Tuesday, December 1, 2015

JUDGES

Judges 1 through 2 9 is like on a TV show when they say “Previously on this program.”

The rest of chapter 2 is like when they say “Tonight on this program.”

 Chapter 3

v15-30: Ehud may have been lefthanded due to his right hand being deformed. If this is the case, than this story should be an encouragement to other disabled people that they can do great things for God, even things that might seem difficult or even impossible due to their circumstances.

v31: Pay attention to this verse, all you gun grabbers.

Chapter 4

v17-22: While we don't know the reasons why peace existed between Heber and Jabin and why Jael was certainly a courageous woman who did an admirable thing, I wonder about the fact that she was the one who killed Sisera and not her husband.

Chapter 6

I don’t think Gideon’s constant asking for signs and testing the Lord was so much out of fear as it was continually making sure he was doing the right thing, though it is easy to see Gideon did also have some fear in his heart up until the battle. I think God appreciates it when we test Him and ask for confirmation about things.

 v11: Many people think Gideon wasn't really a mighty man of valour because he was grinding wheat in secret in the winepress. However, Gideon was actually doing a very brave thing. The Midianites were taking everything from the God's people so therefore, Gideon was grinding some wheat secretly so as to keep it out of the hands of the opressors. One could say Gideon was a tax protester.

v17: Gideon wasn't asking for a sign necisarily out of fear or unbelief. You have to remember Gideon lived in a time much like ours, where God was talked about but not a lot of his supernatural power was demonstrated. Looking back at verse 13, the priests were probably much like our feel-good preachers today. We can infer this because Gideon didn't know why these things were happening to the people, even though God had clearly told Israel in the wilderness that such things would happen if they disobeyed Him. Thus, it seems, God was kind of abstract to Gideon and Gideon merely wanted a sign to strengthen what faith he had.

v36-40: As I said, Gideon's putting out the fleece wasn't necisarily a sign of fear or unbelief. Again, you have to remember Gideon was living in an apostate time. Much like many churches and Christians these days, God was basically probably talked about as a somewhat abstract concept. Sure, He was up there and cared for Israel to some degree, but you couldn't expect Him to interact with people or intervene in their lives or the life of the nation. Yeah, He'd done miracles in getting their forefathers out of Egypt and sustaining them in the wilderness, but that was in Biblical times and it was now the future. Therefore, Gideon needed his faith strengthened because all the stuff he was experiencing was so knew and foreign to the way he'd been brought up to think.

Chapter 7

v9-15: Yes, Gideon was afraid, but you have to remember nothing like God supernaturally intervening in a battle He had told Gideon to lead had ever happened to Gideon before. How many of us could say with absolute certainty we wouldn't do what Gideon did and feel the way he felt in this passage?

Chapter 8

v20: Now, in the flush of victory, we see some pride and cockiness set into Gideon.

Chapter 9

It is tragic when children don't follow their parents in the faith. Maybe Gideon should have taught Abimelech God's law, instead of being the big man and allowing Israel to worship a garment Gideon had made for himself that was only supposed to be for the priests.

Chapter 11

v38: From a reading of the text, it doesn’t seem like Jepthah’s daughter’s friends were mourning because she would never become a mother; it seems like they were mourning because she’d never have sex. You have to remember that, much like the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians, Israel at the time of the judges was carnally minded.

Chapter 12 

v9-15: We aren’t told that much about Ibzn (except that he gave all his children to Israel’s enemies to wed), Elon or Abdon which makes me think their reigns were unremarkable., although Abdon's reighn might have been particularly unremarkable because the text says he was buried in the mountain of the Amalekites, one of Israel's enemies.

Chapters 13-16 

 You really can’t admire that much about Samson, even though he is listed in Hebrews 11 because in the end he did humble himself and rely on God. He did act in the name of the Lord and did things the Lord wanted him to do, but Samson was also motivated by selfishness and childishness a lot of the time. I'm sure he wanted Israel to be delivered from the Philistines, but we never read about him organizing a campaign against them in any way. Whatever Samson did to them was a reaction to personal slights against himself. I’m sure people have gotten saved watching the charlatan televangelists we have in the land today. I’m sure some people have gotten saved reading “Left Behind” or watching “The Passion of the Christ.” I’m sure EWTN has edified some true saints of God. However, that does not change the true nature of these things.

Chapter 16

v17: Imagine how much better things might possibly have gone for Samson if he had phrased his response to Delilah something like, "My strength comes from God because I've kept up my end of a vow that I'd never shaved my head." If Samson had put the emphasis on God in what he said and not on his hair, mightn't God had given him the strength to fight off the Philistines, even if Delilah had still managed to have his hair cut.

Chapter 17

v2: Micah's mother was a reactionary, much like so many Christians today.

v3: This verse makes me think of the Catholic church since they basically do the same thing.

v8: Just like many Christians today, the Levite acted in his own strength instead of listening to the voice of the Lord.

v13: Micah was like a lot of people today who think because they go to church or whatnot God will be with them.

Chapter 18

v5: "Hey Christian, pray to the man upstairs so we can accomplish what we want to get done."

v20: Like many pastors today, the Levite was willing to go wherever would inhance his career. Maybe, if asked, he would have said God called him to go with the army.

Chapter 19

v6: These were not very responsible people.

v22-25: At this point, Israel has become worse than Sodom and Gomorah.

v28: "Come on, woman, get your butt on the donkey. So what if you got gang raped all night long till now you can't even walk. Time's a-wastin' here."

Chapter 20

v15-17: Did the Benjamites really expect a Gideon scenario to take place in this battle?!

Chapter 21

v10-12, 19-23: The book that begins with the victorious days of Joshua and Caleb ends with one of Israel's tribes nearly being wiped out by their countrymen and those countrymen subsequently having to kill more of their own in order to provide wives so Benjamin could continue. Then, when those women weren't enough, the Benjamites have to resort to breaking God's law by kidnapping girls in order to make up the difference.

2 comments:

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

What has been pointed out to me about Samson is his humility at the end of his time in this world. For it would have been perfectly natural of him to be too proud to go back to the Lord after he had failed so miserably with the great gifts he had been given before.

Similar situations (with different results) were the Apostle Peter after his denial of Christ Jesus and Judas Iscariot after his betrayal of Christ Jesus. For it was not said of Judas Iscariot that it would have been better for him to have never been born because of his betrayal. This was said of him because of his refusal to accept the amount of grace afforded him while the Apostle Peter was willing to beg for forgiveness, and he was exalted because of it.

All of this is very personal to me. For I constantly feel like a miserable failure at conveying the great knowledge I have been given to share, and if I was left to my own devices, I would kill myself to end the pain. Of course, we both know that killing myself would just bring more suffering down upon myself than I can even start to naturally comprehend. Sigh.

Alex Horton said...

That is definitely true. In the end, Samson certainly manifested the right attitude befitting his actions.