When he got up the next morning, he squeezed the fleece, and enough dew dripped from it to fill a bowl. Please allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make only the fleece dry, while the ground around it is covered with dew. Only the fleece was dry and the ground around it was covered with dew.
The Midianites were camped north of them near the hill of Moreh in the valley. Bring them down to the water and I will thin the ranks some more. The rest of the men should go home. Gideon sent all the men of Israel back to their homes; he kept only three hundred men. Now the Midianites were camped down below in the valley.
Attack the camp, for I am handing it over to you. Then you will be brave and attack the camp. Their camels could not be counted; they were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore. I had a dream. I saw a stale cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp.
It hit a tent so hard it knocked it over and turned it upside down. The tent just collapsed. God is handing Midian and all the army over to him. He gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches inside them. I am going to the edge of the camp. Do as I do! They blew their trumpets and broke the jars they were carrying. They held the torches in their left hand and the trumpets in their right. The whole army ran away; they shouted as they scrambled away.
The army fled to Beth Shittah on the way to Zererah. They went to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Lord, You are so patient and forgiving, even as we sin against You again and again. May I not test Your patience but be ever-vigilant to resist the temptations of the enemy to turn away from You. The Lord God called Gideon, the youngest son in the weakest family, to deliver them. Gideon, surrounded by pagan influences twice asks the Lord God to verify that it was indeed Him who was calling.
His first assignment was to destroy the pagan altars and to use the wood to burn an offering to God. Gideon gathered the soldiers of Israel to do battle but God reduced their numbers to only versus tens of thousands of the enemy so that it would be impossible for Israel to boast of victory apart from God. Gideon was rightfully skeptical of any spiritual apparition since the pagan worship of false gods all around him would surely have welcomed demonic activity. Can you imagine the courage and faithfulness of Gideon to attack a massive camp of enemy soldiers with only men? Gideon was called to service by the Lord God to be His instrument of liberation once the people had confessed their sin of rebellion and sought the Lord's mercy.
When have you, or someone you know of, been asked by the Lord God to do something that seemed impossible for you them? How did it work out? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a ministry in which you may serve that can only succeed if He blesses and empowers it. Today I will step-out with the courage and faith of Gideon to be an instrument of God in a ministry whose successful conclusion may only be of His doing.
Like Gideon I will prayerfully discern with certainty that the calling is of Him, and like Gideon I will allow Him to direct so that there will be no question that the successful conclusion is not of the works of man but of God-alone through man. Take control of the fords of the streams all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.
They executed Oreb on the rock of Oreb and Zeeb in the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now on the other side of the Jordan River. You did not summon us when you went to fight the Midianites! What did I accomplish to rival that?
I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian. So why should we give bread to your army? The men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Succoth had. There were about fifteen thousand survivors from the army of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand sword-wielding soldiers had been killed.
He had surprised their entire army. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men? I swear, as surely as the Lord is alive, if you had let them live, I would not kill you. The Lord will rule over you. Each of you give me an earring from the plunder you have taken. This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, purple clothing worn by the Midianite kings, and the necklaces on the camels.
All the Israelites prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family. They made Baal-Berith their god. Lord, You fight the fights that matter in our lives, and You forgive us things we should never even consider doing to offend You. May I be careful not to stray and humbly repent and seek forgiveness rather than haughty arrogance when I fail. The Ephraimites were indignant that they were not part of the early phase of the battle but when Gideon showed them how great was their role they relented. Gideon took multiple wives and one concubine.
He had seventy sons by his wives and one by his concubine. While he lived the people remained generally-faithful to the Lord God but after his death they once-again rebelled. When Gideon was actively involved in the Lord's work he was intentionally faithful, but once left to his own wisdom he behaved very foolishly.
After his great military victories, as an instrument of God, Gideon's poor choices became part of the process of his people drifting back into rebellion. When have you observed a person being used mightily of the Lord then later drifting into sin, and leading others astray as well? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place in your life where you forget Him and rely upon your own flawed wisdom.
Recall that I am your own flesh and blood. Abimelech then used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous men as his followers. Otherwise may fire blaze from the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon! You murdered his seventy legitimate sons on one stone and made Abimelech, the son of his female slave, king over the leaders of Shechem, just because he is your close relative.
May fire also blaze from the leaders of Shechem and Beth Millo and consume Abimelech! He made the leaders of Shechem disloyal to Abimelech. But Abimelech found out about it. The leaders of Shechem transferred their loyalty to him. They came to the temple of their god and ate, drank, and cursed Abimelech. Is he not the son of Jerub-Baal, and is not Zebul the deputy he appointed? Serve the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem! But why should we serve Abimelech? Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers are coming to Shechem and inciting the city to rebel against you.
When he and his men come out to fight you, do what you can to him. A unit is coming by way of the Oak Tree of the Diviners. Go out now and fight them! Many Shechemites fell wounded at the entrance of the gate. When Abimelech heard about it, 9: When he saw the people coming out of the city, he attacked and struck them down.
Two units then attacked all the people in the field and struck them down. He captured the city and killed all the people in it. Then he leveled the city and spread salt over it. He took an ax in his hand and cut off a tree branch. They put the branches against the stronghold and set fire to it. All the people of the Tower of Shechem died — about a thousand men and women. Then they went up to the roof of the tower.
When he approached the entrance of the tower to set it on fire, 9: The curse spoken by Jotham son of Jerub-Baal fell on them. Lord, Your revenge is perfectly-precise and perfectly-holy meted-out upon those who stand against You. May I be careful to never ally myself with those who oppose my Lord God. Abimelech, the only son of Gideon by his concubine, schemed to seize power. Using seventy silver coins from his mother's relatives he hired mercenaries to murder Gideon's seventy children from his multiple wives.
Abimelech's scheme almost worked. He tricked all seventy of his half-brothers into gathering together and his henchmen successfully murdered sixty-nine of them, the youngest escaping notice by hiding. After Abimelech assumed power Jotham, the remaining legitimate successor to Gideon, announced a curse upon Abimelech and then escaped to hide from his revenge. Several years later the Lord God caused those who had allied themselves with Abimelech to quarrel among themselves resulting in their deaths and the death of Abimelech.
Gideon made a bad choice to take a concubine, and then to have a son by her, in so doing he created an opportunity for the enemy to make mischief later on. Isn't it frightening how easily the people were manipulated by Abimelech merely based upon an appeal to familial relationship? When the Lord God fulfilled Jotham's curse He turned the murderers upon one-another to kill each other. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you may either be misusing an appeal to age, gender, national origin, race, or human-tradition or may be making decisions based upon such a false appeal.
Today I will acknowledge the flawed reasoning and results that come from a false appeal to age, gender, national origin, race, or human-tradition. I will repent of such manipulation if I am using it and will recognize and reject it if I am its victim. I will share my experience with a fellow believer as an instrument of peer-discipleship.
He lived in Shamir in the Ephraimite hill country. To this day these towns are called Havvoth Jair — they are in the land of Gilead. They abandoned the Lord and did not worship him. We abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals. You cried out for help to me, and I delivered you from their power. Let them deliver you from trouble!
You do to us as you see fit, but deliver us today! Finally the Lord grew tired of seeing Israel suffer so much. He will become the leader of all who live in Gilead! His mother was a prostitute, but Gilead was his father. Why do you come to me now, when you are in trouble? Come with us and fight with the Ammonites. Then you will become the leader of all who live in Gilead.
If you take me back to fight with the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, I will be your leader. The people made him their leader and commander. Jephthah repeated the terms of the agreement before the Lord in Mizpah. Now return it peaceably! Israel sent the same request to the king of Moab, but he was unwilling to cooperate. So Israel stayed at Kadesh. He assembled his whole army, camped in Jahaz, and fought with Israel. Israel took all the land of the Amorites who lived in that land. Did he dare to quarrel with Israel?
Did he dare to fight with them? Why did you not reclaim them during that time? May the Lord, the Judge, judge this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites! He passed through Gilead and Manasseh and went to Mizpah in Gilead. From there he approached the Ammonites. He wiped them out! The Israelites humiliated the Ammonites. She was his only child; except for her he had no son or daughter. You have completely ruined me! You have brought me disaster!
I made an oath to the Lord, and I cannot break it. After all, the Lord vindicated you before your enemies, the Ammonites. For two months allow me to walk through the hills with my friends and mourn my virginity. She went with her friends and mourned her virginity as she walked through the hills. She died a virgin. Her tragic death gave rise to a custom in Israel. We will burn your house down right over you! I asked for your help, but you did not deliver me from their power. Why have you come up to fight with me today?
On that day forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell dead. He arranged for thirty of his daughters to be married outside his extended family, and he arranged for thirty young women to be brought from outside as wives for his sons. Ibzan led Israel for seven years; He led Israel for eight years. Lord, You are never careless in deed or word, and neither should we be. May I follow Your model as an intentional-Christian, thinking before acting or speaking, prayerfully considering what would be Your perspective. The Lord God raised up two good men as leaders of Israel over the course of forty-five years, but once the second of them died the people again rebelled against the Lord God.
He allowed the people to suffer under those whose false gods they had chosen to worship but in the eighteenth year He responded to their cries for help. He challenged them for their rebellion and they responded that He might punish them as He chose but pleaded with Him to set them free of the pagans. They discarded their pagan idols and God raised up another liberator. Just as He had done before, the Lord God chose a very unlikely leader in Jephthah; he was the son of a prostitute and his father was Gilead but his half brothers by Gilead expelled him from their community.
When troubles came they knew Jephthah was a hardened fighter with strong men around him so they asked that he be their leader. They promised to make things right and to keep him as their leader after they were free. Jephthah tried to reason with their enemies but they were unwilling to recognize the truth of his words. Jephthah made a foolish vow to the Lord God that if he was granted victory he would give whoever first approached him upon his return home to the Lord as a burnt offering.
Upon his return it was his only child, a daughter, who greeted him. The Lord God would not have taken Jephthah's foolish vow literally as human sacrifice was not permitted, the actual vow resulted in no descendants for Jephthah as his daughter was condemned to remain a virgin for life. The Ephraimites foolishly insulted and challenged the Gileadites, Jephthah's people, and the resulting civil war between the two Israelite groups resulted in the death of forty-two thousand Ephraimites. God's intervention was conditioned upon the active repentance of the Israelites, in this case it was their willingness to destroy their false idols.
Why did the Lord God keep choosing the most-unlikely people to lead Israel to freedom from their self-inflicted bondage? When have you observed a leader attempt to reason with an enemy only to have the enemy refuse to be reasonable and the result was conflict? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you are headed for conflict, either because you have refused to humbly acknowledge reason or because another has refused to do so. Today I will prayerfully repent of my pride or will humbly pray asking that another repent of theirs.
If conflict is unavoidable I will ask others to pray in-agreement for my protection and that I will conduct myself in a manner that honors the Lord God. All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http: Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned. When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.
This is a BibleSeven Study. Prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.
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This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author. His wife was infertile and childless. Do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. You must never cut his hair, for the child will be dedicated to God from birth.
He will begin to deliver Israel from the power of the Philistines. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name. So now, do not drink wine or beer and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. For the child will be dedicated to God from birth till the day he dies. But her husband Manoah was not with her. She must not drink wine or beer, and she must not eat any food that will make her ritually unclean. She should obey everything I commanded her to do. But if you want to make a burnt sacrifice to the Lord, you should offer it.
They fell facedown to the ground. He would not have shown us all these things, or have spoken to us like this just now. The child grew and the Lord empowered him. Lord, You showed the Israelites long before the coming of the Christ-child how You would bring The Deliverer into the world. May I be watchful for Your guiding hand in the world and live as You have taught me to live. When the Israelites rebelled it resulted in forty years of bondage to the Philistines. She was to avoid alcoholic beverages and foods forbidden to Iraelites as ritually-unclean. They asked the angelic messenger his name which he refused, saying that they could not comprehend it, and he then ascended back to Heaven along with the smoke of the goat-offering they made to the Lord God.
How many parallels are there between the prophesied birth of Samson and that of Jesus? The angelic messenger had to keep refocusing Manoah and his wife from their obsession with him and on to his purpose and to his message of the coming partial-deliverance of Israel from bondage through their son. When have you become so focused on the messenger, or observed that in others, that you had trouble even remembering the message? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you have become too interested in the message or the mode of the message-delivery system that you are missing some of the essence of the message.
Today I will repent of taking my eyes off of the Lord God and have not been fastidious in checking all teaching with His Word. I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement that I will accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit and focus my attention on His message. Now get her for my wife. You should not have to go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines. When he approached the vineyards of Timnah, he saw a roaring young lion attacking him. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
In his opinion, she was just the right one. When he returned to his father and mother, he offered them some and they ate it. Samson hosted a party there, for this was customary for bridegrooms to do. If you really can solve it during the seven days the party lasts, I will give you thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes. Did you invite us here to make us poor? You told the young men a riddle, but you have not told me the solution. Do you really expect me to tell you?
Finally, on the seventh day, he told her because she had nagged him so much. Then she told the young men the solution to the riddle. He went down to Ashkelon and murdered thirty men. He took their clothes and gave them to the men who had solved the riddle. He was furious as he went back home. Her younger sister is more attractive than she is. He tied the jackals in pairs by their tails and then tied a torch to each pair. He burned up the grain heaps and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves. Then he went down and lived for a time in the cave in the cliff of Etam.
They arrayed themselves for battle in Lehi. Why have you done this to us? We will only take you prisoner and hand you over to them. We promise not to kill you. The ropes around his arms were like flax dissolving in fire, and they melted away from his hands. He grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. But now must I die of thirst and fall into hands of the Philistines? When he took a drink, his strength was restored and he revived. For this reason he named the spring En Hakkore. It remains in Lehi to this very day. Lord, Your plan and timing was to begin the liberation of Israel from the Philistines, and Samson was the instrument you selected.
May I not forget that merely because you select a person as Your instrument it does not mean that You endorse all that they are or all that they do. You say that revenge is Yours, and this story of Samson illustrates what happens when mere men take it upon themselves to deliver revenge. May I be wise enough to resist the fleshy temptation to attack another, verbally, physically, other otherwise in a fit of unrighteous rage. He chose the impulsive and immature Samson much as Moses was impulsive and the Pharaoh was immature; their character defects created circumstances that God could use.
Samson went into the town and decided at first-sight he wanted to marry a Philistine woman he happened upon and returned home to inform his parents that they needed to get her for him. This was wrong on several levels; he was under a Nazirite vow and for him to marry a pagan risked spiritual pollution, he was acting impulsively which was immature and careless, the text implies a rude and disrespectful demandingness toward his parents. Samson and Timnah the Philistine were engaged, which according to the custom of the time meant that they were all-but-married except for the ceremony and consummation.
Later on in his travels he discovered that a swarm of honeybees had nested in the carcass of the same lion and he scooped honey from it to eat himself and to share with his family. As a Nazarite Samson was made ritually unclean by touching the carcass but he deceived others by not disclosing what he had done. His choice would only impact him as they were unaware and thus could not sin by violating the ritual-law.
When he arrived for the arranged wedding some of her male relatives gathered around so he decided to taunt them with a riddle. He stormed out in anger, killed thirty of their kin in Ashkelon and then brought the men their clothes, then stormed off again. Timnah was quickly given to his bridegroom to deny her to Samson. Samson, not yet aware that his bride his wife, less the ceremony and consummation had been given to another man, arrived with a gift and discovers what had been done. While their excuse was that they though he despised her, that they acted so quickly and did not consult him, suggested that their motive was to deny her to him.
In revenge the Philistines killed Timnah and her father, with fire, which triggered Samson to kill many Philistines and then hide in a cave. The Israelites, faced with an angry Philistine army invading their land to take revenge took 1, men to capture Samson in order to give him to the Philistines but God caused the ropes to dissolve off of Samson and with the jawbone of a donkey he killed 1, Philistines. In a prior miracle another man had killed with such a bone.
Samson may have been aware of that story and the Lord God likely chose the same weapon as a matter of consistency. Samson bragged of his victory, apparently giving no credit to God, but was still allowed by the Lord to serve as the leader of and equally-foolish Israel for twenty years. The Lord God uses who He will in the way He will, He is not like us nor does He answer to our man-invented expectations. What other men in the history since the Garden of Eden can you recall being as impetuous and immature as Samson?
How much power must God have given to Samson that he could round-up and use three hundred jackals, not friendly or pleasant creatures, in such a manner? When have you rushed into a choice only to realize at some point you should have consulted God first, or paused long enough to remember what you already knew of God that should have guided your choice? When have you experienced or observed the backlash of revenge? What was the result? Today I will confess and repent of my immaturity my impetuous actions.
I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement that I will discipline myself to pause and to pray before I act in a way or say something that I know — or I should know — will not bring glory to God. I will also ask a fellow believer to be my accountability partner and to pray in-agreement as I prayerfully partner with the Holy Spirit to learn to discipline my reaction to circumstances that may lead me into rage and revenge.
There he saw a prostitute and went in to have sex with her. He grabbed the doors of the city gate, as well as the two posts, and pulled them right off, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of a hill east of Hebron. Find out what makes him so strong and how we can subdue him and humiliate him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred silver pieces. The secret of his strength was not discovered. Now tell me how you can be subdued. But he tore the ropes from his arms as if they were a piece of thread. Tell me how you can be subdued. Three times you have deceived me and have not told me what makes you so strong.
If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me; I would become weak, and be just like all other men. She made him vulnerable and his strength left him. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him in bronze chains. He became a grinder in the prison. They made him stand between two pillars.
Then I can lean on them. There were three thousand men and women on the roof watching Samson entertain. Strengthen me just one more time, O God, so I can get swift revenge against the Philistines for my two eyes! He killed many more people in his death than he had killed during his life. They buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel for twenty years. Lord, in our rebellion we do many foolish things, which lead to our worldly destruction, but You can even use our foolishness in your great plan.
May I be less foolish so that I am useful to You as a productive instrument. Samson continued in his foolish ways, this time visiting a prostitute. The Philistines planned to capture him in the morning but he left early and tore the city gates — carrying them to the top of a hill. Then Samson became infatuated with another non-Israelite woman Delilah. The text does not state that he married her but it does describe his overnight stays in her home.
The Philistines leaders promised her a lot of money to trick him into disclosing the source of his extraordinary strength. She nagged him for many days and after teasing her with false explanations he finally gave in, as he had with the riddle to Timnah, and she told the Philistines. The Philistines captured Samson, gouged-out his eyes, and made him work like a beast of burden in their prison. This served as a major loss to the strength of the Philistines. Samson seemed unable to learn from his mistakes, generally resulting from his lust for non-Israelite women.
With the amazing blessing of the gift of extraordinary strength from God, plus his responsibility as the leader of Israel, why would Samson have been so foolish in his dealings with Philistine women? The Philistines feared Samson, though they should have feared the God from whom he received his strength, and in the end God used the foolishness of both Samson and the Philistines to further His goal of loosening the grip of the Philistines on Israel.
When have you made a bad decision then later observed that God used some element of it for good? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place in your life where you are vulnerable, where you are likely to allow a test of faithfulness to the Lord God to become a temptation and then lead to overt sin. Today I will prayerfully submit to the Lordship of Christ through the Holy Spirit in order to mature to where I am no longer vulnerable to temptation in the area He has revealed to me. It may be a place where I react to difficult circumstances with rage, where I engage in crude and foolish talk, dishonest dealings with others, gossip, laziness, pornography or other sexual sin, substance abuse, etc.
I will ask another believer to assist me with accountability and prayer in-agreement. Look here, I have the silver. I stole it, but now I am giving it back to you. We will use it to make a carved image and a metal image. He made an ephod and some personal idols and hired one of his sons to serve as a priest. Each man did what he considered to be right. He was a Levite who had been temporarily residing among the tribe of Judah. I am looking for a new place to live. Become my adviser and priest. I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, plus clothes and food.
Lord, You warn us that everything we worship — directly or indirectly when we divert our attention from You will bring harm to us. May I be careful every day to be certain that You are first in all things. Micah stole from his mother and then received compliments from her for returning what he had stolen. Micah added more pagan religious articles in the form of personal idols and an ephod and then hired his son to serve as his private priest — all without consulting the Lord God. Why would Micah disobey God and still expect that hiring an apostate Levite, who was untroubled by the presence of false idols, would bring him blessings from God?
Mere association with a religious order or an association says nothing about ones character, nor ones standing before the Lord God, only fealty to His Word can serve as evidence of Biblical integrity as a leader. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a person or an organization in whom you have placed some trust but who may be unworthy of that trust. I will be a good Berean and consult the Word and I will also solicit the prayers of a fellow believer and the counsel of an organizationally-independent person who is Biblically-qualified to be an elder. As is practically-possible and appropriate I will communicate my concerns to the person whom I believe to be apostate and unless they immediately repent and return to the Lord I will immediately separate myself from the untrustworthy influence.
To the degree that I have contributed to the problem I will remove from my possession any materials or objects that contain or reinforce bad teaching.
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And in those days the Danite tribe was looking for a place to settle, because at that time they did not yet have a place to call their own among the tribes of Israel. What are you doing in this place?
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What is your business here? The Lord will be with you on your mission. They noticed that the people there were living securely, like the Sidonians do, undisturbed and unsuspecting. No conqueror was troubling them in any way. They lived far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. The land is wide! God is handing it over to you — a place that lacks nothing on earth! To this day that place is called Camp of Dan. It is west of Kiriath Jearim.
Decide now what you want to do. Put your hand over your mouth and come with us! You can be our adviser and priest. He took the ephod, the personal idols, and the carved image and joined the group. What do I have left? They struck them down with the sword and burned the city. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and occupied it.
Jonathan, descendant of Gershom, son of Moses, and his descendants served as priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the exile. Lord, You show us the good and right way to fellowship with You and with one-another but we all-too-often choose to go our own destructive and rebellious way.
May I recognize Your provision and Your path and follow You all of my days. They also discovered a nearby city which was not Israelite nor was it prepared against any potential attack. They returned home and persuaded their tribe to gather and attack. The tribe of Dan traveled past the home of Micah where they took his hired personal Levite priest, his metal idol, his personal idols, his ephod, and worse of all his pagan religious practices. Micah and his family pursued them but were persuaded to turn back as the Danites were much to strong for them.
The Danites took the city and settled there but sold-out to the pagan religion and remained in rebellion against God until the time of exile from the promised land. The Israelites were in such persistent rebellion, despite all that the Lord God had shown them and had done for them, that He had chosen to give them no leader rather to allow them to choose freely in their own wisdom which way they would go.
Given all that they had to know of their tribal history, and of the Lord God, why would the Danites act so foolishly? The Lord had warned what would happen if the people turned to idols, yet they did so anyhow. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you may be leaving God behind as you pursue something that the world says is valuable. Today I will acknowledge my drift away from the Lord in pursuit of a worldly value. I will repent of it and return to a balance that favors God over everything else. There was a Levite living temporarily in the remote region of the Ephraimite hill country.
He acquired a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. When she had been there four months, He brought with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. Wait until later in the day to leave! The day is almost over! Since the day is over, stay another night here and have a good time. You can get up early tomorrow and start your trip home. He left and traveled as far as Jebus that is, Jerusalem. He had with him a pair of saddled donkeys and his concubine. We will travel on to Gibeah. They came into the city and sat down in the town square, but no one invited them to spend the night. The man was from the Ephraimite hill country; he was living temporarily in Gibeah.
The residents of the town were Benjaminites. Where do you come from? But no one has invited me into their home. I will take care of all your needs. They washed their feet and had a meal. After all, this man is a guest in my house. I will send them out and you can abuse them and do to them whatever you like. They raped her and abused her all night long until morning.
They let her go at dawn. He put her on the donkey and went home. Then he sent the pieces throughout Israel. Take careful note of it! Discuss it and speak! Lord, You have demonstrated over and over how much You hate sin, yet we persist in returning to our flesh-dominated and demon-manipulated ways over and over. May I intentionally seek the accountability, continuous discipleship, prayer-without-ceasing, and time in Your Word that is necessary to keep me from drifting into such terrible sin. Indeed, each man did as he thought best. A Levite had taken for himself a young woman as a concubine.
As had happened in Sodom and Gomorrah in the past, sin-crazed men surrounded the house and demanded that the man give them his guess to abuse sexually until he was dead. The old man refused because custom required that a guest in your home be defended at all costs. The Levite recognized the danger to the entire household and thus forced his concubine outside where she was raped repeatedly until he found her dead in the morning.
He brought her body home, cut it to pieces, and had the pieces delivered throughout the Israelite tribes as a challenge to the nation for justice. The rampant rebellion against God, and His decision to abandon them to their own ways, had gone so far as to cause one of the tribes to drift all of the way back to the demon-controlled madness of Sodom and Gomorrah. What decision had the Benjamanites made about their living circumstances which led to the demon-controlled mob? The Lord God was clearly not pleased with Israel and was allowing the crisis to be a teachable-moment to gain their attention.
When have you observed a person, group, or fellowship drifting into rebellion and then the sin became rampant? Ask the Holy Spirit to Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place in your life where your compromise with the world adds to the growing rebellion within your family, group, fellowship, or larger society. Today I will repent of my sin. It may be alcohol, food, or drug abuse. It may be debt or dishonesty, a lust for power or the lure of promiscuity, it may be laziness or the idolatry of perfectionism, it may be disrespecting God, parents, or fellow Christians who have Biblically-earned the right to be honored, respected, and trusted.
I will create an intentional system of accountability, continuous discipleship, prayer-without-ceasing, and time in the Word that is necessary to keep me from drifting into terrible sin. They wanted to kill me; instead they abused my concubine so badly that she died. Not one of us will return to his house! We will attack the city as the lot dictates. When they arrive in Gibeah of Benjamin they will punish them for the atrocity which they committed in Israel. Each one could sling a stone and hit even the smallest target.
They wept and sat there before the Lord; they did not eat anything that day until evening. They offered up burnt sacrifices and tokens of peace to the Lord. They began to strike down their enemy just as they had done before. On the main roads one leads to Bethel, the other to Gibeah and in the field, they struck down about thirty Israelites. But the Benjaminites did not realize that disaster was at their doorstep. The Israelites retreated before Benjamin, because they had confidence in the men they had hid in ambush outside Gibeah. They attacked and put the sword to the entire city.
When the men hiding in ambush sent up a smoke signal from the city, Benjamin had begun to strike down the Israelites; they struck down about thirty men. They are totally defeated as in the earlier battle. But the battle overtook them as men from the surrounding cities struck them down. But the Israelites caught five thousand of them on the main roads.
They stayed right on their heels all the way to Gidom and struck down two thousand more. They stayed there four months. They wiped out the cities, the animals, and everything they could find. They set fire to every city in their path. They offered up burnt sacrifices and token of peace. But spare the lives of any virgins. They brought them back to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. But there were not enough to go around. After all, the Benjaminite women have been wiped out.
An entire Israelite tribe should not be wiped out. When you see the daughters of Shiloh coming out to dance in the celebration, jump out from the vineyards. Each one of you, catch yourself a wife from among the daughters of Shiloh and then go home to the land of Benjamin.
You would only be guilty if you had voluntarily given them wives. They abducted two hundred of the dancing girls to be their wives.
They went home to their own territory, rebuilt their cities, and settled down. Each went from there to his own property. Lord, it is horrifying to a modern Christian to read the things that happened in the past, yet we have excused or tolerated equally terrible things abortion, Crusades, religious persecutions, and even slavery in our so-called civilized societies. May I not be blinded in my criticism of the sins of the past and miss the sins of today displayed in the mirror of the Holy Spirit. The people were horrified that what they thought could only happen in Sodom and Gomorrah, a place they knew that God had obliterated, and in terror gathered four hundred thousand strong at the Tabernacle to decide what to do.
The text does not state that they consulted with and heard from God but they decided to surround Gibeah and demand the lives of those who had committed the terrible crime. The Benjaminites refused and instead gathered to do battle. The first two engagements went badly for the larger Israelite forces and nearly 40, died. They consulted God each time and He told them to attack, yet the Benjaminites prevailed the first two times, but on the third try He said that He would deliver the Benjaminites to them and He did so.
The other tribes killed most of the Benjaminites, 25, of them — leaving only of age to serve in battle - and for four months they systematically destroyed their cities and villages, animals and crops. After four months of rampaging-destruction, their erstwhile purging of the evil among the Benjamintes, the other tribes realized that they had nearly obliterated an entire tribe and thus weakened the nation of twelve tribes appointed by the Lord God.
In their impetuous rush to separate themselves from the sin of the Benjaminites they had vowed that none of their tribes would give their daughters as wives to any Benjaminite. In their next rush-to-act they decided that somehow they had to find wives for the remaining Benjaminite men.
They discovered that one tribe was absent from their gathering, so they sent a force to wipe-out all but the young virgins, which resulted in of the needed wives. The Lord God had created the 12 tribes and He had declared them important, thereafter the identity of every Israelite was powerfully linked to a tribe, and through the tribe to the nation, and then the nation to God. The utter loss of a tribe would have been unthinkable to them.
How must their parents have felt, knowing the recent vile history of the Benjamites, and their daughter would be going to that decimated and dishonored tribe? The Lord God was clearly not pleased with Israel since He allowed ten percent 40, of their soldiers to be killed by the Benjaminites before He delivered the Benjaminites into their hands. The back-story was to explain just how terribly corrupt and rebellious all of Israel had become.
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The people of Jabesh Gilead paid a terrible price for not showing up to worship that day. While most paid with their lives, the young virgins found themselves displaced to the tribe of Ben after the death of everyone that they had known. Their loss became their sacrifice to preserve the tribe of Ben.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a way that you have, you are, or you can be used to preserve something that God says is valuable. Today I will pray, and ask at least one fellow believer to pray in-agreement, for clarity as to how the Lord God wishes to use me to preserve something of value.
I agree to be attentive to His call. Paramos numa mercearia para comprar sorvete para a sobremesa. Assim que mudei da direita para a faixa do meio, ele fez o mesmo. Tudo se passou bem diante dos nossos olhos. Sentimos um calafrio quando ouvimos Amnom ordenando a todos que se retirem, menos Tamar. Observamos impotentes quando ela tenta resistir, mas acaba sendo violentada por ele. Amnom, filho de Davi, se enamorou dela.
E ele lhe disse: Deita-te na tua cama e finge-te doente; quando teu pai vier visitar-te, dize-lhe: Tomou ela a massa e a amassou, fez bolos diante dele e os cozeu. E todos se retiraram. Quando lhos oferecia para que comesse, pegou-a e disse-lhe: Porque, aonde iria eu com a minha vergonha? E tu serias como um dos loucos de Israel.
Porque falei a Nabote, o jezreelita, e lhe disse: Governas tu, com efeito, sobre Israel? O rei vai visitar Amnom, como era de se esperar. Durante todo o tempo, Amnom fica observando. Assim, ela pega os bolos que fez e os leva para ele no quarto. Por que ele ressalta este fato, relembrando Tamar exatamente daquilo que deveria impedi-lo de levar adiante seus desejos? Isso deveria nos surpreender? Ele mal consegue olhar para a mulher que violentou. Ele ordena que ela saia. Ouvindo o rei Davi todas estas coisas, muito se lhe acendeu a ira. Para que iria ele contigo?
Sede fortes e valentes. O autor nos diz que ele sabe de tudo o que aconteceu verso Seria ele incapaz de obter o tipo de testemunho requerido pela lei? Como poderia punir o filho por fazer algo que ele mesmo fez? Dois anos se passam. Aparentemente tudo foi esquecido e Amnom escapou impune do seu crime.
Davi, entretanto, estranha o pedido. Ele pressiona o filho, mas este parece se esquivar da pergunta, continuando a insistir para o rei mandar Amnom. Isso aparentemente acalma suas suspeitas. Dizem a Davi que todos os seus filhos foram mortos e nenhum sobreviveu. Observe algo interessante sobre as palavras de Jonadabe: Quando eles chegam, ele diz: Se Davi tivesse de ser punido por seu pecado, ele teria de morrer. Agora Davi pode sentir o mesmo que Deus, Bate-Seba e outras pessoas afetadas por seu pecado sentiram. Para Daniel e seus amigos, as iguarias do rei.
Vemos que, embora o pecado geralmente comece pequeno e pessoal, ele cresce rapidamente, tornando-se maior e mais conhecido. Como disse Mark Twain certa vez: Esta passagem certamente nos encoraja a ficar do lado de fora do pecado. Everybody deserves closure, especially Carter Brant. If you've read the award-winning Bound4Ireland Series you need to read this novella from our favourite Australian Alpha's point of view. I long to find a woman I can call my own. Most people dream of the love of their life. I dream of the love of my life… times two.
Moonshine Sundae by Camilla Quinn Price: Grayson is a lighthearted goofball lucky enough to be dating his best friend and human life-preserver, Kate. Sure, he's inching toward thirty, his vegan neighbor, Felix, is an intrusive jerk, and he's stuck taking care of a moody cat he neither likes nor wants. Still, so long as he can pull the occasional prank of sending a meat lover's pizza to Felix and enjoy a moonshine sundae while his neighbo.
Festival Fireworks by Ann Burnett Price: April 18, by Tirgearr Publishing. Aussie lass, Jill Kennedy, arrives in Edinburgh at festival time and immediately crosses swords with her new neighbour, Andrew MacCallum-Blair. Can they set their differences aside so they can work together? Or will the fireworks developing between Jill and Andrew consume them? The Mark Lander Chronicles , Book 1. From the depths of darkness, a cry of distress leads Mark Lander from a world of violence to a place where romance awaits. During the early hours, lonely in his thoughts and strolling along the shoreline at Freshwater Beach, Mark Lander, a war correspondent home on leave, is distracted by cries Something for the Kids by Anthony T.
April 17, by booksmango. Something for the Kids is another storybook full of different stories. In total, there are twelve stories, and they range in different types. You can read about Santa, and a ship that never sails. You can join Bagabones as he tries to scare people on All Hallows Eve. Or maybe you want to read about Annie, and how she comes to be friends with a ce.
The Complete Set by M. She's strong, she's fast, and she's hard to kill. Maybe that's why she keeps getting into trouble. Tamzin wakes up on her nineteenth birthday feeling weird. Then she learns a secret that changes everything. April 17, by Luis Alberto Villamarin Pulido. The Curse of the Summer Solstice by G. A seventy-year old diary, a magic spell gone wrong, witches, wizards and a cat with an attitude.
They all come together in a most unexpected place: A boring summer vacation turns into a mysterious magical adventure. Vampire Tales by Billy Wells Price: A collection of vampire tales to chill you, thrill you, and fill you with terrors never felt before. April 17, by Crossroad Press.
Guarding the Secrets recounts the terror-stricken life and murder of sixteen-year-old Tina Isa, who was condemned by her other family members for becoming Americanized, before her father, an accused Palestinian terrorist, murdered her in November, The killing was recorded by accident due to the FBI having bugged the house in an attempt to prove the father's ties to terrorism. Alone among the gargoyles and ghosts of the silent cathedral, Dominic remembers his name.
For centuries he sleeps, gazing upon the city, unmoving. And then Mary passes beneath his perch and he awakes. The cathedral itself is stirring to an ancient evil and Dominic must not only awake but break free of his curse to save Mary.