TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 6:11-16
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.' ” Judges 6:16
After Joshua died the people quickly forgot his final instructions. They began marrying their Canaanite neighbors and were soon praying to idols. So God allowed the nations around them to pick fights with them and win. The kings of these nations took their cities, made them servants and stole their crops.
When this happened, the people prayed for help. Then God raised up rulers called judges. These judges trusted God. They helped the people turn back to God. They led them into battle, helped them get back their land and live in peace again.
But the peace never lasted for long. No sooner was the danger past than the Israelites went back to worshiping idols. Then God allowed their enemies to trouble them again.
In one of these times the people from Midian – the Midianites – were hassling the Israelites so much they had to leave their homes and live in caves. They were running out of food because the Midianites stole their crops and cattle, and wrecked their land.Gideon, threshing wheat in his hideout...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 13:1-7 & 24,25
TO CHEW ON: “... You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Judges 13:5
Again the Israelites did evil things. Again their enemies troubled them. This time they were oppressed by the Philistines for forty years.
One day during that time an angel came to the wife of Manoah. She had never been able to have any children. “Now you will have a baby,” the angel told her. “God has a special plan for him. When he grows up, he will have the job of winning against the Philistines.”The angel comes to Manoah and his wife - Artist unknown
In time the baby was born. His parents named him Samson. As he grew, God blessed him. One day God’s Spirit moved him to begin doing the job God had called him to do...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 16:4-22
TO CHEW ON: "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything.” Judges 16:16,17
“I’m in love with a Philistine girl,” Samson announced to his dad one day. “Get her for me.”
Samson’s parents didn’t approve. “Can’t you find a good homegrown girl to marry?” they asked. But Samson insisted. And so began his up-and-down relationship with the Philistines.
The marriage soon went sour when Samson’s new wife tricked him. He left her. When he went back, he found that she was now married to someone else. That made him furious. He caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together, lit them on fire and released them to burn the Philistines’ fields of wheat, grapes and olives.
And so it went. Again and again Samson had dealings with the Philistines and got double-crossed. That made him angry and, with his strength from God, he got even. Once he killed 1000 men with only the bone of a donkey as a weapon.
Another time he escaped capture by breaking ropes he was tied with, then busting open the gates of the city by pulling them off their hinges. In this way...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 28:11-16;30-31
TO CHEW ON: "Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 28:31
Three months after the shipwreck Paul, his guards and companions set sail again. Soon they arrived in Rome. When they got there, the soldiers took Paul to a house."Arrival at Rome" by Johann C. Weigel, 1695
For two years he had to stay in that house with someone guarding him all the time."Paul preaches at Rome under guard" - Artist unknown
Even though he was a prisoner, Paul didn’t whine, sulk or feel sorry for himself. What did he do? (Find the words for the blanks in the word bank below - Acts 28:31)...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Judges 7:9-16
TO CHEW ON: "When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, 'Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.' ” Judges 7:15
The first job God gave Gideon to do was to smash the Baal idols in his father’s house. The second job was to fight the Midianites. Thousands of men showed up to join Gideon’s army.
But God told Gideon, “With so many soldiers your army will take credit for winning. I want everyone to know that it’s Me, God, who is making you win, not your big army or your wise plans. Send home all the men who are afraid.”
Twenty-two thousand men left that day. Less than one thousand soldiers were left.
“This is still too many,” God said. After Gideon sent home more soldiers, only three hundred were left.
How will I ever beat the Midianites with such a small army, Gideon wondered.
That night God woke Gideon up and said to him, “If you’re scared, go the enemy’s camp and listen to what they’re saying.”
Gideon and his servant snuck into the valley. The enemy soldiers were sleeping. Then they...
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