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Judges 14

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, MAY 3

SCRIPTURE:  JUDGES 14

BY: Jacob Steward

As you begin to read through this chapter, there will be a common theme: Samson disregarding the Nazirite vow that God intended him to fulfill.  Samson was supposed to be the moral and upright deliverer of Israel, but the carnal and physical desires derailed his path.  However, throughout this chapter we see God begin to use Samson with all of his flaws, to fulfill God’s plan.

 As we have seen in chapter 13, the Israelites were being held captive by the Philistines because of their evil actions.  But God did not intend to let them stay that way. That is the reason that Samson was to come.  He was going to be the deliverer.

 First, we see direct opposition to Israelite customs.  Samson was going after Philistine women.  Even with Samson’s parents pleading him to find an Israelite woman, he insists that they bring the Philistine woman to him (we do not know her name).  To most people, and probably most of us, this is the start of someone who seems to be fighting God’s plan.  The farther we get in the story, the more we realize that God was working to free the Israelites through Samson even if it looks like Samson is falling apart.

 As Samson was heading down to meet her he came in contact with a lion.  This part of the story shows us a few things.  First we see the incredible strength that God has given Samson as he kills a lion as someone kills a goat.  But we also see the breaking of the Nazirite vow.  Samson was not supposed to tough anything dead.  Finally, interaction with the lion is what prompts Samson to use a riddle later in the chapter.

 When Samson returned, he passed by the lion which was now filled with honey.  Not only did he eat this, making him unclean and breaking the Nazirite vow, but he also fed it to his parents without telling them where it came from.  Samson, the one who came to free the Israelites, seems to be falling apart.  But God has a plan.

 As the wedding approaches, Samson is surrounded by 30 Philistine men as was tradition.  At this time, Samson presents the riddle from the lion to these men (v. 14).  The men could not figure out the riddle without the help of the woman that Samson was in line to marry.  Because of her nagging (v. 17), Samson finally told her the answer.  The men used this to mock Samson and this threw Samson into a rage.  In this rage he called the woman he was supposed to marry a heifer (I don’t see any scenario where this is a compliment), and killed 30 men to repay the men who were told the meaning of the riddle.

 In the end, Samson did not marry the woman (his best man did), and he had pretty much failed as a devout Israelite and in his Nazirite vow.  But God had a plan.  God’s plan was working even though the actions of Samson seem to point to chaos.  God is still working.  Even if it is not apparent to us, God is working.

Posted by Jacob Steward with

Judges 13

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2

 

SCRIPTURE: JUDGES 13

BY: RON Maxfield 

 

In Judges 13 we see the birth narrative of another great man of God mentioned in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11, Samson. Though Samson is known for his faults as much as this mighty acts, we do see in his story, a Messianic symbol. We see in the beginning of Chapter 13 that the people of Israel have fallen into sin and are oppressed by their enemies, just as we live in a fallen world and feel the oppression of sin. Because God is faithful, Israel is promised a deliverer.

As we have seen in many instances in the scripture, a couple is without children, but the Lord blesses them in due time (parallels are Isaac, Samuel, Joseph and John the Baptist). Though not a virgin birth, we see a symbol of Christ’s birth in that Samson’s mother is to be pure in her practice to follow the Nazirite dietary restrictions during her pregnancy as Samson was to be set apart before the Lord as a Nazirite for life.

Samson’s mother was visited by The Angel of the Lord. Most believe this is a Christophany or a pre- incarnate appearance of the Second Person of the Trinity (Jesus).  Samson’s mother tells her husband of this appearance and he (Manoah) prays for further instruction. The Angel of the Lord appears again to Manoah’s wife and she brings Manoah to Him. The Angel of the Lord never gave Manoah’s wife His name and when Manoah asks, the Angel tells him it is “wonderful”, incomprehensible. It is important to note the word “wonderful” is also one of the names given to Christ in Isaiah 9:6 (He shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father, Prince of Peace).

Manoah, during his exchange with the Angel still does not fully understand who he is dealing with, but he is faithful in his seeking to do the will of God and through his offer to prepare a meal for the Angel of the Lord, obeys His instructions to offer it as a sacrifice. The pre-incarnate Christ ascends in Heaven in the smoke of the burnt offering and Manoah becomes fully aware that he has been in the presence of God Himself.

Manoah is fearful of his life, but his wife assures him that God wouldn’t reveal all He has at that point if it was to Manoah’s detriment.  Samson’s parents, just like Mary and Joseph are faithful throughout this birth narrative. The son to be born to them is a Christ symbol in that the name  Samson is interpreted in the Hebrew as both, “Little Sun” and “ Little Servant”.  Jesus was born to us to be “a light unto the world” and to “serve” the will of the Father to a lost and dying world.

Let us walk this day in faith just as Samson’s parents did. That we may trust in the Lord’s promises as He reveals Himself as “Wonderful” in the midst of our service to Him.

Posted by Ron Maxfield with

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