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Today we read about Jephthah and his daughter - and the related vow. It is interesting to note that some Biblical scholars do not think that Jepthah actually killed his daughter, but that she simply died a virgin, as verse 38 says. However... verse 38 also says he kept his vow. Keep in mind that oftentimes the Bible reports "just the facts," which does not necessarily mean the "facts" or actions of what us humans did was pleasing in God's sight. Human sacrifice was not part of God's laws or plans. It is clearly forbidden in Leviticus chapter 20 verses 1-5 and in Leviticus chapter 18:21 - " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD."
Today we begin reading four chapters about Samson, the last of the judges. You'll notice that the author of Judges often compares the story of Samson's birth and life with the story of Israel. Samson was a Nazirite, which meant he could drink no alcohol, could not cut his hair, and could have no contact with the dead. I found it interesting that Samson's mother was commanded by the angel in Judges 13 today to not drink any alcohol during her pregnancy. Obviously this is important for health reasons, but also it seems it is important because Samson was a Nazirite - whose life began in his mother's womb. More info on Nazirite's is at this link.
Judges chapter 13 verses 19 & 20 are awesome to consider - "Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the LORD. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the LORD did an amazing thing. As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the LORD ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground."
Interesting story today about Samson & the lion! Pretty gross that he ate the honey made in the lion's carcass on the way to his wedding! :) You'll note in our readings of Samson that he is drawn to Philistine women, which was against God's law and the Philistine's were Israel's enemies then. Hence, his parents did not approve of the marriage early in chapter 14. Okay - back to the lion, and verses 5 & 6 - "As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion attacked Samson near the vineyards of Timnah. At that moment the Spirit of the LORD powerfully took control of him, and he ripped the lion's jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat. But he didn't tell his father or mother about it."
Judges 15 today is quite a chapter! Whew... Samson is a whirlwind in this chapter... I know I probably should not chuckle about this - but a donkey's jawbone?? Who would have ever thought this could be a lethal weapon. Well, now we all know it can be indeed.
Worship God: Today's readings in Judges reminded me of the Hillsong song "God of Ages:"
Do you know our God of ages? Click here and meet Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years." Judges 13:1 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you won't ever do evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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