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Finally made it to Precept class this morning, though being late. We’ve been studying Judges and this was our second last lesson on this book full of fascinating stories. The story we studied today was Samson’s life, a story filled with blood and lust.

I never quite understood how Samson lead the Israelites. Sure he was probably the strongest man in the whole universe at that time but muscles don’t make good leaders. (Look at Arnold in California :X ) He could make the headline everyday: “Samson killed 30″; “Samson killed a lion with bare hands"; “Samson burnt the field, expect crop price to rise"; “Samson killed 1000 with bone"; “Samson’s wife was given to his friend"; “Samson spotted with a prostitute"; “Samson married Delilah"; “Fail – Samson lied, Delilah’s effort in vain"; “Failx2 – Samson lied, Delilah’s scheme failed"; “Samson caught!"… How juicy! Yet this man lead Israelites for 20 years.

And if he made the headline, I’m pretty sure there’d be a small box somewhere on A1 that goes like this: ‘Nazirite is…1)not allowed to drink wine or seimilar stuffs; 2)not allowed to cut his hair; 3)not allowed to be near a dead body (death is the effect of sin)… “All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD".’

How on earth was Samson holy? Throughout the four chapters about Samson, there were two prayers only: one when Samson was dead thirsty and he just wanted water and one right before Samson’s death when he wanted the one last revenge on Philistine. He was supposed to be a sacred man – a man that is God centered but Samson was never God centered. He’s more focused on woman than on God.

I’m not sure how his parents raised him up but obviously either they didn’t know how to teach him or parenting was just  not effective. Parents should really take note from the Samson story: committing your son/daughter to God when he was an infant does not guarantee that he’d grow up as a devoted Christian. God’s work may still be done through him but it could be done in a heart-breaking way.

And the same to all believers: converting is the starting point and the journey is long – longer than a marathon. Delilah is in our hearts. We are tempted to compromise our faith and we are more easily to give in than we like. It’s not because Delilah was a beauty or what. Samson gave in not to Delilah’s beauty but to Delilah’s daily crying.  Delilah got the chance to cut Samson’s hair because Samson, though with all the signs, was not alert at all and would just sleep on her laps. Be alert and stay on track (be God-centered) and you’ll surely reach the finish line in heaven. Compromise and wander off, your finish line is in somewhere else.

But how to finish a marathon? Well, God’s grace is abundant. Look at Samson. He broke every single Nazirite vow requirement and God still answered his prayers. Though works is the evidence of our faith, we are saved through grace, not works. Trust in Him, rely on Him and you’ll see the finish line in heaven.

Fellow runners, keep running for and to the greater glory of God!

I have these two little girls who take lessons together back to back in studio. I use the ipod touch to keep teaching notes so I always have it at the corner of the piano. We were having lesson the other day as usual and somehow the older sister saw my ipod and got curious with it. She pressed on the home button and unlocked it. There, she saw the BibleXpress icon (I keep it at the dock for easy access) and exclaimed, “Oh! You have Jesus in your iPod!"

She pressed on that small icon and that lead her to Genesis 7 of The Message version. (Great that it’s got The Message version in the app – easier English and the kids can understand it relatively more easily.) Then she began to ask questions about Noah. Since she could swipe to go to previous and next chapter, it really gave me a chance to tell the two little girls the Noah story, which lead to questions about who God is, why God doesn’t like bad guys, what will happen to the bad guys, hell, how to avoid going to hell, Jesus, and the whole salvation scheme. They’ve heard about Jesus but didn’t quite know who he really is and why he is related to us. Now they know. They’ve even learned how to pray. That lesson went overtime but the two girls were really excited to hear about God.
God does show Himself through all things – may it be big or small.

Moved to Pages… see Treasure and Pearl 1 & 2 at top of page.

八月 2017
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