Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9 - Judges 13

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 13. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • As the result of Israel turning their backs on Him again, God permits the Philistines to dominate them for 40 years.  
  • An angel of the Lord appears and promises Manoah and his barren wife that they will have a son.  He is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God.  
  • Manoah's wife gives birth to Samson.  God begins to prepare Samson for his role as judge and leader against the Philistines.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Oftentimes we bring suffering on ourselves.  Once again the cycle of sin, judgment, and repentance began for Israel.  The Israelites would not turn to God unless they suffered and were oppressed.  But this suffering wasn't caused by God.  Rather, it was the result of the fact that the people ignored God.  
  • Samson was to be a Nazirite, one who took a vow to be set apart for God's service.  A Nazirite had three restrictions placed on them.  They could not cut their hair, touch a dead body, or drink anything containing alcohol (see Numbers 6:1-6).  
  • Manoah's wife was told that Samson would begin the deliverance of Israel from Philistine oppression.  It wasn't until years later, after Samson was gone, that the Philistine opposition was completely defeated.   
  • There are some things beyond our understanding. Manoah requested the angel's name.  The angel refused saying that his name was a mystery beyond understanding.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • God gave Samson a task to begin.  However, it would not be accomplished until after Samson was long gone.  Be faithful in following God even if you don't see instant results.  You might be beginning an important job that others will finish.
  • Like Manoah, sometimes we ask God questions and then receive no answer.  This may not be because God is saying no.  It may be because the answer is beyond our ability to understand or accept right now.  What is a question you've been asking God recently?  Will you trust and obey God even if He doesn't answer your question?