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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

2019.09.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 16

Read Judges 16 
Questions from the Scripture text: What kind of woman does Samson get involved with in Judges 16:1? Who think they have Samson trapped (Judges 16:2)? What ends up happening instead (Judges 16:3)? Whom does he take an interest in next (Judges 16:4)? Who offer her what to do what in Judges 16:5? What explanations does he give in Judges 16:6-14? What happens in each case? How does she finally break him down (Judges 16:15-16)? What explanation does he give in Judges 16:17? Did he expect that he would actually lose his strength when his hair was cut? What explanation does Judges 16:20 actually give for the loss of his strength? To whom do the Philistines give credit for taking Samson down (Judges 16:23-24)? How many total Philistines are there for the celebration? Which ones in particular (Judges 16:27)? For what does Samson ask God for his strength back (Judges 16:28)? What did the Lord enable Samson to do (Judges 16:29-30)? How long had he judged Israel (Judges 16:31)?  
Samson seems like an unlikely hero for Israel. Or maybe not. He’s been given a place and privilege and power entirely by God’s mercy and choice. Once there, however, he seems obsessed with giving his attention to anyone else other than the Lord. 

Samson’s newly hairless head isn’t the only thing that’s cold; his heart is so cold toward Yahweh that Samson doesn’t even know that the Lord has abandoned him. He expects that it’s going to be another glorious moment of playing “thought you had me” with the Philistines. 

Only when he’s hit rock bottom does he finally call out to God for help—and we don’t even see any real repentance or even care for Yahweh’s honor. “Just lemme get ‘em back for my eyes,” says Samson. Right down to the barely there (false?) repentance, Samson is a poster child for Israel.

It’s instructive to us that we don’t find it difficult seeing a parallel between Samson and the habitual patterns of the people of God as a whole. This is what we are often like. And what we need is to know: what is God like?

Well, He’s the God who turns Dagon’s party into the Philistines’ funeral. He’s the God who, for the sake of Christ and the love in which He gave Christ, listens to the prayers even of saints who have repeatedly disgraced themselves. He’s the God who is still on the throne in the seasons of even the most bizarre earthly leadership—and who is advancing His plan of redemption not only when it’s invisible, but also exactly opposite what appears visible.

Christ is still coming, and these are the people that God is preserving, through whom to send His Son into the world for sinners! We need to remember that, here in Judges 16, because (amazingly) things are about to get much, much worse.
For what “loves” of your life do you sometimes become forgetful of the Lord? 
Suggested Songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious”

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