There are stories in the Bible where we can see the victory of God’s plan working out. We think of Moses leading israel out of Egypt. That is a great story and a great time in covenant history. We think of Joshua saying his farewell to Israel. Yes, it is tragic to say good-bye to godly leader. However, at the same time there is the wonderful reminder for Israel to see that their life and identity is to be found in the Lord and the Lord alone. There are also other stories in the Bible that are just downright tragic. Judges 19 recalls such a tragic history where a Levite should know better, but he refuses to do what is honorable to the Lord. So, what do we make of Judges 19 with the Levite and his concubine? What does this reveal about our sojourning under the sun?
Hopefully Samson has learned that his desires and his departing from his nazarite vow has not brought him the relief that he wanted. In fact, his trying to be an ordinary man has not made his life easier, but more difficult. Will Samson fulfill his mission? Will Samson be able to rise up and fulfill his mandate?
Samson’s family has lost sight of Israel’s significance in the grand scheme of life right now. One would hope that Samson would provide the deliverance that Israel needs. Samson is certainly the judge that Israel deserves, but does Samson actually provide any cleansing for Israel?
Deuteronomy is Moses’ farewell address to Israel. This address is tragic as Moses is about to die. However, the day Moses delivers this speech is not just a day of mourning because this is a context where Moses is close to passing the baton to Joshua. Israel is about to finally enter into the promised land. Is this finally a time when the Sabbath will be fully realized? Is Moses optimistic about Israel’s performance? What does Moses have to say as he says goodbye to this exodus people?
What is so rebellious about Moses striking the rock two times? We might think that this is a question that is out of line, but Moses is commanded to strike the rock in Exodus 17. Why is it okay for him to strike the rock in Exodus 17, but not okay for him to strike the rock in Numbers 20? What does Moses do that is so bad? Is God just a moody being who judges people in a very vindictive and unpredictable way? What did God intend the people to see through Moses?