Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Judges 16 (2.20 Monday)
Samson has always been a very interesting individual for me. There is such a stark juxtaposition between his reckless propensity to give into his fleshly desires and God using him to accomplish judgement on the Philistines, the bane of the Israelites during Sampson’s life. This contrast is seen so clearly in the account of Sampson’s fall and renewal of strength in Judges 16. In reading this account, I could not help but notice the downward spiral that comes Sampson’s way when he allows sin to enter and entertains the temptations that come with it. We see that Sampson once again allows his fleshly desires to lead him into a situation where he is toying with sin a temptation. Delilah tempts him to reveal his weakness, and instead of turning away, he plays a game of “Catch me if you can!” with the temptation. Ultimately, it is Sampson’ willingness to engage and let his guard down that leads to him giving up his strength, allowing himself to be overpowered.
How often do we do this with sin and temptation? Rather than calling out the danger in the situation we find ourselves in, too often we try to toe the line without stepping over.
For Reflection: What are some sins or temptations in your life that you may be allowing to gain a foothold?
Read Judges 21 (2.23 Thursday)
I think the book of Judges can be summed up pretty well with one phrase: “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This phrase is first penned in Judges 17:6 and also at the conclusion of the book. In between lies a summary of the damage that occurs when everyone does what they deem to be okay. In passages leading up to Judges 21, I could not help but feel repulsed and sick by some of the gruesome details, and when we get to chapter 21, we are presented with the aftermath of humanity following their own sinful desires: God’s people—the tribe of Israel, are left in disarray, relationships are severely broken, and almost an entire tribe is completely wiped out. All of this because a group of individuals did not follow God’s way but their own.
There are such dirty consequences when we decide to abandon God’s care and direction in our lives and go after desires which are contrary to his will. We can see that time and again throughout the book of Judges as the people repeatedly turned away toward idols and disobeyed God. We can see it in our own lives when we choose to disobey God and do things our own way. Fortunately, as we see throughout the book of Judges, God is merciful, hearing the cry of his people when they fall, providing redemption for us just as he did for the tribe of Benjamin.
For Reflection: In what ways are you doing things your way rather than God’s way? Thank God for his reconciliatory work in your relationship with him and others!
Reflections written by Daniel Rico