Showing posts from September, 2014

Israel Had No King | Judges 18-21

Fighters from ISIS march in Raqqa, Syria (Associate Press file photo) Welcome to Real Life . Who am I following? Who am I leading? Iraq and Syria, lacking stable leadership, have been overrun by ISIS. Lawlessness reigns. It took a horrific act—the beheading of two journalists and an aid worker—for the world to take action to stop the Islamic State. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Judges 17:6 and 21:25 Also in the Middle East, some 3000 years ago, during the time of the judges, the nation of Israel was degenerating into a state of lawlessness. Israel had no king. For, God himself was to be their king. [1] However, theocracy can’t work if God’s people walk away from him and his laws and create their own rules. As with ISIS, it took a horrific act to rally the nation of Israel to action. Judges 18 The tribe of Dan abandons their appointed inheritance. They attack the peaceful, unsuspecting people of Laish, burn the city, and settle there.

Samson Steps Over the Line | Judges 13-16

Welcome to Real Life . Samson—he’s a larger-than-life Bible character endowed with super-human strength. But, even Superman had his kryptonite. As Samson comes of age, he falls for a Philistine woman. Here the trouble begins. At their wedding feast, he makes a bet tied to a riddle to gain a new wardrobe. Samson unfairly loses the bet. To pay his debt, he strikes down thirty Philistines. The offenses escalate until his bride is dead and—endowed with super-human strength—Samson takes out 1000 Philistines with a donkey's jawbone. The good news:  Israel is free from 40 years of Philistine oppression! Samson rules as judge for twenty years. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end here. Samson has a weakness for Philistine women. He's smitten with Delilah. Under duress from the rulers of the Philistines, she relentlessly prods Samson to reveal the secret of his strength. Finally, he can take no more. He spills the beans. No razor has ever been used on my head. I am a Nazarit