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  • Writer's pictureJonny Nelson

Discipline in Difficulty

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 ESV)

Today we are going to look at 2 men from 2 different stories in the Old Testament. Noah from the Book of Genesis and Samson from the Book of Judges.

“….Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬ ESV)

God sees how corrupt and violent the earth is now and decides to do put an end to all people. But He knows Noah is awesome and faithful and decides to spare Him and his family. God then gives him a job to do: Build an enormous ark with a roof over it to fit 2 of every kind of animal to keep the species alive from the flood that’s gonna kill every other living thing.

“Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭6‬:‭22‬ ESV)

Building an ark that can fit 2 of every kind of animal and withstand a flood intended to destroy all of creation had to have taken a lot of really hard work. And gathering all those animals? I’m not sure what’d be more difficult. But Gods work needed to be done and they had to play their part which required a lot of discipline.

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭9‬:‭1‬ ESV)

God then blesses his family and makes a new covenant with them.

Now let’s look at the account of Samson. Like in the times of Noah, God saw too much evil in His people, the Israelites. But instead of killing everyone He allows the Philistines to rule over them for 40 years. One day an angel of God approaches a lady who can’t have kids and promises her a child that will deliver them from the Philistines and the child will be a Nazarite so he must never cut his hair, eat or drink anything from grapes and not eat anything unclean. He was gifted with super human strength. Enough to rip a lion in half just for looking at him funny. However Samson, lacked discipline, and fell into his weakness with women very easily. He actually made a lot of impulse decisions without thinking much at all about consequences. He fell in love with 2 Philistine (the enemy) women. Putting his family in difficult situations, the people he’s supposed to be working to deliver in even more difficult situations, his love for these women eventually leads to his downfall when he spills the beans about how his hair is the secret of his God given strength and if cut, he will be like any other man. Delilah, (his second unwise love) cuts his hair and allows the Philistines to capture him and gouge his eyes out. After some time in captivity, he was able to defeat thousands and thousands of Philistines which delivered his people, Israel, from their rule. However, it cost him his own life.

So in both stories God’s will is done. We see Noah, a righteous, disciplined man, was chosen to repopulate the earth and was blessed with a really long life. Samson was very much selfish and caused himself and a lot of others pain and suffering.

It’s evident it’s wise to choose an obedient, disciplined life for our own good, for others, and to please God.

JSAW as a team is in the middle of the most stressful 10 days of the summer working our fireworks tents in Shakopee. It takes a lot of discipline to constantly be tending 2 tents through the hot, cold, windy, and/or stormy days or nights. We do though for the Lord and His ministry and we know in the end it’s worth it because of the funds we raise and the impact we get to have for His glory.

So keep your eyes on the Lord. Stay disciplined. It may seem super lame at the time, but God will show you how worth it being disciplined is.

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