Uniform Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday June 25, 2017
For Sunday June 25, 2017
Purpose: To remember that God created each person for a purpose that may involve circumstances not of our choosing
Bible Lesson: Judges 13:1-7, 24-25
Background Scripture: Judges 13–16
Key Verse: You are pregnant and will give birth to a son. Don’t allow a razor to shave his head, because the boy is going to be a Nazirite for God from birth. He’ll be the one who begins Israel’s rescue from the power of the Philistines. (Judges 13:5)
Judges 13:1-7 (CEB)
(1) The Israelites again did things that the Lord saw as evil, and he handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.
(2) Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from the Danite clan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was unable to become pregnant and had not given birth to any children. (3) The Lord’s messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “Even though you’ve been unable to become pregnant and haven’t given birth, you are now pregnant and will give birth to a son! (4) Now be careful not to drink wine or brandy or to eat anything that is ritually unclean, (5) because you are pregnant and will give birth to a son. Don’t allow a razor to shave his head, because the boy is going to be a Nazirite for God from birth. He’ll be the one who begins Israel’s rescue from the power of the Philistines.”
(6) Then the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and he looked like God’s messenger––very scary! I didn’t ask him where he was from, and he didn’t tell me his name. (7) He said to me, ‘You are pregnant and will give birth to a son, so don’t drink wine or brandy or eat anything that is ritually unclean, because the boy is going to be a Nazirite for God from birth until the day he dies.’ ”
Judges 13:24-25 (CEB)
(24) The woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up, and the Lord blessed him. (25) The Lord’s spirit began to move him when he was in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
As we continue to study the Book of Judges, we again see this cycle of sinning against God, repenting, and God coming to the rescue. You should be aware that as our story begins this week, God has allowed the children of Israel to be controlled the Philistines for forty years.
As we learned last week, God declined to help if they continued to worship other gods. Instead God suggested they should ask those gods that they were worshipping for help. As God always does when they repented, God repented and helped them defeat the enemy.
In the settling of the Promised Land as given by God and divided by Joshua, the tribe of Judah was given the seaside territory occupied by the Philistines. Today that territory is called Gaza and the dispute remains between Israel and Palestine. (which means “land of the Philistines”)
In our text, we see that Samson is from the tribe of Dan, which governed the territory and was located immediately north of Judah. As you read the story, after they blinded Samson they took him to Gaza, or modern-day Palestine. So, while our story is over three thousand years old the battle continues.
Unlike our previous stories, deliverance was not promised by God, but only the beginning of deliverance. (“He’ll be the one who begins Israel’s rescue from the power of the Philistines.” ) 13:5b What Samson begins David will complete temporarily. However, most prophecy speaks of the Philistines being around until the final battle of Armageddon.
Take note of the similarities and the differences between Samson and Samuel. Both mothers were barren, God came to one and the other went to God. Both were committed to bring the sons up as Nazarites. There are also similarities between Samson, Samuel and John the Baptizer, all raised as Nazarites. (Numbers 6:1-6) These women were considered to be barren. These women were obedient to God’s call on their life, but answering the call meant giving up the thing they wanted the most. The son’s each of them received, was taken from them and used by God.
When we yield our lives to God, the result may not be exactly what we had hoped for. Our commitment to do God’s will for our lives, will probably cost us something, but living within His will, offers us blessings we could never know any other way.
My hymn for this week is “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”
A suggested prayer is: Dear God of all creation, we never cease to be amazed at the endless ways you find to bless us. Your mercy and grace and love are everlasting. As we gather today in your name, teach us your ways. Help us face adversity and evil with courage. Transform our hearts and minds, and renew your Spirit within us; in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen