Recovery Insights from the Bible, Day 4

Today’s reading is drawn from Judges 16:4-21, John 14:6, and Psalm 31:5.

My Name Is Delilah

Delilah was devoted to a life of deception. Her greatest “accomplishment” was the destruction of a man who loved her—a man named Samson. Samson was an easy target for her trickery, since women were this strong man’s greatest weakness. Delilah’s con was paid for by the Philistine rulers in the staggering amount of “eleven hundred shekels of silver” (about 28 pounds) each (see Judges 16:5).

Isn’t it amazing the degree to which living a lie makes us susceptible to the lies of others? Three times Samson misled this wily woman, and each time she complained, “You have made a fool of me” (vv. 10, 13, 15).

In reality, Delilah needed no help in the area of foolishness. She prostituted herself to land a fortune in silver, a ruse that included lying to a man who was in love with her. After her successful betrayal of Samson, Delilah disappears from the biblical account. Her inheritance: the knowledge that the man who loved her was maimed, humiliated, and enslaved by her deception and greed. By the time Samson awakened to his blindness to the truth, his eyes had been physically gouged out (see v. 21).

How often do deception and addiction go hand in hand? Like Delilah, the addict will weave a web of deception in order to continue feeding his insatiable habit. And, sadly, it’s often easiest to go on deceiving those who love us, over and over again. The end product is a life wasted—our own—and all too frequently other lives are devastated—those we love, or at least those who love us.

The only escape from a life of dishonesty is an encounter with the truth—his name is Jesus. He’s the one who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). If we’ve wasted our lives in self-deception and in the manipulation and betrayal of those who love us, there’s still a way back to God. He can break the pattern of deception. Recovery forces us to face the truth in order to end the insanity that has taken over our life. David voiced a simple prayer that we may wish to make our own: “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God” (Psalm 31:5).

Bible Gateway

Nurturing Great Kids, Day 4

Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 18:19.

Work It Out

If we take this verse literally and apply it to family life, we can see the importance of teaching our children to love each other and be understanding. We can mandate this behavior for the first few years, but there comes a point when they will have to make their own decision to be careful and not wrong each other. To be absolutely conflict-free would be almost unthinkable. But to expect your children to forgive each other and not allow disagreements to ruin their relationship is a fair ask.

When they are young, help them settle their disputes. As they age, give them the skills to handle them on their own. Help them understand each other’s personalities—a biggie! Don’t label your children with descriptive terms that put them in a box and make this reconciliation process difficult! If you see walls being built up against each other, be sure to help or ask if they want your help in leveling these walls.

Life will give siblings plenty of opportunity to disagree. Your goal is to teach them resolution skills, and then as they become adults you must let them work it out on their own.

Parenting Principle

Help your children work it out and work yourself out of it.

Points to Ponder

How capable are you at resolving conflict between siblings?

How did you learn the skills you have?

Are there differences now that you need to resolve?

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

 

Bible Gateway

The Institute For Creation Research

September 2, 2018
Leadership Training
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” (Exodus 3:1)

Moses was 40 years old when he began to recognize the burdens of Israel (Exodus 2:11). He expected acceptance because of his position in society, but they rejected his potential help and leadership (Exodus 2:13–14).

Moses attached himself to the family of Jethro in Midian, married Zipporah, fathered a son, and spent 40 years herding sheep before he heard from God (Exodus 3:1–2). Most of us need God’s training in humility before we can assume real servant leadership (Matthew 20:26–28).

Once God got Moses’ attention with the sight of a burning bush that was not consumed, the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses out of the bush (Exodus 3:2), demanding that he immediately submit to God’s authority in worship and deference (Exodus 3:5–6). God’s leaders will be God’s servants or they will not lead God’s people.

No doubt the burden that had been simmering in Moses’ heart over the decades was stirred to life again when God Himself identified with the affliction of Israel’s slavery (Exodus 3:7–9). But that renewed passion was tested when God insisted that Moses would be sent to do God’s work (Exodus 3:10).

Moses needed to be told and shown several times that whatever he lacked God would supply before he yielded to God’s order to “go!” (Exodus 4:12). Godly leaders can feel inadequate to the task God has set before them (Exodus 3:11), but God never assigns a task for which He does not empower the servant with the spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). HMM III