Unusual Means

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

What is described in the Bible doesn’t excuse sinful and flawed behavior, it only explains it. It requires a little bit of wisdom to know the difference, but once you understand that, then you will begin to see in matters great and small, God is in charge, and God is in control. Aren’t you thankful for that?

Going Deep // Focus: Judges 15:13-15

The Philistines bound Samson with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

The first senior pastor I worked with out of college used to say, “there is a lot more to God that we don’t understand than we do understand.” He was right. Not that we shouldn’t pursue the knowledge of God—we should. There is no greater or more worthwhile effort than knowing God. And God graciously grants us wisdom, understanding and knowledge, according to Proverbs 2:6 and James 1:5.

But keep in mind in your honorable pursuit that there will be things about God and the record we have in scripture of his dealings with men that do not always make sense—at least in our mind. In those cases, we just need to chalk it up to the fact that God was at work in ways that are much higher than ours. There is a large part of God that will remain in the realm of mystery, and even though we are curious about it, I think we do want a Deity whom we don’t fully understand, and therefore cannot control. Paul states this in his eloquent doxology from Romans 11:33-36,

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

I would put Judges 15 in that category. In several instances, God uses a deeply flawed judge—which by the way, the judges of Israel were not so much moral leaders as they were national deliverers—to bring judgment upon the godless Philistines and relief to the suffering Israelites. As you read this chapter, I would simply suggest that you remember that the sovereign God can use anybody he choses to bring out his larger purposes. God can use a deeply flawed prophet, preacher or president for his glory—and he does early and often.

Now keep in mind as you read this passage, and others like it, that what is described in the Bible doesn’t excuse sinful and flawed behavior, it only explains it. It requires a little bit of wisdom to know the difference. So once you understand that, then you will begin to see in matters great and small, God is in charge, and God is in control.

Aren’t you thankful for that?

Going Deeper With God: Take a moment today to affirm in a prayer of praise and gratitude that God is sovereign over the affairs of this world—and of your life.

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