him. (16:20).

God, help me to play a willing part in Your story. Fill me with Your Spirit. Should I begin walking away from You, please activate some amber or red flashers, warning me I’m heading down a dangerous God-forsaken path.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Bible trivia:

Q. What do Tola, Jair, Ibzan and Abdor have in common?

I’m sure if someone had asked me that before today, I wouldn’t have known. Reading Judges 10-12 shows they were all judges in Israel. Which shows again, there are a lot of insignificant, unexceptional people (except in their ability to have kids: Jair - 30 sons; Ibzan - 30 sons and 30 daughters; Abdor - 40 sons and 30 grandsons) in the Bible.

One wonders why certain judges are showcased. It isn’t for length of reign, because there are only two verses about Tola, who was in charge 23 years, while Jephthah, who led Israel for six, has two plus chapters. I guess it isn’t hard, though, to know why the writer’s interest is snagged by him (heartbreaking picture of his one and only child, skip-dancing to welcome daddy home - only to find her first-out-the-door welcome doomed her to a nunnery! Now there’s a lesson in making rash promises to God!). Gideon and Samson are also pretty colorful.

But, back to the insignificant judges. I think I’ll probably end up like them. Nothing exceptional. A mere punctuation mark in God’s story. Did they (I) miss something? Should they have been (should I be) more? I don’t know. In a building, each nail, screw, post, beam, insulation, and wiring is necessary to the finished structure.

God, help me to be content to be a staple, a light switch, a keyhole in Your house.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

My Name

I was thinking along the lines of ‘naming’ above, this morning when I came across the following in my Quiet Time: "When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you mighty warrior.'" (Judges 6:12).

And so a destiny was spoken into being. I ask myself - what would I wish the Lord to call me? "The Lord is with you - tender mother? loyal friend? woman of wisdom?" Hey, I like that latter.

What if He actually came into my room, here, and audibly spoke those words over me? I wonder, would my life change to the extent Gideon’s did - transforming him from someone cautious, tentative and fearful to an actual mighty warrior - whose reputation preceded him (Judges 7:14,15)? God, what is Your name for me? I’d like to know.

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