Lessons in logic from Samson’s mum

The following is from ‘The Test of a Crisis’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. (You can find it in ‘Be Still, My Soul’ ed. Nancy Guthrie). There’s lots that is helpful but I love the last paragraph and am always glad when I stumble across it again.

He’s commenting on Judges 13:20, 22-23.  Manoah (Samson’s dad) is fearful that God will destroy them.  Mrs Manoah says: ‘if the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.”

Lloyd-Jones writes:

“far too often, we behave as Manoah did. We seem to break down altogether and to lose hope entirely.  We jump to conclusions, and almost invariably, to the worst conclusion that is possible in the given circumstances…that somehow or other, God is against us, and that all we had so fondly imagined to be an expression of God’s goodness and kindness was nothing but an illusion…

His wife behaved as we should all behave…she thinks, she reasons, she ponders the matter, and with magnificent logic she arrives at the only conclusion that is really valid.

The first principle she stated is that God is never capricious.  ‘If the Lord were pleased to kill us,’ argues the woman, ‘he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands.’  It appeared at the moment as if God were suddenlly going to reverse everything that he had just been doing. Having smiled upon these people, it looked as if without any apparent cause or reason he was now frowning upon them, and on the point of destroying them.  Circumstances often seem to give us that impression.  Everything suddenly seems to go wrong and to be working in the reverse direction, and the suggestion comes to us that God is not really interested in us, and not concerned about us.

Now, of one thing we can always be absolutely certain – God is not like that.  By his very nature and being there is nothing more glorious than the eternal constancy of God.  He is ‘the father of light with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning’.  He does not say one thing and then do the opposite.  He does not play with us and mock us.  He is never capricious.

…In effect she turned to her husband and said ‘I do not pretend to understand, but to me, it is unthinkable that God should start a process and then suddenly reverse or destroy it.’

We have in her words what St. Paul states so frequently and so eloquently. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” But the argument is still stronger, “He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  Is God who has already done the greater, yea, the greatest thing of all, likely to fail us in the lesser?  Is the love of God, which is so great as to send his only-begotten Son to that cruel death on Calvary’s Hill, likely to forsake you, having done that?

You may not understand what is happening to you; it may seem, to you, all wrong. Trust yourself to him. Believe when you cannot prove. Hold onto his constancy, his justice, his eternal purposes for you in Christ.  Regard these as absolutes, which can never be shaken, build your case logically upon them, remain steadfast and unshaken, confident that ultimately all will be made plain and all will be well.



Parenting a child with a disability

You can find a really helpful podcast episode here.  It’s 17 minutes long and really worth making time to listen to.   Darcy Strickland, the mother of a son with a disability, is interviewed and she’s honest and realistic in her wrestling with the Lord.  Of course her experience may be different to ours but I was especially struck by her comments in three areas:

  1. Raising children in God’s image not ours.
  2. Isolation as being one of the hardest parts of this trial.
  3. How disability can force us to think about heaven a lot.

I hope it’s a help to you as it was to me.



What do those with disabilties owe those without?

The question comes from an article I read a while ago.  It covers both sides.  You can read it here.

It’s a striking way of putting it and addresses one of two potential pitfalls in disability.

The first pitfall is that we don’t let others help us.  We become too proud and exist in a cocoon of self-reliance; we can set ourselves up as ‘us against the world’.  That denies others the blessing of serving us and us of learning to receive.

But we can fall off the horse the other way too if we don’t consider how we can bless others.  Romans 13:8 says: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”  That is true for every believer who knows the way that Christ has served us.

That is the pitfall this article is addressing.  Read it, weigh it, pray over it and ask for the mindset change we need from the Lord. Sometimes that will feel like a battle but it’s not beyond our gracious heavenly Father.