Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Some musings from Judges

So we are nearly a quarter of the way through the year of Bible reading although my little gold ribbon doesn't seem to reflect this as it marks of the number of pages read, but this week we passed through the whole book of Judges which was a fairly tumultuous time in the history of God's people.

Already posted some thoughts on Gideon, but the next main character to arrive on the scene is Samson. Love reference in Judges 13:25 where 'the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him...' Reminded me of time when as a child we visited someone or other and there was a huge dog lying in front of the fire asleep. I remember being intimidated by the size of this beast, but reassured when he seemed deeply asleep. I remember the sense of fear and apprehension i felt as it began to stir a while later and recall anticipating with frazzled fear the sense of being at the mercy of this powerful dog as it burst into action. Love that sense of Samson's power and strength beginning to be awakened by the Spirit of God. Love seeing that in people - particularly young, passionate men who are sold out for our King, when God seems to grab hold of their life and something powerful, even intimidating begins to stir as they begin to get ready for action.

Challenged and inspired by this one little verse.

What follows is some pretty horrific treatment of women as no more than sex slaves as Samson's wife is given to whoever at the party wants her and then another unrelated story of the abominable treatment of a young woman who is raped and murdered brutally. It is some small mercy that the shocking nature of her death serves as a warning and a challenge to Israel.

Sandwiched between these to women accounts is the curious narrative about Micah and his priest who installs gods for good fortune in his house and then employs a Levite to be his personal priest to the gods. [I cheekily wondered whether this is where the tradition of Bishop's chaplain's came from!!!!] But the point is, and still remains today how strong the pull of superstition and charms for good fortune remain on people, despite the clear biblical mandate to be rid of such things and trust fully in the ways of the Lord.

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