Category Archives: Stealing / Theft

Ever Heard Proverbs Compared To Nesting Dolls?

Have you ever seen the set of wooden dolls which fit one inside another inside another inside another… and so on. There may be ten stacked inside one another. They are called matryoshka nesting dolls.  They do not look like much when they are stacked inside one another, but watch how much is there as you unpack it and spread them out. Proverbs strikes me much the same way. If we are not careful, we may just read quickly over a chapter of Proverbs, saying… “that is nice” or “that is clever” and never really internalize the wisdom it contains. We should take our time to prayerfully consider the warnings and wisdom contained in each chapter. Carefully unpack each verse and consider it. Do not hurry. Appreciate each one for the wisdom it contains and take a few moments to consider how it applies to your life.

Proverbs 24

Precepts and Warnings

         1Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;

2For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.

3By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;

4And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

5A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.

6For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

7Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

8One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.

9The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.

11Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.

12If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?

13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;

14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;

16For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;

18Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.

19Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;

20For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,

22For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?

23These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.

24He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;

25But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.

26He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.

27Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.

29Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,

31And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.

32When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.

33“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”

34Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

By Our Deeds We Distinguish Ourselves, Whether Righteous or Wicked

It is easy to claim that we serve and obey YHWH or Yeshua, but it is by our deeds rather than our words that we demonstrate to others whether we are wicked or righteous. To claim we follow Yeshua means little if our actions do not reflect obedience to His instructions. As you read through Proverbs 20, I invite you to identify at least one or two verses to walk away with that are particularly meaningful for you to apply and learn from in your life today. Pray humbly for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you which ones are most important for you to take action on to change your behavior and / or attitude and in what specific situations.

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

2The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

3Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel.

4The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

5A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.

6Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?

7A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.

8A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.

9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?

10Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the LORD.

11It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made both of them.

13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

14“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.

15There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

16Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.

17Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.

19He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

20He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in time of darkness.

21An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.

22Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

23Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And a false scale is not good.

24Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

25It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.

26A wise king winnows the wicked,
And drives the threshing wheel over them.

27The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

28Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by righteousness.

29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.

30Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

Each verse reveals deep truth. Be careful and patient as you read so as not to read so quickly that you miss considering how you should apply it in your life. We do well to come back to Proverbs often and read through the whole book over and over, perhaps one chapter every day. It is a wealth of wisdom for how we should relate to one another and how we should approach our own lives.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Proceed in the Way of Understanding

You do not need a special invitation from YHWH to seek out His wisdom. It is there, waiting for us to seek it. Will you do so? or will you trust in the ‘wisdom’ of the world?

Proverbs 9

Wisdom’s Invitation

1Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;

2She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;

3She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:

4“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks understanding she says,

5“Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.

6“Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”

7He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.

8Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

9Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

11For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.

12If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

13The woman of folly is boisterous,
She is naive and knows nothing.

14She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,

15Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:

16“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
And to him who lacks understanding she says,

17“Stolen water is sweet;
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

18But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Timeless Wisdom

Proverbs contains timeless wisdom we should still be teaching our children. Do not become financially responsible for someone else’s debts. Do not be lazy. Plan ahead for your future. Even the ants do that. Do not speak with perverse mouth or speak wicked things. Do not devise evil or stir up strife. In particular, there is much emphasis on avoiding adultery.

Proverbs 6

     Parental Counsel

     1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

2If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

3Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

13Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;

14Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.

15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

16There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,

18A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,

19A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.

20My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;

21Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.

22When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.

23For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life

24To keep you from the evil woman,
From the smooth tongue of the adulteress.

25Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her eyelids.

26For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread,
And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.

27Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?

28Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?

29So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her will not go unpunished.

30Men do not despise a thief if he steals
To satisfy himself when he is hungry;

31But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
He must give all the substance of his house.

32The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense;
He who would destroy himself does it.

33Wounds and disgrace he will find,
And his reproach will not be blotted out.

34For jealousy enrages a man,
And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35He will not accept any ransom,
Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Avoid the Enticement of Sinners

For some this message may seem obvious, but for others, you need to hear the message and take it to heart. There will always be people who try to draw you into their own sinful lifestyle and choices. Sometimes it may be obvious in terms of things we call illegal in today’s society like what is laid out in Proverbs 1, but other times it may be subtle, even within a church or people who claim to or actually want to follow Yeshua. We must carefully study the word and test everything not against “what everyone else is doing”, and not against “what the preacher in a church teaches”, but against YHWH’s written word in the Bible. We do well to also seek the insight of the Holy Spirit to guide us through prayer and supplication.

In the end, whenever we make choices to follow those who entice us to sin or follow a path that is not the LORD’s, it is our own life we ambush and our relationship with the Father. Do not remain around those who entice you to sin. Separate from them.

Proverbs 1:8-19

The Enticement of Sinners

     8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;

      9Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

      10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

      11If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

      12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

      13We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

      14Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

      15My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

      16For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

      17Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

      18But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

      19So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Lost and Lawless

Judges 18 continues to record the picture of a lost people, living lawlessly and without a ruler or clear understanding of YHWH and how to follow him. They are practically fighting over idols and a priest that is ok with idols. This is not pleasing to the LORD. I find it curious to note that in both Judges 17 and 18, scripture makes the point that there was no king in Israel. It seems an important point. It reminds us that without clear governance, people just degrade toward anarchy and “might makes right” approach at taking what they want. Of course, a government that operates to take away our freedom is not much better. What a blessing to live in a country like the USA where a constitutional republic form of government is designed to protect our freedoms, even from the government itself.

However, to close on a point, Judges 18 reminds us that it is not the nature of man to be righteous. If and when we drift away from YHWH and his instructions, we drift away from true righteousness and into lawlessness and anarchy. Just as in our society today, the law established by YHWH is intended to protect and guide us in how to live in freedom. It is not to put us in bondage.

We can also be reminded that just following a priest or leader in established religion is no certainty that we are living in a way that is pleasing to YHWH. We have to seek the truth in his word.

Lastly, I find it somewhat telling, that as we read about lawless living in Judges 17-18, we see there is no mention of YHWH acting on behalf of the people. He seems to have left them to their own depravity as they do not seem to be seeking or following him.

Judges 18

Danites Seek Territory

      1In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. 2So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, “Go, search the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3When they were near the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young man, the Levite; and they turned aside there and said to him, “Who brought you here? And what are you doing in this place? And what do you have here?” 4He said to them, “Thus and so has Micah done to me, and he has hired me and I have become his priest.” 5They said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be prosperous.” 6The priest said to them, “Go in peace; your way in which you are going has the LORD’S approval.”

      7Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was no ruler humiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you report?9They said, “Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you sit still? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land. 10“When you enter, you will come to a secure people with a spacious land; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.”

      11Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out. 12They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim. 13They passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.

Danites Take Micah’s Idols

      14Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? Now therefore, consider what you should do.” 15They turned aside there and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. 16The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate. 17Now the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there, and took the graven image and the ephod and household idols and the molten image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. 18When these went into Micah’s house and took the graven image, the ephod and household idols and the molten image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19They said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?” 20The priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and went among the people.

      21Then they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them. 22When they had gone some distance from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house assembled and overtook the sons of Dan. 23They cried to the sons of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you have assembled together?” 24He said, “You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides? So how can you say to me, ‘What is the matter with you?’” 25The sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, or else fierce men will fall upon you and you will lose your life, with the lives of your household.” 26So the sons of Dan went on their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

      27Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire. 28And there was no one to deliver them, because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone, and it was in the valley which is near Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it. 29They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish. 30The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31So they set up for themselves Micah’s graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Arrogance, Manipulation, Mistrust and Anger Lead To Trouble

Samson was very strong indeed, when the spirit of the LORD was with him. However, we see in Judges 14 a flaw that ultimately becomes his downfall even more than what he experiences here. He seems to lack wisdom in whom to trust and allows himself to be manipulated by women with whom he is interested.

One can have a debate about whether or not he should be marrying someone he did not feel he could trust for sure. However, he knew he did not trust her and thus was not telling her the secret at first. However, he allowed her crying to manipulate him and ultimately gave up his secret for the wrong reasons. He did not do so because of a loving and trusting relationship with a woman who was to become his wife. He did so because of crying and manipulation. He ultimately is manipulated again similarly by Delilah and to his ultimate downfall.

Let us take care and use wisdom in whom we trust and why. Let us neither be the person who makes a decision based on manipulative tears nor the person who uses the manipulative tears to coerce someone.

Imagine if she could have simply come to her soon to be husband and told him the truth, that she and her father were threatened. Perhaps Samson could have protected her and they could have built a trusting relationship. It is also fair to point out that Samson brought on some of this situation by pursuing a Philistine instead of an Israelite wife and also by arrogantly making a wager about his riddle. The Philistines and Israelites did not like one another and he antagonized the situation. We see also that he has an unrighteous anger and he goes and kills others who were not even involved and steals from them to pay his debt. Samson is not a righteous man, and yet the LORD saw fit to grant him strength and use him to bring victory to the Israelites against the Philistines. YHWH’s ways are not our ways. He chooses at times those whom we would not expect.

 

Judges 14:12-20

Samson’s Riddle

     12Then Samson said to them, “Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes. 13“But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Propound your riddle, that we may hear it.”

14So he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet.”
But they could not tell the riddle in three days.

      15Then it came about on the fourth day that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?16Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?” 17However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people.

18So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,
“What is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them,
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have found out my riddle.”

19Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house. 20But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had been his friend.

Perhaps one aspect which I find very interesting to reflect on is easy to miss as we think about the mess Samson made. There seems little argument that Samson was like a bull in a china shop. He breaks things. He is not acting in a righteous manner. Yet YHWH was using this situation to create “an occasion against the Philistines”.

Judges 4

4However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

So I am once again reminded to take care in what assumptions I make about whom YHWH chooses to use and how. I am also reminded not to assume every time something gets messy that somehow it is not YHWH’s plan. Sometimes he does use conflict for his purposes, sometimes he uses unrighteous people to his righteous purposes.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do Not Steal. It Is A Simple Concept.

It seems this should be no surprise. It is in keeping with the ten commandments and the principles of YHWH’s instruction throughout the Bible. Do not covet what others have. Do not steal. Do not even do small, nuanced things that are deceitful and cheat your neighbors. Do not cheat businesses or steal things just because “they are insured” or “they don’t need it as much as I do”. It really does not need to be complicated, but surprisingly, many people find excuses to rationalize why it is ok to cheat or steal from others It usually starts with coveting and selfishness.

Deuteronomy 19:14

      14“You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess.

If you struggle in this area or know someone who does, start with prayer and a clear recognition of the truth of YHWH’s word. Call it out as wrong. Ask YHWH to help you change your behavior and obey you. If you have done wrong to someone, make it right and repay them. Do not cheat even over small matters, as that tends to reinforce the habit or behavior and normalizes it. Those who steal in small matters, will typically steal in larger matters later.

Stealing is wrong. Don’t make excuses to complicate what is simple. When you steal something, you hurt someone else.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.