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This Week's Reading: Judges 2-4; 6-8; 13-16
Come Follow Me Insight #1
The book of Judges shows the “Comfort Zone Cycle” of the Israelites– similar to the Pride Cycle of the Nephites. They would:
a. find themselves surrounded by wicked influences but refuse to remove them
b. so they got caught up in that wickedness
c. and were subject to their enemies.
d. After Israel cried to the Lord for help He would send a deliverer to rescue them.
e. But then they would once again refuse to get rid of outside evil influences and the cycle would begin again. (Source)
Come Follow Me Insight #2
The book of Judges is full of wars that the Israelites fought with outsiders. Why were they always fighting? There was serious upheaval in that area in general. Canaan was in between the Hittite and Egyptian empires which were weakening in power. As these once-strong empires lost their power and influence others swooped in to try to take over. Canaan was caught in the middle of all of this and was deemed prime property for a takeover. (Source)
Come Follow Me Insight #3
Samson was a Nazarite . . . actually the first mentioned in the scriptures. But what exactly does it mean to be a Nazarite? A Nazarite was a person who voluntarily made a vow with the Lord to set themselves apart. Usually, this vow was short-term. But Samson (like Samuel and John the Baptist seemed to be) was a lifelong Nazarite. As a Nazarite he had three specific rules he had to follow:
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Don’t go anywhere near anything dead (even family gravesites)
- Don’t cut your hair for the duration of the vow (Numbers 6:3-7)
Unfortunately, Samson seems to have broken every single Nazarite rule. He likely broke rule number at his wedding feast, which was a week long drinking party. (Judges 14:10 and 12)
Second, he broke rule #2 after killing a lion and not only going near it but touching it. (Judges 14:6-9)
Last and most famous, he broke rule #3 when Delilah cut off Samson’s hair after he told her it was the source of his great strength. (Judges 16:16-19)