Tim Johnson, editor
September 28, 2008
should Grow in the Enjoyment of Spiritual Things
In Judges 14:1-3 we have the following record of the method Samson used for choosing his wife:
Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. (2) So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." (3) Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."
Samson's reason for choosing his wife was that she pleased him well. The same reasoning is used to justify a lot of the choices people make today. If a thing is in keeping with a person's lifestyle, if they are comfortable with it, then they are going to do it because it makes them happy. We tell ourselves, "If it pleases me, it must be right."
This attitude is particularly prevalent when it comes to the matter of selecting or deselecting (divorcing) a spouse. Here's the reasoning people use for getting married:
And the reasoning people use for getting a divorce is about the same:
This human reasoning does not take into account anything that God has actually said in his word on the subject of marriage and divorce. It amounts to using yourself and your own personal happiness as the standard of right and wrong.
In the time of the judges "everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6; 21:25). That partially explains why the period of the judges was marked by repeated national apostasy in Israel. The Bible says that "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes." Using human reasoning to determine right from wrong is foolish.
Let's be clear here. What you think you should do for yourself to make yourself happy does not have one thing to do with what is right. To be a disciple of Christ requires that you "DENY" yourself, not that you please yourself! (Luke 9:23).
Christians should be mindful that all spiritual blessings are in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." As penitent believers, we were "baptized into Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27). We have salvation from past sins in Christ. This should cause us to be happy.
In Christ, we have fellowship with Him. We are children of God. Since we are in the Lord, we should rejoice! Paul said: "Finally, brethren, rejoice in the Lord&ldots;" (Philippians 3:1) and, in Philippians 4:4, he said: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice."
In Christ, we have genuine love and "love rejoices in truth" (I Corinthians 13:6). It should be a source of joy for all of us when we hear of others "walking in truth" (III John 3-4). We should "buy the truth and sell it not" (Proverbs 23:23).
We should grow in an appreciation of our brothers and sisters in Christ and should enjoy the friendship and fellowship that we have with them.
As we faithfully serve the Lord, at times there will be hardships and sufferings. We should be happy and rejoice in these hardships and sufferings. Jesus said: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).
The apostles rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name" (Acts 5:41).
In I Peter 4:13, we read: "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." Verse 14 says: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye&ldots;"
We should grow in the enjoyment of the privilege we have as God's children to pray to Him as our Father. (See I Peter 3:12).
We should be thankful and happy that we have hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2). As Paul said: "Rejoicing in hope" (Romans 12:12).
-- Carrol Sutton
Via The Instructor, March 2008