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May 11, 2024

JUDGES 16-17:
Yesterday we heard of Samson's disastrous marriage, and his first major victory over the Philistines. Ways in which Samson disobeyed God's Laws are that he touched and even ate from a carcass, he murdered people when not at war, and he associated with pagans and even married one of them. In spite of this, God used him as a tool.

In this psalm David models effective prayer. Let’s follow his example!

Yesterday we started Paul’s first letter to Timothy. As I said yesterday, this is a personal letter to Timothy, and it is one of the group of letters called the Pastoral Epistles, or sometimes called the 5 T’s. Central to the Pastoral Epistles is Paul’s concern for true teaching in the church, and he especially stressed avoiding the controversies that at that time came from Jewish background believers. These letters often include a listing of various things, and one example is the list of the types of lawlessness in chapter one. Paul frequently mentions how important it is for believers to keep a clear conscience. And chapter one also contained one of several Pastoral ‘trustworthy sayings’. A more unique point for chapter one is that Paul called himself the ‘chief of sinners’.

Additional commentary:
In twenty15, a woman wrote after hearing this chapter complaining about Paul’s attitude toward women. I hope I can help some listeners by saying this: If you do not like what Paul wrote here, consider that Paul knew the audience was writing to. Compare what Paul said in Ephesians 5 with what Peter said in 1 Peter 3, and note how Paul lovingly wrote in this same letter about taking care of widows. It can be shown that Scripture played an important role in history to raise the position of both women and slaves. If you are interested in this general topic, you might also be interested in the translation note for verse 15 in the episode notes for today.

Let me tell the story of a missionary who served with me in Indonesia. Before Ron Kriens was a Christian and was working as a bus driver in a big city, he was impressed by Jesus’ resurrection and reputation as a teacher, so he was willing to accept Jesus’ words, and at first would only read Jesus’ teachings. But then he found that Jesus said that after his death, the Holy Spirit would lead his disciples into all truth. So he read books penned by Jesus’ disciples, John and Peter. Then he discovered that Peter respected Paul’s writings as Scripture. (2Ptr. 3) And finally, at some point, I know that he realized how important understanding the Old Testament is to understanding the New Testament. I tell Ron’s story to say this: God’s Word is a unity. The very coherence of the message is wonderful proof of God’s sovereignly in controlling the writings which have come down to us. We will find the most joy and peace in submitting to our sovereign Creator fully and not rejecting any part of His Word.

NLT Translation notes:
1Tim2:1 [PET: I advise you to teach these things to the church you serve. First of all, every member of the church should give all kinds of prayer requests to God for everyone else— and also give thanks.//I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.]
7 And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about [fully believing//faith] and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.
15 [PET: As a result of that sin, the female descendants of Eve fall under the punishment of God in having pain when giving birth. But even so, God is ready to help and save each woman— if she keeps fully believing in Him, does loving acts, and lives a holy and wise life.//NLT:/But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.]
Cross reference and footnote in the PET: See Gen. 3:1-13. This verse can also be translated, “Even so, God will make each woman safe when giving birth to children— as long as she keeps fully believing in Him, does loving acts, and lives a holy and wise life.”


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.