The story of Samson is a story of divine grace, triumphing over human sin.

In the story of Jephthah (Judges 11-12), we learn that we need wisdom as well as sincerity. We need to have knowledge of God’s will as well as a desire to do His will. Samson was to “dedicated to God from his birth” (Judges 13:5). His early life is described in terms of God’s blessing …

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Deliver me from my enemies.

Judges 10:1-11:40; John 6:25-29; Psalm 59:1-8 “Deliver me from my enemies” (Psalm 59:1). The Psalmist had enemies. The people of Israel had enemies. Jesus had enemies. We have enemies. There will, however, be a Day of God’s judgment. There will be deliverance for the Lord’s people. No mercy will be shown to wicked traitors. The …

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People still need to hear the Word of the Lord.

'Keep quiet' - There is a guilty silence which comes from disobedience (Judges 18:18-20). When God's people remain silent, things go from bad to worse - 'Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint'. We must not be 'disobedient to the heavenly vision' (Judges 18:30; Proverbs 29:18; Acts 26:19). Chapter 19 warns us: …

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March on, my soul, with strength, but not thine own. The conquest thou shalt gain through Christ the Lord alone.

Judges 5:12-6:10 'The people of the Lord marched down for Him against the mighty (13) - God is still calling His people to march for Him: 'March on, my soul, with strength, with strength, but not thine own; The conquest thou shalt gain, through Christ the Lord alone' (Church Hymnary, 614). This is not 'marching' for ourselves, …

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Rise up, O Church of God awake!

Judges 4:1-5:11 Barak is an example of 'faith' (Hebrews 11:32-34). Faith involves believing God's promise - 'I will give... ' and obeying His command - 'Go' (4:6-7). God still says, 'Go...I am with you always... ' (Matthew 28:19-20). Barak needed Deborah's help (4:8-10). Both needed God's help - 'Our sufficiency comes from God' (2 Corinthians …

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Strong in the Lord, let us tread all the powers of darkness down and stand complete at last.

Judges 1:1-2:5 'You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7). Everything seems to be going well - 'From victory to victory His army He shall lead till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed' (1-18; Church Hymnary, 481). Things went badly wrong. God commanded His people to 'drive …

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God uses a sinful and shameful situation to call His people back to Himself.

Judges 20:1-28 God uses a sinful and shameful situation - 'Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day' (19:30) - to call His people back to Himself - 'all the people of Israel...assembled as one …

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Some words of encouragement – for the times when we feel discouraged

Two Bible verses are running through my mind. One of the verses is very discouraging. The other verse is very encouraging. The first verse would make us feel like giving up in despair. The second verse makes us want to keep on going with the Lord and for the Lord. The first of these verses …

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Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by who You are.

Praying through God's Word - Judges 14:10-16:3 Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by who You are. We are sinners. You are the God of grace, Shall our sin triumph over Your grace? - "God forbid!" (Romans 6:1-2). "Sin shall not have dominion over us" (Romans 6:14). Your …

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When things don’t work out well, and we wonder, “Why?”

"If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?" (Judges 6:13). God has spoken words of encouragement: "the Lord is with you, brave man" (Judges 6:12). Things were not going well. Gideon was having doubts about God: "now the Lord has abandoned us" (Judges 6:13). God was quick to reassure Gideon: …

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Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph - and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

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The Spirit of the Lord empowers our very human words …

"Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him" (Judges 6:34) Real spiritual power is more than human eloquence. It's the Spirit of the Lord who empowers our very human words. It's the Spirit of the Lord who calls our hearers to follow Jesus. It's the Spirit of the …

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God’s faithful love

Judges 4:1-5:31; John 4:43-5:15; Psalm 57:1-6 “God sends His love and faithfulness” (Psalm 57:3). When we’re reading a book like Judges, we must remember the faithful love of God. When we remember God’s faithful love, we will look beyond the events recorded in Judges. We will catch a glimpse of God’s presence and purpose. Whatever …

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We must pray for the triumph of God’s grace over human sin.

The sinful and shameful times, described in the book of Judges, are summed up in the book’s final verses of chapters 19, 20 & 21. “Never has such a thing happened or been seen from the time the people of Israel came out of Egypt until today” (Judges 19:30). “Then the men of Israel went …

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The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power.

Judges 14:1-15:20; John 7:14-44; Proverbs 11:29-12:7 True strength comes from the Spirit of the Lord – “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson) in power” (Judges 14:19); “Whoever believes in Me (Jesus), as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those …

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Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Judges 12:1-13:25; John 6:60-7:13; Psalm 59:9-17 Judges tells us of Samson, a man of great strength. The Psalmist teaches us that true strength comes from the Lord. Samson’s true strength was God-given. Our true strength is God-given. True strength is more than physical strength. It’s spiritual strength. The Psalmist says to God, “O my Strength, …

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In love, God is calling us to return to Him …

Judges 9:1-57; John 6:1-24; Psalm 58:1-11 “Surely there is a God who judges the earth” (Psalm 58:11). “God repaid the wickedness … ” (Judges 9:54). The Holy God speaks to us of His judgment upon sinners. He speaks to us His Word of warning, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of …

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How important it is not to settle for a superficial religion …

Judges 7:8b-8:35; John 5:31-47; Proverbs 11:19-28 “No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals” (Judges 8:33). “John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light” (John 5:35) – “For a time”, but note their response to Jesus -”I have …

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Overview Of The Old Testament: Judges

Judges 1-12 God commanded His people to ‘drive out’ His enemies. Again and again, they failed (1:19,21,27-33). In Isaiah 30:21, God says, ‘This is the way, walk in it’. Here, in the sin and shame of Israel, He warns us, ‘This is not the way, do not walk in it’ (2:11-15). Barak is an example …

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Everyone did what was right in his own eyes …

Judges 20:1-21:25; John 8:31-59; Psalm 61:1-8 The Book of Judges ends on a very sad note: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (or “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”)” (Judges 21:25). The sadness doesn’t come from the political situation – “no king”. It comes from …

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Even when His people are at a very low ebb, God does not abandon them.

Judges 16:1-17:13; John 7:45-8:11; Psalm 60:1-4 Samson “killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30). The chief priests and Pharisees were anxious to bring Jesus in – to destroy Him. Little did they realize that His death was to be His greatest victory. Even when His people are at a very …

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The problems are great. The Lord is greater.

Judges 18:1-19:30; John 8:12-30; Psalm 60:5-12 In Judges, we read of idolatry and adultery. Into this kind of situation comes the Lord’s warning – “if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). There is much resistance to the Gospel. There will, however, be those who …

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When we worship the Lord, we are strengthened to go on, living for Him.

As we read of Israel’s military exploits, we must recognize the spiritual dimension. This is brought out well in the song of victory in Judges 5. It begins with the words, “Praise the Lord!” (Judges 5:2). It is a song of praise to God - “I will sing a song to the Lord. I will …

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Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by what You are.

Judges 14:10-16:3Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by what You are. We are sinners. You are the God of grace, Shall our sin triumph over Your grace? - "God forbid!" (Romans 6:1-2). "Sin shall not have dominion over us" (Romans 6:14). Your grace has brought us forgiveness. May …

Continue reading Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by what You are.

God’s love for us remains constant, even when our love for Him has grown very weak.

In the book of Judges, we see both sin and salvation - “The people of Israel did what the Lord considered evil” (Judges 3:7,12); “Then the people of Israel dried out to the Lord for help” (Judges 3:9,15); “The Lord sent a saviour to rescue them” (Judges 3:9,15). Viewed from the point of view of …

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Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123 or Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30

Our help comes from the Lord. The glory goes to the Lord.Barak is an example of ‘faith’ (Hebrews 11:32-34). Faith involves believing God’s promise - ‘I will give...’and obeying His command - ‘Go’ (Judges 4:6-7). God still says, ‘Go... I am with you always...’ (Matthew 28:19-20). Barak needed Deborah’s help (Judges 4:8-10). Both needed God’s …

Continue reading Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123 or Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30