Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that the people of God are punished for their sins, while God is raising up Samson. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to turn from our sins and trust that God will take care of His own.
Read Judges 13:1-3
I. Childless Couple. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord again. In our Sunday School material the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years.
The angel of the Lord appeared to a barren married woman and let her know that she was about to become pregnant.
- 40 more years of suffering. Notice in vs. 1 of our Sunday School material that the people sinned again, and God punished again. First, anything that is evil in the Lord’s eyes is evil.
There are too many who behave as if they are the author of what is evil and not evil. God is the author. Think about how people behave as if withholding God’s tithes or enthusiastic worship are not sins.
Second, we should learn from our history. If God punished others for their sins, it should stop us from sinning again.
Third, God can still send 40 years of punishment. We don’t have 40 years to waist on being punished. Let’s work on living by God’s word, so we don’t have to be punished for our evil ways.
- God’s use of women. Notice in vss. 2-3 that God has a history of doing great things in and through women. First, we should not think that God only uses men in the Bible.
In fact, every man, except Adam, came from a woman. If God uses women then it should not be a problem for the church to allow them to serve.
Second, God can turn barrenness to fruitfulness. No matter how long you have gone without, every day is a new day with the Lord. And the Lord can do a new thing today.
Let’s live like we believe that God uses women and can turn barrenness into fruitfulness. Such living should be noted for allowing women to serve and being both content and hopeful, no matter how barren things look.
Read Judges 13:4-7
II. Conditions Given. In our Sunday School material he angel tells the woman to avoid wine, fermented drink, and unclean foods. Her son is to be a Nazirite whose hair is to never be cut. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the Philistines. The wife tells the husband what is going on.
- God’s plans for our children. Notice in vss. 4-5 that are some prenatal instructions, especially since God had special plans for the son.
First, prenatal care is very important. Mothers need to take care of themselves because they are valuable. They should also take care of themselves, so they can be in the best position to take care of their children.
Second, just as God had plans for Samson in the Sunday School material, God has plans for our children today. God wants to use our children to be saved and growing in the Lord.
They don’t all have to be preachers and great church leaders. God may
use them to be a skilled trades people, business owners, public servants, etc.
Third, God has a plan to take care of His people, even before they repent. This means we should not panic or throw in the towel because things look terrible today. Let’s live like wte believe that prenatal care is important and that God has plans for our children.
This kind of living should include helping pregnant women take care of themselves (e.g., Every Child Succeed) and supporting our children and youth ministries. It should include our continuing to hope in God.
- Marital communication. Notice in vss. 6-7 that the wife communicates with her husband about what is going on. In like manner, it is so important for wives and husbands to communicate with one another about their experiences with the Lord.
Where there is loving and respectful communication, so much can get done. Where there is an absence of communication, all kinds of problems can come up. Let’s work on and support healthy marital communication.
Read Judges 13:24-25
III. Blessings Bestowed. The woman gave birth to a son. She named him Samson. In our Sunday School material the Spirit of the Lord began to stir in Samson, while he was in Mahaneh.
- Growing, being blessed, and being stirred. Notice in vss. 24-25 that Samson grew, was blessed by God, and experienced the stirring of the Spirit.
First, we should help our young people grow. Families, churches, and schools should work together to help children and youth grow holistically (i.e., moral values, biblical understanding, academic preparation, etc.).
Second, we should help our young people be blessed by God. This calls for helping them understand and live by God’s word. The more we obey, the more God blesses.
Third, we should help our young people experience the Spirit of the Lord stirring in their lives, while they are still in the place of oppression. This calls for helping our young people to stay open to whatever the Lord wants them to do, instead of simply following after their own ambitions or the urgings of their culture.
This calls for helping our young people understand that they don’t have to change locations or status to experience the Spirit of God. God can move in the school that they are in, in the family that they are in, and in the neighborhood that they are already in.
Let’s work on helping our young people grow, be blessed, and experience the stirring of the Holy Spirit. This application will be easier to carry out, if we are growing, being blessed, and experiencing the Spirit.
Conclusion: Let’s work on turning from our sins and trusting that God will take care of His own. God has much for those who obey His will.
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