Today's Readings: Judges 14-15 | Isaiah 38 | 2 Peter 1-2
Reading 1 - Jdg 14:14
"[Samson] replied, 'Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.' For three days they could not give the answer" (Jdg 14:14).
Death and Sheol -- the grave -- this is the "strong lion" which "devours" all men. As with Samson's riddle, so with the reality of Jesus' death and burial: for three full days its meaning was not understood. But after those three days, with the resurrection of God's Son, there came from the tomb "food" for all men, and the "sweetness" of a renewed life. "Out of weakness... made strong" (Heb 11:34) is one of the identification marks of the men and women of faith.
Compare also Jdg 16:30: Christ, being typical of Samson, destroyed more in his death than in his life -- for he destroyed "him that had the power of death" (Heb 2:14), and thereby brought life out of death.
Reading 2 - Isa 38:12
"Like a shepherd's tent my house has been pulled down and taken from me" (Isa 38:12).
The proverbial symbol of a temporary, fleeting abode. Here is graphically portrayed the shadowy uncertainty of this life; we are but pitching our tents for a short span in the "valley of the shadow of death". This body of death, the earthly "house" or "tabernacle" (2Co 5:1,4; 2Pe 1:13,14), is destined soon to vanish away. "The things which are seen are temporal." We all know we must die; we know technically what death means. But do we really comprehend the irresistible pull of death, which waits for each of us, to draw us inexorably into the grasp of the grave? If we could only keep in mind the pitiful little we have in this life, and the exceedingly brief time we have to enjoy it, we would have no trouble trusting in our Heavenly Father alone and "redeeming the time."
Reading 3 - 2Pe 1:5-7
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" (2Pe 1:5-7).
Add to your faith the virtue of Joseph; and to virtue the knowledge of Solomon; and to knowledge the temperance of Samuel; and to temperance the patience of Job; and to patience the godliness of Daniel; and to godliness the brotherly kindness of Jonathan, and to brotherly kindness the charity ('agape' = love) of John.