Presentation on theme: "Study 10—The Rise of Samson. Study 11 The judgment of Samson Study 12 Men without chests Study 13 People without a King Study 14 Exiles in a foreign land."— Presentation transcript:
Study 10—The Rise of Samson
Study 11 The judgment of Samson Study 12 Men without chests Study 13 People without a King Study 14 Exiles in a foreign land Study 15 Living in a pagan society: five models Study 16 The dream of the kingdom Study 17 The fiery furnace What’s Next?
Study 18 The mad King Study 19 The writing on the wall Study 20 The lion’s den Study 21 Joseph and the dream Study 22 Joseph’s fall and rise Study 23 Joseph and his brothers Study 24 Joseph redeems his family Study 25 The feasts of the King What’s Next?
What is a Pluralistic society? Religious pluralism is a set of worldviews that stands on the premise that one religion is not the sole exclusive source of values, truths, and supreme deity. It therefore must recognize that at least “some” truth must exist in other belief systems. This is one example of “they can’t all be right.”
State of Dramatic Tension God’s holy commands God’s faithful promise
Themes 1.God relentlessly offers his grace to people who do not deserve it nor seek it nor even appreciate it after they have been saved by it. 2.God wants lordship over every area of our lives, not just some.
Themes 3.There is a tension between grace and law, between conditionality and unconditionality. 4.There is a need for continual spiritual renewal in our lives here on earth, and a way to make that a reality.
Themes 5.We need a true Savior, to which all human saviors point, through both their flaws and strengths. 6.God is in charge, no matter what it looks like.
Downward Spiral RebellionOppressionRepentance New Leadership
Introduction The story of Samson is famous for its potent mix of sex, violence, and superpower — exactly the stuff of a contemporary summer action film! But if we read it a part of the whole narrative of the book of Judges, we will find it to be at least perplexing and probably disturbing. As Israel’s spiritual condition waxes worse and worse, the scene seems to be set for a great judge/leader, perhaps the greatest of all. And chapter 13 with its ‘annunciation’ prepares us for a wonderful, powerful deliverer. Instead we find by far the most flawed character in the book, a violent, impulsive, sexually addicted, emotionally immature and selfish man. Most disturbing of all, the “Spirit of God” seems to anoint and use his fits of pique, pride, and temper.
Question 1 a)What do these texts tell us about the level of conflict between Israel and the Philistines? We see that the Philistines were settled and living normal lives deep in Israelite territory (e.g. Timnah). They were “rulers” (14:4; 15:11) over Israel, yet their ‘occupation’ seems completely peaceful. Samson is free to come and go, and there is no resistance (on the Philistine side) to his marriage to a Philistine.
Question 1 b)How is this a different attitude? In short, Israel’s capitulation to the Philistines is far more profound and complete than any of their previous ‘enslavements’. In the past, Israel groaned and agonized under their occupations by pagan powers, because their domination was military and political. But now their enslavement is virtually unconscious, because its nature is that of cultural accommodation
Question 1 “The tribes of Canaan still were enemies of Israel, and Israel’s distinctiveness was meant to be seen in contrast with them...[But now] Israel has so accommodated itself to the world around her that she wants no rocking of the boat.” – M.Wilcock, p.139
Question 2 a)How does God’s plan for Samson differ from our expectations of deliverance? They expected him to motivate and recruit the Israelites into an army God uses the very weaknesses of Samson to bring about confrontation The one thing God must supernaturally supply Samson’s physical strength.
Question 2 This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23)
Question 2 b)What does this teach us about being patient with God’s seeming inactivity? First, the practical problem. So often we pray for God to bring about his good purposes that he attests to in the Bible (e.g. spiritual blessing, conversions, the triumph of the right and of justice), and instead it looks like everyone continues sinning and disasters keep happening.
“God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take: The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. William Cowper
Question 2 b)What does this teach us about being patient with God’s seeming inactivity? The intellectual problem is — how can God evidently use such flawed people to get his work done? Shouldn’t he only work with people who are very good and godly? Shouldn’t he only work through the people with the “right” beliefs and the “right” behavior? This text shows us how wrong it is to put God in that box either.
“The implication of such thinking is that you have to be good enough for God to use you, you must have reached a certain standard (set by us!) of moral maturity or theological accuracy. Do you see what we have done? We have perverted the doctrines of grace with a religion of works. The Book of Judges shoots holes through all of that. It is above all a book about grace, undeserved mercy, as is the whole Bible… That is not to play down theological accuracy or to pretend it doesn’t matter how we behave… [We will still suffer from our sins]. But we can rejoice that he is also in the business of using our failures as the foundations for his success. Let us never imagine that we have God taped, or that we know how he will work, or when. As soon as we start to say, ‘God cannot or will not… until…’ we are wrong-footed.” (D.Jackman, p.222)
Question 3 a)Is his parents’ concern about his marriage a racist one? As Exodus 34:15-16 makes clear, the Biblical prohibition is not against interracial marriages per se, but against inter-faith marriages.
Question 3 b)What is the chief concern in the Bible about ‘mixed-faith’ marriages? In 2 Cor.6:14-16 the apostle Paul renews the appeal to believers to not enter into binding partnerships with those who do not worship God. Here, as in Exod.3 and Judges 3, the main issue is that such marriages weaken a believer’s loyalty to God.
Question 4 a)What do we learn in this chapter about Samson’s character? 1)First, we see Samson is impulsive. (14:2) 2)Second, we see Samson is unteachable, and he is especially dismissive of parental counsel and authority.
Question 4 a)What do we learn in this chapter about Samson’s character? 3)Third, we see that he is vindictive and violent. 4)Fourth, we see his pride has another form — a callous and “flippant” quality.
Question 4 b)Why would Samson not tell his parents about the lion? 5)Fifth, and most importantly, we see him beginning to show disdain for his Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-8) vow.
Question 5 a)What does this teach us about gifts and fruit of the Spirit? 1)It is possible to be empowered by the Spirit in gifts and still lack fruit of the Spirit. 2)The second answer is that the OT believers did not have the Holy Spirit in the same degree that NT believers have Him after Pentecost.
Question 5 b)How can we be on the lookout for this problem in our own lives? 1)First, we can recognize the Biblical distinction between gifts and fruit. 2)Second, we must look to our prayer life (rather than to our religious activities) as the best indicator of spiritual health. 3)Third, we must avoid “Lone Ranger” Christianity.
Question 6 Give some examples of how the church’s efforts at avoiding conflict with the world has been or is now really a surrender? Many churches began the project of ‘desupernaturalizing’ the Christian message.
Question 6 “Liberal” churches tend to seek members among the “cultural elite” — the educated, white-collar professional 20% of the population. White-collar U.S. culture has at least the following idols: (1) personal choice and freedom, (2) absolute tolerance and the rejection of exclusive truth and personal responsibility, (3) professional expertise and status.
Question 6 “Conservative” churches tend to seek members in the more conservative “heartland” and often among more blue-collar people. The idols of that culture include: (1) an idealized past, (2) the nuclear family, (3) one’s own race and traditional culture, (4) authority. While liberal culture is relativistic, conservative culture is moralistic and makes an idol out of “goodness” and respectability.