On March 31, Easter Sunday, the History channel aired episode 5 of the Bible that concluded their series. If you do the math, 5 episodes that are only 2 hours long, technically shorter because of commercials, does not provide enough time to show all the details of the actual Bible. The History channel provided the cliff notes for the Bible. I have watched every episode of the Bible and took notes, however, I only made time to publish a blog on the very first episode and hope to get everything organized to write about the remaining four as soon as possible.
In episode 2, The Israelites enter in to their promised land and are now surrounded by hostile neighbors. They elect Judges to keep unity in their land and the story of Samson is shown. Samson got his strength from God because his mother made a covenant that he will never cut his hair so that will symbolize that he is a Nazarite. A Nazarite refers to one who voluntarily took a vow described in Numbers 6:1–21. The proper noun “Nazarite” comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning “consecrated” or “separated”. This vow required the man or woman to: Abstain from wine, wine vinegar, grapes, raisins, intoxicating liquors and vinegar distilled from such substances. Refrain from eating or drinking any substance that contains any trace of grapes. Refrain from cutting the hair on one’s head; but to allow the locks of the head’s hair to grow. Not to become impure by corpses or graves, even those of family members. Samson had two vulnerabilities: his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him. Because his strength came from God, he had a responsibility to carry out God’s will. Unfortunately, Samson’s own desires led him to disobedience by marrying a Philistine who were the enemies of his people. The marriage caused so much hostility between the people that the Philistines burned his wife and her family alive in their home. Later on, he then met Delilah, another Philistine who deceived him in to revealing where his strength comes from and how he can lose it. Delilah then cuts off Samson’s hair to allow the Philistines to capture him and take his eyes out. Samson’s’ point of view of the situation was noteworthy. He was thankful that he no longer had eyes because in the darkness, he is able to think more and see God more clearly than ever before.
As Christians, we should believe that all of our strengths come from God and that we may unashamedly acknowledge our weaknesses to give God the glory. The rules of the Nazarites are very strict; however, we should be able to relate to their dedication. We should be able to live in this world and not be of this world. We should give most of our attention and energy on God as we serve Him wholeheartedly in anything and everything that we do. Intoxicating liquors and substances as well as hair are viewed as hindrances in service as those are focused on ourselves for our own pleasures and our own views of attractiveness. With that being said, it would be best for us to lose our eyes figuratively speaking so that we may only focus on God, His plans, and look at people as God looks at them, not by outward appearances, but by their hearts, their personalities. In this world full of sin, nobody is perfect; therefore, we should love everyone and always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us that should be seen as our facial glows through every season of life.
The prophet Samuel was pressured to anoint a king for Israel as he was getting older and his sons were too corrupt to take his place as a prophet to the people of Israel. Samuel warned the people that kings are tyrants that make slaves out of their people. Since the Israelites were determined to have a king of their own, Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel. It did not take long for the title of king to get to Saul’s head. Saul did not listen to Samuel when he was instructed to kill everyone and everything going in to a town. Instead, Saul took prisoners and kept livestock from the town. Samuels’ reaction was right when he threw his hands up in the air declaring that he gave Saul one simple command from God, yet no one listened.
Saul had compromised the instructions of God to please his own people that resulted in displeasing God. A king is not above God, kings must rule in God’s name, not their own. We need to live lives that are worthy to God to please Him alone and not try to please people. The truth of the matter is that it is impossible to please everybody so let us stop trying to do that and just please the One who is worthy to be pleased. How do we live lives worthy of God? How can we please Him? The answer is simple yet difficult for us to keep in practice. We need to study His words, meditate on them day and night, and most importantly follow them and just look towards Jesus Christ as a living example to be followed.
Samuel discovers a young shepherd who God has chosen to become the next king after Saul and anoints David who becomes a servant in Saul’s court. As David faces Goliath, he understands that because he himself is a shepherd who protects his sheep, God protects him. All the people of Israel as well as the Philistines mock David for even thinking he has a chance to take down Goliath. As he walks towards Goliath, he ignores the negative shouts from the people and prays the famous Psalm 23 and defeats his enemy giving God the glory of the battle won. David becomes close friends with Saul and Saul’s son, Jonathan and they are seen fighting side by side. After some years, Saul begins to get paranoid and have destructive thoughts about David as he wishes his own bloodline to take over the kings’ throne at the appointed time. Saul got so enraged to the point that he begins to chase after David through the land to kill him. Although David had a number of opportunities to kill Saul, he never took them because he respected the fact that Saul was God’s anointed king of the land and it is up to God to determine Saul’s fate. It came to pass that during a heavy battle, Jonathan was killed by an arrow and as Saul witnessed this take place he looked around at all the dead soldiers, took his sword and dropped face down on it. Saul’s crown went to David and he became the second king of Israel.
Repentance and restitution leads to a life full of joy, bitterness and grudges lead to death. Although we may not agree with people in government, we need to remember that all authority is in God’s hands and He has the power to give and take away positions. We need to respect our officials and if they are not Christians or are not making Godly decisions, we need to continually pray for them and remember that the officials are just a select few who have been elected by the majority. We need to continually be witnesses to others so that those who live a sinful lifestyle that may be legal in the land, will be shown that their lives are leading straight to eternal death. I do not recommend preaching fire and brimstone at the street corners, but I do recommend meeting with them and sharing your own story of who you are and how you would be if you did not have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Live your life that will be inviting others to Jesus rather than drawing them away.
One day, David noticed a woman bathing on the rooftop, whose name was Bathsheba and was the wife of one of his finest soldiers. David’s lust got so strong that he influenced Bathsheba to have an affair and as a result, she became pregnant with his child. David attempted to trick her husband into having intercourse with his wife so that her husband would believe the child belongs to him. Unfortunately, the husband was so devoted to his country that he did not believe in having intercourse with his wife before going in to battle. David gave orders to have the man go straight in to the front lines where the battle is the roughest and have the other soldiers stand down for the man to be killed. David took Bathsheba as his own wife and because of his sinful actions, God punished him by taking the life of his firstborn son, and because David was a man after God’s own heart, God promised to give him another son to rule after him and his name would be Solomon. After Solomon was born, David had a replica of a temple that was to be built in Jerusalem and it would be Solomon’s job to have it built. David first believed that the temple would be his, but was reminded that it belongs to God.
An idol mind is the devils’ workshop. When you do not control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you. God’s Grace gives us the desire and the power to do His will. Today, we need to remember that Christ’s substitutionary death paid our penalty for sin and emancipated us from the power of sin. Christ’s death paid our penalty; Christ’s resurrection freed us from sins’ power. With that, these verses should be our first thoughts every day we get up:
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”