Today, in the midst of Advent, the Roman Catholic Church remembers Samson in her readings. He is remembered because he began the liberation of Israel from the power of the Philistines (Judges 13:5), he prepared the way for the Davidic Kingship which began the line of the Messiah, and he was seen as a Hero of Faith by the letter to the Hebrews (11:32). Samson stood in the historical backdrop of Jesus Christ, 1000 years before the birth of Our Savior. The name Samson invokes images of heroic adventure, surpassing power, and invincible strength. Because of his name, which derives from the Hebrew word for “sun”, many have thought of him as a figure of folk tales, a myth from the early history of Israel, or an embellished memory of a local strong man. How unfortunate are those who do not see the rich theology in the narratives which speak of this man or the hand of God which moved him. His name, literally meaning “power of the sun”, showsContinue reading »

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Friendship Delights

In the Bible, I so admire the love and friendship of Jonathan and David. We read of the loyalties demonstrated in that treasured relationship. In 1 Samuel 20, we read of the loyalty that Jonathan held for David, a man who Saul, Jonathan’s father, grew to intensely dislike. Jonathan defied and challenged Saul about his unjust treatment of David. He says to him in 1 Samuel 19:4,5 – KJV, “ . . . Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?”

The bond between Jonathan and David was impressively solid. Reading about their united brotherly love is heart stirring indeed. Yes, their soul ties yield great admiration. 1 Samuel 20:17 – KJV says, “And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.” How swell is that? And in 1 Samuel 20:15 – KJV Jonathan says to David, “But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: . . .”

After Jonathan met his demise, David continued brotherly love actions in Jonathan’s bloodline by welcoming and caring for his son, Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel 9:1 – KJV says, “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” David said to Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9:7 – KJV “. . . Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.” He goes on in 2 Samuel 9:11 – KJV to say, “. . . As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.”

Ah, that Jonathan/David bond, and bloodline love and loyalty journey is a favorite read of many folks indeed.

Three hundred years before Christ was born, Plato the Greek scholar, predicted an event: “That if ever the Truly Good Man were to appear, the Man who would tell the Truth, that man (He) would have his eyes gouged out and in the end be crucified” ~~~Plato the Grecian Philosopher 347 B.C. Well, ‘that man’ did appear telling the world, “I am the Truth, the Life and the Way” and as Plato foresaw, that Man was crucified. However, Jesus is more that just a good man. He’s the human-divine Son of God born of the Virgin Mary; the great High Priest who intercedes for His people at the right hand of God; founder of the Christian church and central figure of the human race. To be sure, God’s best intention for humanity is Jesus. He is the perfect God-man, who willingly took our sins upon Himself and experienced divine wrath in our place. Indeed, God accepted His death as full payment for our sins, and He raised Jesus from theContinue reading »

Ever since mom passed away a couple of years ago, I’ve had these nagging feelings of guilt. Wishing I had been a better daughter haunts me. As you may know, guilt is an emotional experience that a person realizes or believes (accurately or not) that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct. Also, guilt is closely related to remorse. Fortunately, psychology doesn’t have an answer or cure for guilty feelings. Even Sigmund Freud, father of psychology, stated: “guilt is the most powerful of all obstacles to one’s recovery”. And, yes I said ‘fortunately’ psychiatry isn’t the cure because there’s a better way. Let’s take a peak at the best solution for guilt by looking into the life of Israel’s most famous King. We read in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel about the exposure of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. For sure, this was a dismal period in the life of King David. By divine commission, the prophetContinue reading »

Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 We first observe here the source of our blessings. They are of God and in Christ. We are not righteous in ourselves, but receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. It is according to God’s purpose and by his grace that we are in Christ and that these spiritual blessings are ours. Additional blessings are then described: not only do we have righteousness in Christ but also wisdom, sanctification and redemption. Wisdom that is not our own, sanctification that we could not effect on our own, and redemption that we could not purchase on our own. All of this is found in Christ alone. We then look at what our response should be: glory in the Lord! What are you rejoicing in today? What are you boasting about today? We cannotContinue reading »

A lovely young couple got married over the weekend at our local church in Tifton Georgia. During the wedding ceremony the beautiful bride washed her beloved’s feet. Then, the handsome groom cleansed hers. Ever so often, something memorable comes along that’s special. Can you imagine what a wonderful marriage this will be if they continue yielding to one another. Not that any union is always smooth sailing but humility goes a long way in making things run better; much like what oil does for a car’s engine. To broaden our perspective, let’s marvel at Jesus’ demeanor. In studying Jesus’ character traits, is it worth the effort for us to adopt a spirit of lowliness? I think yes. His own disciples selfishly argued over who would be exalted and sit with Him in lofty places of honor when He came into His Kingdom (Luke 22:24). By all means, they wanted to be noticed for greatness and I’m guessing this type of behavior gave Christ a saddened heart. In light of that,Continue reading »