Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 10 - Judges 14

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 14. 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?)

  • Samson is attracted to a Philistine woman.  His parents object because it was against God's law (Deuteronomy 7:1-4) and because the Philistines were Israel's greatest enemy.  This marriage would be a disgrace to Samson's family.  What Samson's parents didn't realize was, at least in this instance, God was behind the possible marriage.
  • God gives Samson increased physical strength to kill a lion with his hands.  
  • Samson breaks one, possibly two, of the requirements for a Nazirite.  First, he touched the dead body of the lion.  Second, Samson throws a party.  Nothing wrong with that except that the original language seems to indicates that the feast was a drinking feast.  So it's possible that Samson also breaks his Nazarite vow of never drinking alcohol.   
  • Samson kills 30 Philistine men to pay off his debt to those who solved his riddle.  But he loses his wife to another man.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God works His perfect plan even in our disobedience.  We can trace God's work in Samson's life even in his weaknesses and evil acts.  The marriage between Samson and the Philistine woman will result in the destruction of many of Israel's enemies.  
  • God calls us to keep our promises.  Samson takes his vows lightly.  We live in a time when people think nothing of breaking vows.  The words "I do" become "I don't" more and more quickly.  Breaking promises negatively affects our relationship with God.  We must do everything we can to keep our promises to God, family members, employers, and our church.  

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

  • What promises are you tempted to break right now?  A promise to God?  To your spouse?  God has called us to live a different way.  To reflect deeply on the promises we have made to God and others, and to keep our word!  Seek help from God and others to help you keep your commitments.  
  • What promises have you broken in your past?  Take time to thank God for his grace and forgiveness.  Also, thank God that He works through your weaknesses and failures.  He has the power to bring good out of evil.