Skip to content

Tag: grace

Samson and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Wedding

Last week we began to look at the life of Samson. And of all the unlikely heroes that we’ve looked at in this series – it seemed, in the beginning anyway, that Samson was actually the most likely. We read how before he was even born, God had specially chosen him and had set him apart as the hero – as the one who would begin to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.

You’ll remember that an angel told Samson’s mom before He was born that her baby was to be a Nazarite from birth. Being a Nazarite meant that he was dedicated or set apart for God and as a sign of that, he was never to eat or drink anything from the vine (including wine or grapes or raisins) – he was never to cut his hair – and he was never to come near a dead body. Those three things were symbols of how Samson was set apart – dedicated to the Lord.

And things were very promising for Samson right from the beginning – we read that God blessed him as he grew up and that the Holy Spirit began to stir Samson or to prompt him to action as he got older. We even read about the time he was attacked by a lion and empowered by the Holy Spirit, he ripped the lions jaws apart as easily as if it were a young goat. We could clearly see that God was setting up Samson for greatness. It was starting to seem pretty obvious that God was going to use Samson in some amazing ways.

But then we read about two incidents that kinda shook our confidence in Samson. Despite the fact that God had set Samson up for greatness (or perhaps even BECAUSE of the fact that God had set Samson up for greatness), it seems that Samson is starting to become a little bit arrogant.

We read first of all how he totally disregarded his parents by insisting that he marry a young Philistine woman that had ‘caught his eye’. He didn’t even know the girl, but he insisted that she looked good to him and he demanded that his parents ‘get her’ for him. Of course, they saw the foolishness in this decision (knowing that God had specially set Him apart to rescue the Israelite from the Philistines – not to marry them) and they tried to dissuade him – but Samson had no regard for his parents advice. He did not honour his father and mother – as God had instructed in 5th of the 10 commandments.

The second incident that kinda shook our confidence in Samson was his disregard for his Nazarite vows. We read how after he killed that lion that attacked him, he went back later on and found that a swarm of bees had made honey in the carcass. And despite the fact that, as a Nazarite, he was never to go near a dead body, Samson scooped out some of that honey from the lion’s carcass and ate it. This was blatant disobedience to God’s command that he live as a Nazarite – set apart for God.

So we’re started to get some pretty serious red flags about Samson character. He seems to have no regard for authority of any kind – not his parents – not even God Himself. And you can be pretty sure that when someone has no regard for authority, disaster is just around the corner.

Well, today, we’re going to pick it up right where we left off. Samson and his parents have now arrived in Timnah to make the final arrangements for the wedding – this is the wedding that Samson’s parents had tried to talk Samson out of – but Samson wouldn’t listen to them and so the wedding went ahead. So we pick it up in Judges 14 – verse 10.

Leave a Comment

A Just God

Taste & see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8

We’ve spent the last several weeks learning and being reminded of who God really is and what He is really like and what we’ve tasted and seen so far is that God is really good!

For example, we’ve seen that God is a God of joy! In contrast to what many people believe about God, He’s not a grumpy wet blanket here to make life boring and miserable for us – No! He loves it when we experience delight and joy because His very character is joy. In fact, He has created us to experience immeasurable joy with Him forever! Pretty awesome stuff!

And that goes hand-in-hand with God’s generosity. He loves to give! He’s not a stingy, reluctant God that we have to bargain with or try to coerce into giving us what we need and want – No! God loves to provide for us and give us abundantly more than we could ask or even imagine!

And God is intimately involved in every area of our life. We saw last week that God is not some far-away, distant God, but He is so near to us that He even keeps a tally of the hairs on our head. And if God is aware when one little hair falls from your head, then He certainly knows about all the other more pressing issues in your life. And not only does He know, but He cares too!

It’s been pretty awesome to taste and see that the Lord is good – and this morning we’re going to be reminded of yet another aspect of God’s character.

So far, all the attributes of God that we’ve looked at to this point are usually pretty enthusiastically embraced. Everybody’s happy to know that God is generous, for example. No one complains about that. When we read that God will generously provide all we need – we’re good with that! Way to go, God!

Likewise when we read that God is the source of all joy – we’re like “Bring it on!” Bring on the joy!

And when we read that God is near, that God even numbers the hairs our head – that’s pretty cool. We’re pretty glad to have a God like that.

But then there are some aspects of God’s character that not everyone is eager to experience. Some of the things we read about God in Bible can sometimes make us feel a little uncomfortable.

Leave a Comment

King Ahab – A Lesson in Grace

This morning we’re going to take a look at one of Israel’s most notorious kings. Just like King David was known for his goodness – King Ahab was known for his badness. In fact, let me just read for you how the Bible introduces him. This is 1 Kings 16:29-33.

“Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him. 31 And as though it were not enough to follow the example of Jeroboam, he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal. 32 First Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. 33 Then he set up an Asherah pole. He did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.” 1 Kings 16:29-33

So basically, what the Bible is telling us, is that Ahab was the most evil king Israel had ever seen. He was the Adolf Hitler, the Joseph Stalin, the Osama Bin Laden of his time.

So what lessons could we possible learn from this guy? Well, I think the answer might surprise you. 

Leave a Comment