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September 8- Joshua 21

What we see in this chapter with the Levites can be applied to our ministers (and teachers) today.  The Levites were not given their own section in Canaan.  Instead, the other tribes were commanded to provide cities for them, much as our ministers today are provided for by the church.  I Corinthians 9:14 says, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”  Matthew Henry interprets this verse to be referring to the fact that pastors are cared for by their congregations.

Henry moves on from the calling of the church towards ministers to the calling of ministers towards the church, as taught in this passage.  He points out that the Levites were content to be given their portion after all the other tribes had received theirs.  In order to be a servant, we must put the needs of others before our own.  This is the command in Philippians 2:4, which reads, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Sing or pray Psalter #24

 

September 9- Joshua 22

Before the two and a half tribes crossed back over the Jordan River to be reunited with their families after helping the rest of Israel conquer Canaan, they built a big altar on its banks.  When the other tribes heard about this they got very angry, because they thought the men were making an idol that was supposed to represent the altar of burnt offering in the tabernacle.  They were so troubled, in fact, that they rose up to go fight the two and a half tribes.  When these tribes saw how riled up their countrymen were they quickly explained they had just built the altar as a memorial for their children, but weren’t planning to actually use it for sacrifices.

Were the men right in making the altar?  It seems that they had good intentions, but could this problem have been avoided if they hadn’t chosen land on the other side of the river?  If they had lived closer to their fellow Israelites and the tabernacle would they have felt the need to make a memorial like this?

Sing or pray Psalter # 372

 

September 10- Joshua 23

Israel is warned extensively about the judgment of God that will come on them if they turn to other gods.  We see these judgments coming upon the world today.  Although most people in this country don’t bow down to gods of wood and stone, serious idolatry still plagues us.  One of the worst forms of this is seen in sports.  The amount of time and money that goes into sports today is hard to comprehend.  Daily fantasy sports have quickly become a billion dollar industry and is just as grave a problem as traditional gambling.  In order for athletes to have a chance at the top levels, they must completely dedicate their lives to the game.  With this rise in sports worship, we see a direct attack on Christianity.  Sunday is often the biggest sports day of the week, with the Super Bowl being the most obvious example.  In fact, this god has so far infiltrated religion that churches themselves even broadcast the Super Bowl for everyone to watch.  Sports is something that we can all enjoy to a certain degree, but we must be on guard against the serious danger is poses for us today.

Sing or pray Psalter #1

 

September 11- Joshua 24

In Joshua 24:12, God says to Israel, “And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.”  This reference to hornets is also found in Exodus 23:28 and Deuteronomy 7:20, where the reference is used in a similar way.  Matthew Henry interprets this to mean that God actually sent swarms of hornets before Israel in battle.  That’s pretty amazing to think about if it’s true, but I would tend to believe that hornets are talked about more figuratively here.  I think that the context of the passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy supports this.  In both these passages God talks about how Israel will only be able to drive out the wicked nations little by little.  Instead of giving them a quick knock-out punch, Israel will keep stinging them like hornets until they are finally driven out.  What do you think?  Did God actually have swarms of hornets lead Israel into battle?

Sing or pray Psalter #353

 

September 12- Judges 1

In verses 24 and 25, we read of Israel letting a man go for telling them how to get into the city.  Do you think this was right of them to do?  On the surface, this appears similar to the deal the spies had made with Rahab earlier.  In both instances, Israel agreed to let a citizen of a heathen city go free in return for helping them.

However, this cannot be compared to the deal with Rahab.  Rahab was a child of God, mentioned in Hebrews 11:31 with the other heroes of faith.  She helped the spies because she loved God, but the man in this story only helped them because he was scared for his safety.  This is made obvious in the chapter, where we read that the man went among the heathen, built a city, and named it after his former home that the Israelites had destroyed.  Matthew Henry supports the Israelites sparing of this man, but what do you think?

Sing or pray Psalter #401

 

September 13- Judges 2

The end of this chapter reminds me of the parable of the wheat and tares recounted in Matthew 13:24–30.  Here, the enemy plants weeds in a man’s field of crops.  The man’s workers ask if they should remove the weeds, but the owner decides to leave them.  They can just be burned at harvest time, but if they attempt to pull them now they might end up destroying the crops.  Judges 2 talks about how Israel kept failing to fully kick the heathen nations out of Canaan, and they were continually judged for it.  Finally, in verses 20–22, God tells Israel that the wicked nations will remain in their land to try their faith, because they failed to carry out the command God had given them.  That is one of the main reasons why the world exists today: to try our faith.  We are tempted to be like them, and our faith must be strong in order that we might flee that temptation.

Sing or pray Psalter #99

 

September 14- Judges 3

Verse 15 tells us that Ehud was lefthanded.  If I’m understanding Matthew Henry correctly, he says that the phrase in the original would better be translated “shut of his right hand,” seeming to imply that his being lefthanded was an impairment.  It is true that being lefthanded has historically been viewed this way.  It used to be a common practice for parents to try to force their lefthanded children to become righthanded.  In fact, someone even advised my parents to do this with me when I was a lefthanded toddler.  Whether he was lefthanded by birth or circumstance, God used his right hand to deliver Israel through the weak means of sinful man.

On a slightly different note, it’s interesting to me that though the name Benjamin means “son of my right hand” God makes a point of telling us that many Benjamites were lefthanded.  I don’t have a good explanation, but I wonder why this is.  Why do you think?

Sing or pray Psalter # 407

 

September 15- Judges 17

Matthew Henry says this story demonstrates the truth that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” as stated in 1 Timothy 6:10.  Micah’s love of money caused him to steal from his own mother, and the mother’s love of money caused her to curse her own son, without really thinking about what she was doing.  Do you think it was wrong for Micah’s mother to curse the one who had stolen the money?

Whether right or wrong, the young man’s mother turns around and blesses him when he confesses.  What do you think about this?  Matthew Henry says it teaches us that we should forgive those who repent of their sin.  This is undoubtedly true, but did Micah really repent, or did he just confess because he was afraid of what might happen to him?  The story of the prodigal son is the classic example of one being received again with joy when he repents, but we don’t read of his going off again, or of his father’s cursing him when he left the first time.  In this story, Micah seems more like the pretending son than the prodigal one.

Sing or pray Psalter #83

 

September 16- Judges 18

I find verse 23 of this chapter humorous.  The men of Dan have just come to Micah’s house and stolen his idol and his prophet, and then when Micah runs after them they confront him with the words, “What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?”  As you can imagine, Micah can’t believe his ears.  He responds, “Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?”  In other words, “You steal my stuff and then ask me why I’m upset?  Why do you think I’m upset?”  The Danites steal unashamedly and in broad daylight, because they know Micah isn’t strong enough to stop them and there is no law enforcement to come to his aid.  The time of the Judges shows us how quickly and deeply we can fall into sin, as well as man’s need for law enforcement.  The rejection of law enforcement officials in our society today is a major sign of the times, and we can clearly see the fruit of it in the perverse world in which we live.

Sing or pray Psalter #271

 

September 17- Judges 19

We use Gertrude Hoeksema’s “Show Me Thy Ways” to aid in teaching Bible class at our school.  Toward the end of this past year we studied the time period covered in these devotionals, so many of the things she wrote are still fresh in my mind.  I remember that she used this story as an introduction to the Book of Judges, because no story does a better job of illustrating the theme “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

It’s interesting to see the similarities between this story and the one with Lot in Sodom.  In both cases, homosexuals from the city demanded they be allowed to abuse male visitors.  Instead of agreeing to this, Lot offered the wicked men his daughters, while the old man here offered his daughter and the Levite’s concubine.  The daughters don’t actually get sent out to the men, but in this story the concubine does and dies as a result.  It’s hard to believe that stories like this actually took place, but it clearly shows us how deep Israel had fallen.

Sing or pray Psalter #18

 

September 18- Judges 20

Why did Benjamin defeat Israel in the first two battles?  After all, it was true that the men of Gibeah had committed horrible sin for which they should have been put to death, and no apology was coming from Benjamin.  However, Gertrude Hoeksema demonstrates that Israel was not in the right either and deserved the defeats that came upon them.  For one thing, it’s not as if the rest of Israel was living according to God’s commandments.  Remember, this was the time when “everyone did that which was right in his own eyes,” and all of Israel needed to repent of that sin, not just Benjamin.  Also, Israel failed to begin by asking God if they should make war against Benjamin.  Instead, they just made that decision themselves and only asked God which tribe should lead into battle.  It is also worth noting that Israel made this fatal decision after only hearing one side of the story, a side which was not entirely true, as the Levite neglected to mention that they had willingly offered his concubine to the men of Gibeah.

Sing or pray Psalter #156

 

September 19- Judges 21

Do you see how crazy that story was that you just read?  Israel wipes out all the Benjamites in the third battle, except 600 men who flew into the desert.  After the adrenaline rush subsides, Israel starts feeling bad that their brother Benjamin is going to be completely wiped out, so they decide to find the 600 men wives.  They can’t offer their own daughters, however, because they had sworn not to let them marry any Benjamites.  The elders of Israel were stumped until they found a solution in Jabesh-Gilead.  The men of that city had failed to help Israel fight Benjamin, and the elders had said that the people of any city who didn’t send soldiers would be killed.  Destroying the city and bringing the young virgins to the Benjamites provided 400 wives, but they were still 200 short.  What to do?  The elders eventually came up with a second solution, which involved the remaining 200 wifeless Benjamites simply kidnapping a mate as she danced at the yearly feast in Shiloh.  As you can imagine, the fathers of these kidnapped girls weren’t very supportive, but the elders of Israel convinced them to take one for the team.

Sing or pray Psalter #84

 

September 20- Ruth 1

Understanding the meanings of names in the Bible helps us understand the stories.  According to Gertrude Hoeksema, Naomi’s name means “pleasant one,” and her husband Elimelech’s name means “my God is king.”  The couple lived in Ephrath, meaning “fruitful,” near Bethlehem, meaning “house of bread.”  These names and places all have very positive meanings, bringing out the idea that these were godly people in the promised land.

Naomi’s life, however, becomes full of sorrow upon arriving in Moab.  Her husband dies, followed by her two sons, until she is left with only her heathen daughters-in-law.  It is because of this that she changes her name to Mara, meaning “bitterness,” upon returning to Canaan.  The same name appears earlier in scripture, in Exodus 15, where it is the name of the pool of bitter water Israel came to in their wanderings.  Still, just as the waters of Marah grew sweet when Moses threw in a tree, so joy was restored to Naomi’s life when Boaz and Ruth married and provided her with a grandson who would be a grandfather of Christ.

Sing or pray Psalter #277

 

September 21- Ruth 2

In Ruth 2:11, Boaz tells Ruth he’s heard her story, “and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.”  This statement stood out to me, because it could be applied to God’s people throughout history.  Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees.  Paul was called out of his own country to preach to the Gentiles.  He went from being a celebrated persecutor of Christians to a despised preacher to them.  Jesus was called out of his hometown to preach to those who saw their need for a physician.  As he said in Matthew 15:57b, “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.”  We are all called out of this world to our heavenly home.  As Jesus speaks of us in John 17:16, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  We live in this world as pilgrims passing though, but we build up our treasures in heaven “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20).

Sing or pray Psalter #378

 

September 22- Ruth 3

Wasn’t it inappropriate for Ruth to lie at Boaz’s feet in the middle of the night?  Matthew Henry isn’t sure the act can be justified.  According to him, she probably shouldn’t have done it because it had the appearance of evil and put them both in a position to sin.  1 Thessalonians 5:22 commands us to, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  We have to remember that the world is watching and looking for a cause to blaspheme.  We must not give them the opportunity, even when we didn’t actually commit the sin that it appeared we did.  Henry does go on, though, to say that it’s safe to conclude that it didn’t look as bad then as it does today.  Still, it’s probably safe to conclude that it didn’t always happen this way, since Boaz is quite taken aback when he finds Ruth lying at his feet and must ask who she is.  He wasn’t expecting her to be there.  However, whether prudent or not, this is a picture for us of the beautiful truth that we find rest at the feet of Jesus our Savior.

Sing or pray Psalter #52

 

September 23- Ruth 4

Can you think of some reasons why the Book of Ruth would be included in the infallible word of God?  What is God teaching us in this book?  First, by redeeming Ruth’s place in Israel, Boaz was acting as a type of Christ, who redeems all his people.  Second, Boaz was in the line of Christ, so Ruth was one of the great grandmothers of Jesus.  This is clearly seen in the fact that the book ends with the name David, the first real king of Israel, who pointed towards the king of heaven and earth.  Third, this book is a reminder that salvation is all of God, and it’s not for us to know who is saved and who is not.  Remember the story of the Moabite women who seduced the Israelite men to commit adultery with them in Numbers 25?  These were the most wicked of women, yet this is the nation that godly Ruth comes from.  Fourth, this book shows that the Savior would come to save all his people from their sins, Jews and Gentiles alike.

Sing or pray Psalter #310

 

September 24- Judges 4

This story leads us to the question, was it wrong of Jael to kill Sisera?  The Biblegateway.com writer that put together a page about her denounces Jael for her murder of Sisera.  “While divine judgment fell upon Sisera, Jael erred in that she did not allow God to designate the means of punishment.  She remains forever censurable for the cruel way she killed him.”  I was intrigued when I read this, because I would say that her killing of Sisera was commendable, but she should not have lied in order to do it.  I would compare this to Rahab, who is praised for helping the spies, but shouldn’t have lied about where they were.

I have discovered, however, that when you start examining real-life situations it becomes much more difficult to define what a lie is than it appears initially.  Biblestudytools.com defines lying as “practicing deceit, falsehood, and treachery either by word or action.”  According to this definition, what Jael and Rahab did would definitely be considered a lie.  Yet, isn’t that the way war works?  Aren’t you always trying to deceive your enemy to get the advantage?  Taking it further, how about sports?  In sports aren’t you trying to trick your opponent into thinking you are going to do something you are not?  Is that lying?

Sing or pray Psalter #374

 

September 25- Judges 5

Yesterday, we talked about what lying is.  Today we look at the subject from a little different perspective: Is it always wrong to lie?  As we are all aware, lying is brought up in the ten commandments.  The ninth commandment, found in Exodus 20:16, reads, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”  Does this commandment condemn all forms of lying, or does the end phrase “against thy neighbor” make some distinction between types of untruths?  Mind you, I am in no way trying to convince you of something here, but merely encouraging thought-provoking discussion.  In this chapter, Deborah and Barak praise Jael for her killing of Sisera.  Nowhere are we told specifically that she shouldn’t have deceived him, just as we never here of Rahab’s being reprimanded.  During World War II, many people helped hide Jews from the Germans, and many of them denied knowing anything when confronted.  Was that a sin?  If they had told the guards where the people were hiding, wouldn’t they then have been guilty of aiding murder?  On the other hand, lying because of what will happen if you don’t sounds eerily similar to the worldly philosophy, “the end justifies the means.”

Sing or pray Psalter #41

 

September 26- Judges 6

In Revelation 9 we are given a little glimpse into the demonic world.  In order to put it in terms that we can understand, scripture describes demons as a combination of locusts and scorpions.  Verse 3 reads, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”  These demons come out of the bottomless pit and are given power to torment those who don’t have the seal of God in their foreheads.  The locust is used here to illustrate the demon army, because of its compacity to swarm and destroy everything in its path.  It’s a very intimidating enemy that cannot be fought with swords and spears.

We see the image of the locust used elsewhere in scripture, including this chapter.  Verse 5 reads, “For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.”  This seemingly unstoppable force, however, was nothing in the hand of God.

Sing or pray Psalter #34

 

September 27- Judges 7

In verse 13 of this chapter, one enemy soldier tells his comrade of a dream he had where a barley cake rolled down into the Midianite camp and overturned their tent.  The other man says that the barley cake is a picture of Gideon, because God has delivered the Midianites into his hand.  The image of a barley cake was fitting, because Gideon was only a poor farmer, not a well-known warrior.  In addition, a barley cake was a very lowly form of food, which demonstrated how improbable an Israelite victory was.

The soldier’s dream interpretation shows us that even the wicked are forced to confess that God is the one in control.  One of the best examples is Balaam, who wanted to curse Israel, but told Balak that he could only speak the words God placed in his mouth.  In Daniel 6:26, King Darius makes an amazing decree after Daniel survives the lion’s den, “That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.”

Sing or pray Psalter #3

 

September 28- Judges 8

No sooner is Israel given victory over the Midianites than the Ephraimites rise up in jealousy at the honor Gideon’s tribe, brother Manasseh, is now receiving.  Instead of telling them off, which they would have deserved, Gideon appeases them with a soft answer.  This principle is taught by Solomon in Proverbs 15:1, where we read, “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”  Ephraim knew the problem with Midian and didn’t need to be called.  Their anger during this time of rejoicing showed they were only concerned about their own glory, not God’s.  Still, Gideon caters to them in verses 2 and 3 to diffuse the situation.  He says, “What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?  God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you?”  In other words, Ephraim’s pursuit of the enemy and capturing of Midian’s princes was greater than Gideon’s initial victory.  Gideon teaches us here to promote the unity of the church whenever possible, even at times when the offended party is in the wrong.

Sing or pray Psalter #369

 

September 29- Judges 9

Abimelech began a shaky “friendship” with the men of Shechem.  He convinced them to make him their king, because he said that they needed a strong leader to protect them from the seventy sons of Gideon.  There is no indication that the sons were actually planning to attack Shechem, but the men of the city bought it.  Abimelech hadn’t ruled for long, however, before God sent an evil spirit to divide them.  The men of Shechem and Abimelech started plotting against each other.  After Abimelech escaped their clutches he returned to the city with an army and destroyed the city.

This is similar to what will happen at the end of time.  We can look at the unrest in the world today, especially in regards to terrorism and wonder how the nations will ever be able to unite.  It is amazing that it will actually happen, but it will be a very fragile union.  It will be a union based solely on a common hatred for the truth, and because of this is will not last long.  Just as the union between Abimelech and the men of Shechem ended in destruction, the same will be true of the antichristian world power.

Sing or pray Psalter #224

 

September 30- Judges 10

Judges 10:16 reads, “And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.”  Matthew Henry explains this verse by saying that God’s thoughts here are just put into the context of an earthly father so that we can understand something of God’s feelings towards us.  This does not mean that God changes or can actually be sad.

I was intrigued by the statement that God cannot be sad.  Is that true?  We know that Jesus, the Son of God, was sad at times.  Jesus, however, had a human nature as well as a divine nature, so some distinction could probably be made between God and Jesus being sad.  Verses that could be examined on this topic include Genesis 6:6 and Psalm 95:10, which both speak of God being “grieved.”

Obviously, the answer is not that God is sad in the sense that he has any feelings of regret or sense of loss.  Maybe the answer is that the Bible uses these words because they are the closest fit, but that there’s no way God’s feelings can really be expressed in human terms.

Sing or pray Psalter #173

 

October 1- Judges 11

Mizpeh, you will remember, was the place where Jacob and Laban said their farewells.  The name means “watchtower,” and we see it make an appearance in this chapter as well.  Jephthah grew up in a home where his brothers hated him, because he was only their half-brother.  They eventually kicked him out, and he fled from the land.  Over time, Jephthah was able to organize an army of sorts for himself and became known as a mighty man of valor.  Now his brothers ask him to return to Gilead and become their leader.  Jephthah is skeptical that they just want to use him to win the victory and then reject him again.  Therefore, he makes the elders swear that they will keep him as their leader after the war.  It’s noteworthy that Mizpeh is the place Jephthah chooses to do this.  Jephthah wanted to make it clear to the mean of Gilead that they were calling upon God to bear witness of the agreement they made and to judge them if they broke their word.

Sing or pray Psalter #13

 

October 2- Judges 12

Do you remember what happened with Ephraim in Judges 8?  Ephraim was jealous that they hadn’t received any of the glory when Gideon defeated Israel’s enemies.  At that time, Gideon appeased them with a soft answer.  In the chapter for today the time for soft answers has passed.  Ephraim is again angry that they aren’t getting all the praise.  They go even farther than before, however, telling Jephthah that they are going to burn his house down around him.  They claim that they didn’t have a chance to help because Jephthah didn’t call them.  Jephthah reminds them that he, like Gideon, did call them, but they had refused to listen.  The men of Ephraim were beyond the point of reason, so Jephthah sent his army to fight them.  Just as Gideon’s response taught us the importance of giving a soft answer whenever possible, so there is a lesson for us here too.  Jephthah illustrates that there are also times when we need to stand up for what is right and severely condemn wickedness.  Ephraim needed to be taught a hard lesson, just as we ourselves often do.

Sing or pray Psalter #300

 

October 3- I Samuel 1

I remember two topics of conversation we had in class when going over this story.  First, Eli’s assumption regarding Hannah shows just how bad things were in Israel.  The fact that he assumed she was drunk just because her lips were moving silently shows that seeing someone drunk in the tabernacle would not have been all that unusual at the time.  Second, was it wrong of Hannah to make this vow?  Wasn’t she trying to make a deal with God?  “If you do this for me, God, then I will do this for you.”  Scratch my back, and I will scratch yours, as the saying goes.  However, there is no indication in the Bible that what she did was wrong.  On the contrary, we read that Eli praises her for her request.  With these things in mind, I think we must understand that Hannah was not trying to make a deal with God, but simply expound her way of showing thankfulness to him for answering her prayer.  We show our thankfulness to God by the good works that Christ performs in and through us, and Hannah’s dedication of her son to God was a good work.

Sing or pray Psalter #77

 

October 4- I Samuel 2

Eli was judged for the sins of his two sons.  They had committed adultery and had eaten sacrificial meat raw with the fat on it.  By doing so, they robbed God of his sacrifices.  They said that they did not care about God’s laws and did not need his blood to be shed for them.  They worshipped themselves instead of God.  Because of these sins Eli was told that his sons would die on the same day, and all his descendants would be beggars and die young.  The priesthood would be stripped from his family and given to another.

But why did all this judgment come upon Eli?  He didn’t take part in the sin of his sons, and he did rebuke them for it.  The answer is found in verse 29, where we read, “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest they sons above me…”  Eli rebuked his sons, but did so very mildly, because he was more worried about making them angry than he was about angering God.  How often don’t we fall into that same sin?

Sing or pray Psalter #338

 

October 5- Judges 13

Gertrude Hoeksema brings out a number of ways in which Samson was different from other judges.  First of all, Israel did not repent before God brought them Samson.  The history of God’s people is always a cycle of sin, repentance, and redemption, but that cycle is broken in this story.  Second, Samson was called before he was born, while other judges were called at  certain times during their lives.  Most of them weren’t called until they were grown men, and even Samuel wasn’t called until after his mother had weaned him.  Third, Samson delivered the Israelites alone, and he only began to do so.  Usually, the judge would lead an army against the enemy and win a great victory that would free Israel from oppression once again for a time.  This was not the case with Samson.  He never had an army to lead, and Israel was still under the Philistines at the time of his death.  Finally, Samson was the only man who was born a Nazarite.  Samuel and John the Baptist are the only other two permanent Nazarites that we read of in the Bible, but both of them were called after they were born.

Sing or pray Psalter #232

 

October 6- Judges 14

Matthew Henry showed how Samson was a type of Christ in a different way than I had thought of before. As he puts it, “The truth is Samson was himself a riddle, a paradox of a man, did that which was really great and good, by that which was seemingly weak and evil, because he was designed not to be a pattern to us (who must walk by rule, not by example), but a type of him who, though he knew no sin, was made sin for us, and appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, that he might condemn and destroy sin in the flesh, Romans 8:3.”

What do you think about this?  By fighting God’s enemies while living in sin, Samson was a type of Christ, who fought his Father’s enemies while carrying the weight of our sins on his back.  It is true that it can be difficult to see Samson as a type of Christ considering the lifestyle he led, so this provides an intriguing way of putting the pieces together.

Sing or pray Psalter #47

 

October 7- I Samuel 3

When we think of Eli we usually think of a figure with spiritual character similar to Lot, and rightfully so, but here Eli shows his godliness.  God comes to the young boy Samuel in the night and recaps to him the judgment that is about to come upon Eli.  When the old man learns that it is God that is addressing Samuel he instructs Samuel in how to respond, but doesn’t try to interfere.  When Samuel tells him what God has said is going to take place, Eli does not become angry as you might expect.  In verse 18, Eli meekly responds with, “It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.”  It took a lot of spiritual strength to submit to the proclaimed judgment of God, especially when it was spoken to him by a young child.  In doing so, Eli reminds me a little of Job.  Just as Job famously had everything taken away from him and still blessed God, so Eli was told of the coming wrath of God that would be poured out on him and still submitted to God’s will.

Sing or pray Psalter #204