The Philistine armies defeated Israel and captured the ark of the covenant. Although they had conquered Israel, the Philistine soon discovered that they were no match for Israel’s God. When the people of God cry out to him with true repentance, God helps them recover the glory he has made them to enjoy.
Joy is an emotion that everyone experiences to one degree or another. But as the fruit of the Spirit, Christian joy is much more than an experience that comes and go with the changes of our circumstances. In fact, Spirit-produced joy regularly comes even in times of sorrow, bringing us back into the joy of […]
The central debate of the Protestant Reformation was over the question of justification: how can one be in the right before God? Because of our sin nature, we naturally strive for self-justification, attempting to atone for our sins by our good works. The Reformers understood that one could never be righteous before God and that our […]
The account of the twelfth judge of Israel, Samson, begins uniquely by describing the angelic announcement of his coming birth. God is at work, preparing to raise up another deliverer for Israel who has now become content with enslavement to the Philistines. God’s promised deliverance is difficult to believe, but unless there is a surrender […]
The fifth “primary” judge is a man named Jephthah, whose story is one of the most tragic in all the Bible. In response to the people’s surface confession, God leaves them to their own devices in securing their deliverance from the oppression of the Ammonites. Jephthah’s initial success is ensured by God, but the apparent […]
Christians today are often trained to share their “testimony” with non-Christians. It is true that the witness that we give is important to the mission of making disciples, but what exactly are we to say? Are we to tell people about the difference that Jesus has made in our lives? Are we to show them how […]