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Tuesday, May 2


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Judges 15:1-16:31

Samson Burns Philistine Crops

1But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and said, “I will go in to my wife in her room.” But her father did not let him enter.2Her father said, “I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please let her be yours instead.”3Samson then said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.”4Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails.5When he had set fire to the torches, he released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning up both the shocks and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and groves.6Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion.” So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.7Samson said to them, “Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.”8He struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

9Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi.10The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they said, “We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us.”11Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.”12They said to him, “We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not kill me.”13So they said to him, “No, but we will bind you fast and give you into their hands; yet surely we will not kill you.” Then they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.

14When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands.15He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out and took it and killed a thousand men with it.16Then Samson said,

“With the jawbone of a donkey,

Heaps upon heaps,

With the jawbone of a donkey

I have killed a thousand men.”

17When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramath-lehi.18Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”19But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived. Therefore he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.20So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Samson’s Weakness

1Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.2When it was told to the Gazites, saying, “Samson has come here,” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, “Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him.”3Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron.

4After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.5The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you.”7Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”8Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them.9Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered.

10Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me how you may be bound.”11He said to her, “If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”12So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.

13Then Delilah said to Samson, “Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”14So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.

Delilah Extracts His Secret

15Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is.”16It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.17So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man.”

18When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.19She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.20She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.21Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.22However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.

23Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said,

“Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands.”

24When the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said,

“Our god has given our enemy into our hands,

Even the destroyer of our country,

Who has slain many of us.”

25It so happened when they were in high spirits, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may amuse us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars.26Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.”27Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them.

Samson Is Avenged

28Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”29Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.30And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.31Then his brothers and all his father’s household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years.

John 2:1-25

Miracle at Cana

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;2and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.3When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.”4And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”5His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”6Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.7Jesus *said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim.8And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him.9When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter *called the bridegroom,10and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine;but you have kept the good wine until now.”11This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

12After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.

First Passover—Cleansing the Temple

13The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.14And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.15And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;16and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”17His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”18The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”20The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”21But He was speaking of the temple of His body.22So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

23Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.24But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men,25and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

Psalm 103:1-22

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6The LORD performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

9He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

14For He Himself knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are but dust.

15As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,

And its place acknowledges it no longer.

17But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

18To those who keep His covenant

And remember His precepts to do them.

19The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,

And His sovereignty rules over all.

20Bless the LORD, you His angels,

Mighty in strength, who perform His word,

Obeying the voice of His word!

21Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,

You who serve Him, doing His will.

22Bless the LORD, all you works of His,

In all places of His dominion;

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Proverbs 14:17-19

17A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,

And a man of evil devices is hated.

18The naive inherit foolishness,

But the sensible are crowned with knowledge.

19The evil will bow down before the good,

And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.