Cover to Cover
Jesus sees the need for more laborers in the harvest of souls. He appointed seventy to go out in pairs into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
1. He chose them, calling them to be one of 70
2. He delegated his authority to them
3. He anointed them
He does the same for every believer. We are His laborers! We are called, appointed, and anointed to share the Gospel with others.
Why 70? Why not more, since He was calling for more laborers. Knowing Jesus had multitudes of 20,000 people, don’t you think He had more than seventy people to send out? Why was He limiting the number?
1. This group was sent out to prepare the way for the Lord in the places He strategically already planned to go into.
2. Seventy is a number we see often in Scripture, a multiple of 7, a number that testifies of God’s complete salvation.
3. Moses also had 70 as the number of his elders, a number that was manageable for one leader.
4. The number was also often used prophetically, as in Daniel’s 70 weeks for the Jews after their 70 years of bondage.
In verse 17, these 70 come back with excitement of the anointing that produced results in an authority over evil spirits.
In verse 21, Jesus rejoiced. Jesus burst open in spontaneous praise in the Spirit. That Greek word gives us the idea of Jesus leaping and shouting with joy. What was Jesus so exuberant about? He saw the anointing on 70 people instead of just Himself or just His 12. Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit was going to be poured out so that every believer could experience the anointing to preach, teach, heal, and cast out evil spirits.
Jesus then tells His disciples of the prophets and kings that had never experienced what the Holy Spirit was doing in His day. This is new, and this is a move! Today, on this side of the cross and the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, you and I can walk in that same anointing to share the Gospel in word and in demonstration! Jesus is excited about it! Let’s go in the power of the Spirit to our communities!
Samson judges Israel for 20 years. The stories we read about Samson may seem to happen quickly, but his ministry actually spanned two decades. God uses Samson and his strength to demonstrate His own power over Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. It is not natural for one man to defeat this many enemy troops on his own. It is supernatural, a man operating under the anointing.
In chapter 15, Samson learns his wife was given by her father to his best man in marriage. He’s angry. God is using Samson’s strength and zeal to weaken the Philistines. First, Samson catches 300 foxes. Perhaps he set traps, but catching 300 foxes is in itself something that required effort.
Second, he ties their tails together with a torch. What fox is going to allow you to tie its tail to another fox? Then he sets the torch on fire. This is actually a cunning plot. The foxes are pulling against each other, so they won’t run far. In their struggle, they stay in the Philistine territory, without burning up Israel’s fields.
Third, the Philistines kill the father and the daughter who offended Samson, trying to appease his revenge; however, Samson tells them, “Since you would kill the man and his daughter, I will take my revenge.” Samson, on his own, slaughtered a group of Philistines.
Afterwards, the Philistines came to Judah to find Samson, so the Hebrews bound Samson with two new ropes and delivered him to the enemy. When he was in the midst of the Philistines, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him (Judges 15:14). Samson had the supernatural strength to break the ropes. Picking up a jawbone of a donkey, Samson killed a thousand men. He was one man, but he went in the power of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit made Samson in to a superhero of sorts, giving Samson beyond natural ability.
Samson is a man, brokenhearted for losing the woman he loved, and then knowing the grief of her passing. If Samson wanted this woman to be dead, he could have killed her himself, but he didn’t. Samson looks for a prostitute. While with this woman, the men of the city plot to kill him at the gates of the city. He then takes the gates on his back and moves them out of their place.
In Judges 16:4, we see that Samson has found love with Delilah. Samson had a reputation, and the Philistines were afraid of him. They knew his strength was supernatural, and they wanted to find a way to take that unusual strength from him. The Philistine leaders approached Delilah with a bribe, asking her to find the secret to his strength. She must not have loved Samson as much as he loved her, because she tried to sell him out.
Three different times Delilah asked Samson for the secret on how to bind him. We’re not sure how much time was in between each attempt, but each time he told her how to bind him, suddenly he would find himself bound with those things and the Philistines were there to take him. Surely, Samson figured that Delilah was leaking information. Perhaps he was just so arrogant that he didn’t care if she was trying to trap him – he could be caught anyway.
Then we see the power of persistence. Delilah wore him down with her constant nagging. Samson told of his Nazirite oath. When his hair was cut, breaking the oath, “he did not know that the Lord had departed from him (16:20).
Samson was now a prisoner, but his hair had begun to grow back. They plucked out his eyes so he could no longer be a threat. The Philistines pulled Samson out of prison and bound him to pillars of their temple for their own amusement. Samson asked the Lord to let him be used one last time to harm the enemy. The Lord anointed him again with strength, so that Samson pushed on the pillars of the temple, killing at least 3,000 Philistines, more than he had ever killed before.
Samson is the last judge mentioned in the book of Judges.
In chapter 17, we read of a man named Micah and his idolatry, creating an idol and bringing a Levite into his home as a priest. Again, we see the people gravitating toward a tangible image rather than Jehovah, a spirit being whose glory cannot be seen by the flesh of sinful people, lest they die.