Book information

Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-743-5
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 23 of 33 Section 1 of 2

LIFE-STUDY OF JUDGES

MESSAGE EIGHT

THE MISERABLE HISTORY
OF ISRAEL’S FORSAKING OF GOD
CHAPTERS 2—16

(6)

THE SEVENTH CYCLE
OF ISRAEL’S MISERABLE HISTORY

Scripture Reading: Judg. 13:1—16:31

The book of Judges records seven cycles of Israel’s miserable history of forsaking God. In reading through these cycles in Judges, it is difficult to understand how someone as positive as Gideon could become so negative. Between his success and his failure, it must have been that a demon entered him, because he forsook God and joined himself to Satan.

This principle can be seen even more in the case of Samson. His birth was a miracle initiated by the appearing of the Angel of Jehovah. When Samson was in the bosom of his mother, he was sanctified to be a Nazarite. As he grew up, he was clean and pure according to God’s ordination, and he was empowered by the Spirit of God. When the Israelites were under the tyranny of the Philistines, the Spirit of God as the holy, economical Spirit came upon Samson, and he became powerful.

However, Samson’s unique problem was in the matter of sex. He was not genuine in seeking for a spouse; rather, his contacting of women was just to indulge his lusts. He indulged his lust with a Philistine woman, with a harlot in Gaza, and with a woman named Delilah. Although he had been empowered by God, he was damaged and destroyed to the uttermost because of his indulgence in lust.

Shortly after I decided to give up my job and serve the Lord, I went to Shanghai to see Brother Nee. He told me that in serving the Lord the brothers must learn the principle of not contacting a female, especially a young one, in private. I was deeply impressed by this, and from that time I have practiced Brother Nee’s instructions and have also passed them on to the saints.

The sisters should clothe and cover their body in a proper way. First Timothy 2:9 charges the sisters to “adorn themselves in proper clothing with modesty and sobriety, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly clothing.” The word proper denotes fitting to the sisters’ nature and position as saints of God. In Greek the word for clothing implies deportment, demeanor. A sister’s demeanor, of which clothing is the main sign, must befit her saintly position. The word modesty means, literally, “shamefastness,” denoting being bound or made fast by an honorable shame (Vincent), implying not forward or overbold but moderate, observing the proprieties of womanhood. The word sobriety means “sobermindedness, self-restraint; the restricting of oneself soberly and discreetly.” The sisters in a local church should clothe themselves with these two virtues—shamefastness and self-restraint—as their demeanor.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all,” because through marriage mankind continues to exist on earth and is propagated to replenish the earth. God created a need and desire within man to be married. A desire to be married is not sinful; on the contrary, it is according to God’s ordination. However, the time to consider marriage is after graduation from college. All the brothers and sisters should consecrate to the Lord, giving themselves to Him and promising that they will live for Him and even live Him their entire life. Then they should pray to see if there is the leading of the Lord in this matter, rather than trying to be too selective. Keeping these items will be a great protection to the young people.

At this juncture, let us consider the details concerning Samson recorded in Judges 13:1—16:31.

VII. THE SEVENTH CYCLE

A. Israel Again Doing That Which Was Evil
in the Sight of Jehovah

The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah (13:1a).

B. Jehovah Delivering Israel
into the Hand of the Philistines Forty Years

Jehovah delivered the children of Israel into the hand of the Philistines forty years (v. 1b).


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