Today’s reading: Judg 15:1–17:13, Phil 4:2–9, Ps 69:18–70:5
Today’s theme: The folly of Relativism
God’s truth is not up for a vote, it is absolute and complete by its very nature. Today we learn that Relativism is not a sustainable position and that instead, we are called to live by God’s standards in our conduct and relationships.
God’s plan for sex
Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. Judges 16:1 (ESV)
Blatant sexual sin was a major problem in Samson’s life, his lust drove him to seek to marry a Pagan woman and now to take advantage of a prostitute.
Lust and selfishness in men’s hearts causes the abuse and exploitation of women. God’s word calls men to love and cherish women, showing them the respect they deserve, as both men and women are created in the image of God.
Sexual activity is sacred, God created it to be enjoyed in the covenant of marriage, between one man and one woman, for life. Anything that deviates from this is perverse, demeaning and exploitative.
Jesus taught us that acts of sexual sin find their roots in our thoughts and motives, in Matthew 5:28. We must flee lust. We must be pure in our thoughts and actions and honour our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and respect other people.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the renewing of the mind through God’s word, it is possible to overcome this sin. See Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Timothy 2:22
Don’t be self seeking
After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” Judges 16:4–5 (ESV)
Delilah was willing to sell Samson out for money, she was self seeking and selfish. Like Samson, this self serving mentality will attract others to our lives with the same attitude as us, the inevitable result is that the self serving mentality of each person in these relationships, causes pain and destruction. A life driven by self serving is destined for self-destruction.
We must avoid the love of money and serving ourselves, instead we should serve others. See 1 Timothy 6:10
Don’t be manipulated
And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. Judges 16:16 (ESV)
We must not be manipulative or allow ourselves to be manipulated, Jesus said that we should not allow ourselves to be deceived, in Matthew 24:4 and Mark 13:5. Paul also warns us against being deceived, in Ephesians 5:6 and John in 1 John 3:7
The folly of Relativism
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6 (ESV)
Relativism is the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, historical or personal context and is not absolute. This was the dominating way of thinking in Israel at this time.
It is with this type of thinking that a society reaches its lowest. All truth and law comes up for redefinition and reinterpretation, to meet the felt needs of individuals and groups who have self-centred interests.
This is popular today too. People choose to be relativist because they want to be in charge and do not want to submit. People will say “I have my truth and you have yours”. Relativism nullifies itself by its own affirmation. It says that all views and truth(s) are relative and no truth is absolute… the problem is, that itself is an absolute statement!
We must guard against relativistic thinking and arguments in the church. Instead we should submit to the truth of God’s word and the faithful leadership of our appointed Shepherds. See John 8:32
Relationship with God is not optional
Then Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.” Judges 17:13 (ESV)
The prosperity gospel teaches that those who have no relationship with God but follow some religious principle, will be prosperous because they fulfil the principle. This is not true. Without relationship with God, in context to the truth of His word, we cannot demand anything from God. God is not an impersonal law or force, He is a very real being, three true persons with whom we must have a relationship, to be saved.
Jesus said we can ask the Father for whatever we want in His name, but this was said to disciples, those transformed by and committed to Jesus. See John 15:16
Religion without Jesus is deception.
The guard of peace
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
We should live realising that the Lord is with us, to watch over us and to help us when we cry out to Him. The peace of God guarding our hearts and minds is shared as a consequence or reward for God’s people, when they cry out to Him.
Prophecy in the Psalms
They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. Psalm 69:21 (ESV)
A prophecy pointing forward to Jesus suffering for us on the cross. See Matthew 27:48 and John 19:29
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Philippians 4