Thursday, October 9, 2008

God is In the Details (act 1)

Our bedtime routine in the White house can be quite involved; it takes about an hour on a good night. If you haven't read my wife's (Tammy) blog, which is listed on the right of this page, you may not know that we have four kids (and, yes, we know what causes that). So, our typical bed time routine goes something like this: bathtime, reflect-on-the-day-time, Biblestorytime, prayer, glass-of-water-time, lights out, get-out-of-bed-and-use-the-bathroom-time, and dont-get-up-again-time; that's just the boys. Anna's routine is pretty similar. Elizabeth's is much easier, though she does like to be fed before we throw her in the crib :) All this is followed by mom-and-dad-are-goanna-veg-time.
Tammy and I try to never take our beautiful kids for granted, but sometimes we just have to say, "No, we will not get you another glass of water." or "It's late. No bath tonight. Get right into your bed. No Bible story. We love you." or "Anna, if you're going to tackle your sister, do it gently, like a lady. It's almost bedtime." While we sometimes skip it on a rare occasion, Biblestorytime is a big deal in our house. We want our kids to love the Word of God, to hide it in their hearts, and think about life with God's will in mind.
The boys and I have worn out two Beginner's Bibles (published by Zonderkidz; a great bible for toddlers and preschool age kids). We read those Bibles cover to cover, over and over again. We read them almost every night for five years (I started when Elias was 18 months old). We now need to buy a new Beginner's Bible so we can retire the one I'm currently reading with Anna. Elias and Jonah have now graduated to the NIrV (published by Zonderkidz), and they love it; the stories are longer, there's more stories to choose from, and they feel like big kids. I think what they like best, though,--and I probably encourage this--are the little details. About a month ago we wrapped up 1st and 2nd Samuel (I think I'll blog about some of the amazing things in that book later). Then we skipped around for a while before backing up a bit and reading through the book of Judges (I'll blog about this when we wrap it up). For the last three nights we've been reading about Sampson, and--this doesn't happen to me very often--we read over some details that I don't remember having read before. See which one's you remember:
- His father's name was Manoah
- His mother's name is unmentioned
- Sampson was to take the Nazirite Vow: No cutting his hair, ever! Also, no wine or "unclean" food, because he was to be set apart to God.
- Before he was even born, his mother was told that he would save the Israelite from the Philistines.
- The Angel of the LORD (yhwh--God's personal name) appeared to his mother first, and later to his father, after he prayed that he could see the angel too.
- The Angel of the LORD told Manoah that he wouldn't be able to understand the angel's name even if He told him.
- This is another one of those instances when the Angel of the LORD is referred to as, simply, "the LORD" (yhwh).
- Manoah and his wife realized that they had been visited by the Angel of the LORD and not any ol' angel. So, Manoah, like Gideon, thought they were going to die, but his wife reasoned that they'd live.
- Not only was Sampson to take the Nazirite vow all his life, but his mother also had to abstain from wine (and grapes) and was not to eat any "unclean" food.
- Sampson's first (and only) wife is not mentioned by name, she was a Philistine from Timnah.
- It was God's plan to have Sampson take a Philistine wife, according to the author of Judges.
- Sampson's strength seems to come when the Spirit of the Lord was on him.
- He tore a young lion apart with his bear hands.
- When he was on his way to Timnah another time, he stopped off to see that same dead lion, and bees had made a hive in its body. He sampled some of it. (Uh Oh, that's got to be some unclean honey!) He later gave some to his parents, but didn't tell them where he got it.
- He shared a riddle with his wedding party. Ready? Here it comes: "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet." What is it? (poetic in Hebrew, but it's more about repetition of sounds and parallels than rhyming).
- He made a wager: if the guests guessed the riddle in 3 days, he'd buy them each a set of clothes (30 sets); if they didn't guess it they'd buy him 30 sets.
- His wife got him to share the answer on the last day (sound familiar).
- The party guests threatened to burn her and her family to death if she didn't get the answer.
- He knew about the plot, so, with the Spirit of the Lord on him, he went and smote those 30 men and took their personal effects--including their clothes!
- His wife was given to a friend of his after he returned home angry.
- When he went back to get his wife and heard that she had been given away, he rounded up 300 foxes tied their tails together in pairs, tied a torch to each of the pairs, lit the torches, and sent them foxes scurrying off to the fields of the Philistines.
- His wife and her father were burned to death after the fox incident.

...end scene

Bet you can't wait for more details!


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