Consider two Bible characters in the book of Judges: Barak and Samson. I was led to these two men because of the following verses:
"And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes..."
"When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor..."
Let's talk about Samson first. That verse tells me so much about the personality of this man of God. The riddle was for the best man in his first wedding, along with a bunch of this man's friends. Samson was an Israelite, and also a Nazirite, chosen and therefore forbidden to cut his hair or touch what I understand is any intoxicating drink. His wife was a Philistine, the best man was a Philistine, and I'm pretty sure this guy's friends were all Philistines. So there he was, in the presence of his Philistine best man and his buddies, his Philistine wife and Philistine in-laws... and he gives them a riddle that he is so sure that they wouldn't get it. That's confident. I even took that as over-confident.
Samson was right. They didn't get his riddle. But they played dirty. They forced his wife to get him to say the answer. He lost the bet and found himself in the beginning what I call a downward spiral of trouble with the Philistines.
When someone is introduced in the Bible as the 'son of' someone, we were advised to take a closer look at this person's life. Barak, the son of Abinoam, is one of these people. I'd like to think he was the subject of discussion for a good number of Biblical scholars then and now... and from the verse above, he was also being observed by an adversary of Israel, a military commander named Sisera, probably as the man to beat in battle. The verse tells me that Barak was significant man. I didn't go through the rest of his story for the moment, but I do remember that he was told by prophetess Deborah to lead the Israelite army against Sisera, and the Lord would deliver the enemy into his hand.
Barak, as significant as I assume he was, said he'd go, but only if Deborah would join him. Deborah said, 'I'll go, but now God is going to deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.' (Judges 4:9, Deborah's statement in my words). I was led to think that Barak was under-confident.
I'm led to believe one truth: that confidence in self would find us humbled, and that confidence in others over the Word of God would lead to mediocre opportunities.
I've also been reminded by Pastor Rey (one of our elders in the church, may I add) that confidence in things (money definitely included) is futile simply because we couldn't bring any of these things to heaven. Money, clothes, and cars... they're for our life here. Cameras... lenses... computers... they're for our life here.
Now I know I need these things, and I know God knows what's best for me. I know that He will give me the best wedding, the best camera, the best gear, the best future... in the best time. Christ took us at our worst and gave us His best.
Friends, let us not place our confidence in anything else but in God. We may have varying priorities, but the confidence that drives us to address these priorities is first from and then for God. We love.. we LIVE because He first loved us. We do good because He did good to us first. All in the form of Christ, who is our salvation, our provision, our wholeness, our health, our peace, our life, our EVERYTHING.
Soli Deo Gloria. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, in this life and in the next.
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26