King Jehoshaphat was appointing judges for the land…wanting them to realize the seriousness of their positions and the influence they would have over the people. His admonition against bias and prejudice is repeat, I found, within the Oath of Office for the Supreme Court Justices – the highest Court of the land in the USA. The oath reads as follows, ” I,_________, do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as________ under the Constitution and Laws of the United States; and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” May the fear of the Lord direct them.
Samson had great physical power…and Delilah was determined to know the secret of his strength. And so she began to nag, hound, and complain to him. Very telling, the name Delilah means tease…a persistent, irritating person who goads on others…and taking nagging to an art-form. Samson might have had superior physical strength…but he was no match for Delilah’s sharp tongue.
God had instructed Gideon to tear down his father’s false idols…and Gideon had obeyed, in a fashion. Instead of doing it in broad daylight though, he did it under cover of darkness, …all because of fear. He was afraid of what others would think. Fearful of retaliation, Gideon wanted to obey God, but also wanted to please people. It’s impossible to be a people pleaser and obey God at the same time…for you end up compromising yourself and your integrity.
Samson’s parents were childless, until an Angel of the Lord appeared and told them they’d be having a son – a son set apart to God from birth. So how do you raise such a “special” child? Do you spoil and pamper… enable and compromise your better judgment that they can be indulged? Samson’s parents knew that mixed marriages were forbidden…but they still chose to coddle him…and by Samson’s demands, he was obviously used to getting his way. In the end, Samson showed he was lacking in sensual control and wisdom, while his parents showed they lacked the tough love to stand up against him.
Have you ever gone to a committee meeting that has no set head person? Lots of ideas get bounced around…many people express their opinions…emotions can run high, but without someone to run the meeting, not much gets accomplished. That’s what it’s like without leadership in our world today…we’re all just out there “doing our own thing”. But the problem with that is, what I think is just and prudent to do, you may think is inappropriate or outrageous. What happens in the end is chaos, conflict, and confusion.
Deborah had the distinction of being both a Judge and a Prophetess over Israel when she called Barak and gave him a command from the Lord. ‘Go, take 10,000 troops with you and I will lure your enemy Sisera and his troops into your hands.’ Barak was willing to go, but only if Deborah went with him. She agreed, but told him in the end it would be a woman getting the praise for the death of Sisera not him. As all of his troops fell around him, Sisera fled to a tent where Jael, a Kenite woman stood. He asked her to hide him, so she covered him inside the tent and stood at the entrance watching. But after Sisera fell asleep, she quietly slipped to him with a tent-peg and a hammer and drove the peg through his temple and he died at her feet. Thus the prophesy was fulfilled by her being honored rather than Barak.