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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5 - Judges 16-18: Sampson Fails to Deliver; a Levite Serves a Foreign God

Today’s Reading: Judges 16-18

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Even God's chosen judges are no longer obeying God.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Sampson fell in love with a woman named Delilah who was bribed by the Philistines to find the source of his strength—his hair. The Philistines shaved Sampson, captured him and gouged out his eyes. When they brought him to a feast for sport he asked God for strength to kill everyone. He destroyed the building, killing himself and 3000+ Philistines.
Micah, a man from Ephraim, made an idol. He employed a Levite as the priest to his idol-gods.
The tribe of Dan took the land Micah lived in and killed all the men. However, they continued worshiping Micah's idol-god.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Sampson fails to fulfill his calling because he is sidetracked by (non-holy) women.

As we read yesterday, Sampson was called before he was born to deliver Israel from its Philistine occupation. Unfortunately, he seems to care more for women than accomplishing God's task. These women would eventually lead to his downfall and the failure of his task. Do not allow non-holy (not wholly for God) women and men to sidetrack you from your God-given tasks.

God gives Sampson one last chance to bring judgment against the Philistines.

Sampson has repented of his lackadaisical attitude and now wishes to fulfill his task, at least die trying. So God gives him his chance. God is willing to help anyone who will do His expressed will—even if the person has forsaken Him in the past. This does not mean God wants us to go and kill our enemies as Sampson did. This means our multitude of failures cannot prevent God from using us to set things right on the earth.

The story of Micah and the Levite show how God's chosen tribe no longer obeyed God.

The book of Judges seems to break down from judge-based narratives to more general narratives. Other Jewish history books have a similar ending. Miscellaneous stories which do not fit the normal theme of the narratives are all placed at the end. The timeline is not explicit, so we do not know when the events of Micah and the Levite took place. What we do know, however, is that the Levite decides to take a job which is not connected to the one God has given the Levites. Micah's gods are not the God who has called Israel, saved Israel, or given land to Israel. Because this Levite becomes a priest to a foreign god the entire tribe of Dan fall into idol worship. Priests must be careful not to lead God's Chosen People to the wrong god!

What has you sidetracked from God's work in your life?

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