Impact week 15
Impact on Jesus week 15
Judges 16 tells us the end of Samson's story. A man gifted with so much, yet he took it for granted, ignored the nazerite vows, and used his strength for his own purposes. Arrogance set in as he entered a relationship with a woman he was not suppose to be involved with (a pattern in his life.) He gave up his secret knowing she would cut his hair (she had followed the three previous instructions to a T). He figured his hair no longer mattered. He felt invincible in his own strength. He did not even realize that the Spirit of the Lord had left him. In his pride and arrogance he fell into the hands of the enemy.
What a warning to a young man named Jesus. He was gifted and granted with the ability to do things through the Spirit that went above all imagination. How easy it would have been to fall prey to pride and arrogance, especially with all the fan fare that followed him. Women surely threw themselves at Jesus because he could turn water to wine, heal the sick, and raise the dead. Stories of the wind and waves obeying him must have brought many who may have screamed for his attention. How easy it would have been for him to fall.
But the story of Samson would have continued to ring in his ears, reminding him to remain humble and remember where his strength came from.
The end of the story ends up well though as Samson calls back out to the Lord. He had been made fun of ( something Jesus would endure), been paraded in front of mockers (Same as Jesus would endure), and was led where he did not want to go (Jesus lived this as well.) However, Jesus read the end of the story, as Samson placed his hands on the two pillars, he cried out for one last burst of strength from the Lord, and with his body looking like a man hanging on a cross, Samson brought down the temple and in his death finally completed the task he was sent to do, free his people from the Philistines. Jesus would play this story out again as he hung on a tree, cried out to his Father, and in his death defeated once and for all the Enemy that oppressed his people.
Judges 17, 18, &19 are almost like reading a horror story of sin and depravity. We read of a man named Micah who sets up idols and hires a Levite as his personal priest in his house of idols and because he has a Levite he seems certain God is going to bless him.
Next we see the Danites (Tribe of Dan) traveling through and they steal Micah's idols and his priest. They go clear out a village and set up the idols for worship.
Lastly we read of a Levite and his concubine who is unfaithful to him. Then he retrieves her from her father's house, travels toward home and stays in a city of the tribe of Benjamin. While staying in a house as a guest, the men of Benjamin come and surround the house and demand the Levite be sent out so "they can have sex with him." The story ends with the concubine being sent out, she is raped throughout the night and abused, then left at the doorstep of the house. Judges 19 ends with her body being hacked up into 12 pieces and a piece sent to each tribe of Israel.
I cannot fathom the disgust and horror that would have fallen upon Jesus as he learned these stories. How had the Israelite people fallen so far so quickly. What had happened that had caused them to turn so far from God that such deplorable things happened and were recorded? And mostly, why had it been recorded for him to read and learn from?
Could it be that these stories were sent as a grave warning to Jesus to not turn from the paths of righteousness? Is it possible these stories helped Jesus understand the depravity that surrounded him in his days on earth? Could it be that maybe these stories were to remind him why he had to come and willingly lay down his life as a sin offering for the offenders? Could it be that it was all of the above and more?
As I meditated on these passages, in my heart I sensed the sadness that would have overcome Jesus as he saw how sin could so quickly destroy what his Father had built. I felt the pain of how far sin could take the people away from the God who loved them and longed to dwell with them. I sensed an anger over how quick the serpent had deceived his beloved and drove them to madness and depravity. Then I sensed a resolve to accomplish what he was sent to do.
What I do know for sure is that even these stories had a profound impact on my Savior and because of them, he was even more determined to follow the lead of his Father and redeem his people from their sins.
What a Savior.
Sorry this is so late, just been a busy day. Judges 20-21 tells the story of the destruction of the tribe of Benjamin for their evil actions in Judges 19. They are almost wiped out. But 600 men were spared to live and rebuild the tribe.
However, in the process, another story unfolded. 400,000 Israelites came to war against just 26,500 soldiers for the tribe of Benjamin. Seems like it should be an easy victory. They Israelites inquired of God and he told them to go up against them. But on the first day, the Israelites lost 22,000 men. That night they wept before God and asked, do we go up tomorrow. God sent them up. But on the second day they lost another 18,000 men. The tribe of Benjamin was kicking their tails. That night, completely confused and sorrowful, the Israelites wept again before God and asked, "What is going on? Do we dare go up again tomorrow." This time God says, "Go up for I will driver them into your hands."
So on the third day, the Israelites went up and utterly defeated the entire tribe of Benjamin and only 600 men were spared.
It was the progression of coming to the third day that jumped out at me. Here, Jesus would have seen another confirmation regarding his coming fight against son and death. The first two days it would appear he had been defeated, but from this story he would again be reminded of what was coming on the third day.
I am so excited about seeing these stories through the eyes of Jesus and realizing all he gained from studying them. I find great encouragement in them as well, knowing that regardless of how it may appear, the victory is always in Gods hands.