Daily readings: Judges 14,15. Isaiah 38. 2Peter 1,2.
We have quite a mixture of Scripture to read today – God used all kinds of people to speak to/or deliver his people – Samson was an outstanding, but strange example: he was a ‘superman’, possessed of remarkable physical strength, but desires a Philistine as a wife. He needs his parents to arrange this – they object and say, “Is there not a woman among our own people.” [ch.14 v.3]
But Samson is adamant; he wants the Philistine woman – “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.” We learn from this that God usually allows the human will to take its course – yet he can weave this into his purpose – as he did here.
Then in Isaiah we read a somewhat similar situation. King Hezekiah is told by the prophet, “Thus says the LORD; set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” [38 v.1] The King prays and “weeps bitterly” and the LORD responds, “Behold I will add 15 years to your life”[v.5] – but, as we shall see, those 15 years have a big effect on Israel’s subsequent history.
Our 2 chapters in 2 Peter are awesome in their description of God’s ultimate purpose in bringing great judgements on the world because it becomes totally godless. Yet, at the same time, says Peter, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” [2 v.9]. Paul wrote, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted (tested) beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” [1 Cor. 10 v.13] It is evident Paul is writing from personal experience.
How wonderful that God provides “a way of escape” for the godly! But we must each ask ourselves, ‘Does God count me as godly?’ We look at the ‘godly’ in the scriptures, they all had blemishes, Samson was a particular example – and suffered for it – but was listed among the men of faith in Hebrews 11 v.32. May “the Lord … rescue” us “from trials” if we are to experience (and how soon now?), “a time of trouble, such as never has been” [Dan. 12 v.1]
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