Sunday – February 23, 2014 Judges 13:1-25 “Samson’s Silver Spoon”

Sunday – February 23, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship

Judges 13 verses 1 to 25 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.


Word On Worship – Sunday – February 23, 2014 Download / Print

 Judges 13:3-6
Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

When it comes to biblical characters who seem larger than life, Sampson breaks the mold. The introduction of Samson in fact requires all of Judges 13. This introduction is the most lengthy and detailed introduction of any of Israel’s judges. More attention is devoted to Samson, the last judge of the Book of Judges, than to any other judge in this book. Our job as students of the Scripture is to discover why the author felt this lengthy introduction was necessary.

The story of Samson is a beautiful example of how God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility inter-mesh. There are many who feel it necessary to embrace one or the other – God’s sovereignty or human responsibility – but not both. But our text demonstrates both principles at work at the same time. Samson is a man who must, and does, make choices. These choices are almost always sinful and self-serving. And yet God purposed and promised that Samson would begin to deliver Israel from bondage to the Philistines. And that is exactly what God did, through a disobedient and pleasure-seeking Samson.

Do not think that God’s sovereignty removes all freedom of choice from men, or accountability for those choices. God’s sovereignty is so complete that He can give men freedom and yet still be in complete control of His world. We who are parents know (or will soon learn) that it is impossible for us to have complete and total control of our children. When we seek to exercise control, we do so by limiting our children’s freedoms. We confine them to their rooms and take away their car keys, cell phones, and computers. But even then we are not in complete control. God is able to give men the freedom to make choices and yet still be in control, so that we are assured that His purposes will be realized. That is illustrated by God’s use of Samson, even though he is sinfully self-indulgent.

If Judges 13 gets our hopes up about Samson and what will happen in his life, Chapters 14-16 will bring us down to reality. But the good news for those who place their hope and faith in Jesus Christ find out it is even better than they might have imagined. Jesus will never disappoint us nor will He will never fail. His deliverance is truly “wonderful,” and it lasts forever. I pray that you have already placed your trust in Him.

Sunday – February 16, 2014 Judges 10:1 – 12:15 “Jephthah: I Said What?”

Sunday – February 16, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship

Judges 10 to 12 “Jephthah: I Said What?” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.


Word On Worship – Sunday – February 16, 2014 Download / Print

 Judges 10:17-18
Then the sons of Ammon were summoned and they camped in Gilead. And the sons of Israel gathered together and camped in Mizpah. The people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, “Who is the man who will begin to fight against the sons of Ammon? He shall become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

We love our heroes. We want someone to be bigger than life and be immune from the shortcomings of society to somehow save the day. The medium or source does not matter. Whether people come from television or sports or  from politics and religion, we naturally seek to put individuals on pedestals and view them through rose-colored glasses, looking past their flaws and over exaggerating their strengths. We are distracted by their physical strength, or the style with which they carry themselves. Maybe they have faults, but we will not dig deep enough to find out because at the end of the day, we want a champion, a true deliverer.

There is only one True Deliverer, only One who is worthy of our worship and praise. If we are looking for heroes in the Book of Judges, we are destined for disappointment. The more closely we look at Israel’s judges, the more obvious their flaws become. Frankly, almost all of Israel’s judges who are described in any detail are jerks. They have weaknesses and besetting sins. We should learn from Scripture that all leaders – every one of them – have flaws. If we look long and hard enough, we will see them.

We can not idolize men for we will surely be disappointed. But we can be encouraged as we see the kind of instruments God uses to achieve His purposes. He uses homemade swords wielded by left-handed men, tent pegs, ox goads, and mill stones. He uses plain and ordinary people like Jael and the woman with the mill stone. When God uses the simple and even foolish things to achieve His purposes, then it is only He who should receive the glory. Let us be encouraged by the kinds of people God uses to achieve His purposes.

God saves those who are unworthy of salvation, not because of men’s works but solely because of God’s mercy and grace. Are you not amazed to find men like Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, and women like Rahab in the “hall of faith” of Hebrews 11? It is not the greatness of our deeds, but the gracious work of God in the person of Jesus Christ, that saves unworthy sinners. Jesus bore the penalty for our sins on the cross of Calvary. He offers the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life to all who place their trust in Christ Jesus and His work on their behalf. He is the Hero! He is the only Deliverer who can deliver condemned sinners from the penalty of death. Have you acknowledged your sin and placed your trust in Him alone for your salvation? If not, I plead with you to do so for your eternal well being.