I don’t know if I have enough room for everything I want to say about these few verses.  First of all the word justified is kind of a court like term. Without Christ if I went to the gate of Heaven and the judge asked me how do you plea, I would have to say guilty.  I use this often in my jail ministry.  Now if I have the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) I could say not guilty because all was place on Him and nothing is left.  The same is in Romans 3:25 where it says that God has passed over the sins previously committed.  I want the rest of my thoughts to be about being crucified with Christ.  To me that means that in the Person of Christ I was on that cross.  That means the person I was died on that cross.  I now live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Paul never nor do I want to set aside grace for law because then Christ would have died in vain.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

When we are a bond servant of Christ we only are to please one Man and that is Christ.  Paul says the gospel he preached is from Christ and not according to man, but he got it by a means called revelation from Christ.  Paul's former conduct was that he was a persecutor of Christians.  He was great in the Jewish religion which was right until Christ came on the scene.  But notice who calls himself separated from his mothers womb and called through God's grace.  I wonder about the term separated from his mothers womb whether that is true also of me. Why was Paul chosen? It was to reveal His Son in Me is what Paul declares.  The same can be true of me although not as an Apostle but simply one who can simply claim that Christ saved me and can save anyone.  Paul didn't go to Jerusalem  to get instruction from the apostles, but got it through revelation in Arabia.
​Written by Pastor Curt Darling

What an ending to the book of Judges.  There are some words at the end of the chapter that goes like this, “In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” It was a sad commentary on Israel at that time and how I wish it would have remained there, but even in the time of the kings it was no better.  In the time of Christ Isaiah the prophet was said to be a root out of dry ground.
I would love to say things are better now but I would have to say that they are worse.  This country was supposed to be founded on Christian principles. Christ is hardly known to the general population.
Now with that said, we must ask where are we? To be personal I must say where am I? I am the only one who can answer that.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

I wrote about Samson in my last blog that it was almost a predescribed miracle conception but he was born of two sinful human beings so he had the taint of sin. In the next chapter we find that he wants to marry a philistine woman, and now we begin this chapter 16 with Samson with a harlot.  However this chapter begins with a sinful act and ends in disaster.  I can’t say that any of the women in Samson’s life were women who were of Israel.  Delilah was loved by Samson but she seemed to have no desire to return his love.  I am taking the liberty to go beyond verse 17 to the end of the chapter when he is blinded and made to grind at a mill like an oxen.  This can happen to someone who was to be totally dedicated (Nazarite) but indulged in sexual sin that ruined his life. I have known Christians like that too.  We must be careful that this thing does not happen to us.
By Pastor Curt Darling

If you want someone who should serve the Lord constantly it should be Samson.  All the rest of the Judges were already alive but Samson could be called a miracle conception. I never want to say, “This is what it should be” because we can’t out think God. When God decides to do something who am I to think otherwise.
The next thing that I want to write about is this so called Angel that gives them the news.  They want to give Him something but all He will accept is an offering.  Then He touches the offering and it goes up in smoke and the Angel also goes up in the smoke.  I call this as others do Christ pre-incarnate.  He would have to be God to do that.
At the end of the chapter Samson shows spiritual qualities, but the next chapter takes a turn for the worse.  Here is where I must be careful because things like that could happen to me.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

What we read in these verses I find very interesting as I do with all the Scriptures.  The first thing I read is that the Holy Spirit came upon this man Jephthah. The Holy Spirit should tell him right from wrong if he would listen.
Then he makes this rash vow.  I don't think the Holy Spirit is active in this decision. His vow was that the first thing (what's seen) comes out of my house will be offered as a burnt offering.  Now do we have to bribe God to win a battle.  Yet he vowed it and didn't realize it would be his daughter.  Yet as we read the rest of the chapter he did it as he vowed.  There are people who preach who want to be nice about this but I take it just like the Bible says.
Could God have won the battle without this rash vow?  There is plenty of evidence in the rest of the Scripture that He could. 

By Pastor Curt Darling

I have seen a phrase used in almost the whole book of Judges thus far.  That is the phrase, “the anger of the LORD”. In the book of Judges as in much of the Old Testament God uses heathen nations to chastise His people.  There is a word God uses for Himself and that is the word jealous.  After all from Abraham on they were His people and He had every reason to be jealous.
Another phrase is, “We have sinned”. These are magic words to God.  According to I John 1:9, they are almost the same too.  Christians ought to use them more often.
There is another phrase too, “They cried unto the Lord”. Then when they cried God was grieved.  The next chapter we find that God had someone in mind to be a deliverer.  Jephthah was a very unusual man for God to pick.  Kind of reminds me about myself.  To that I can say why me?
By Pastor Curt Darling

What I could say about our verses is that when God plans something it may not make sense to us.  What can God do with 200 men? You would be surprised what He can do with this many men.  Remember what Abraham did with that many when Lot was taken captive.  How about the battle of Jericho?
All we have to do is follow God’s instructions and you would be surprised what He will do.  This plan of using 300 men simply because they cupped the water in their hands instead of getting down to drink could even be seen as preposterous. But it was the plan of God at this time.
There was a song by a singer named Doug Oldham that says, “God said it, I believe it and its good enough for me.” I am willing to go that way. Are you willing to accept things that way?
By Pastor Curt Darling

When I look at the word circumstance, three relative words come to mind.  We must say what Gideon was going through was dire circumstances.  Then I think what God was going to do with him and through him.  Then I think of the words in spite of His circumstances.  The first thing about Gideon is that he was industrious.  He was threshing wheat where there was no wheat to be had.  He was threshing it on the wine press.  The Angel of the Lord comes to him and calls him mighty man of valor.  Gideon is quick to say who me?  He never marshaled an army.  It is almost like Moses at the burning bush and look what God did with him.  We must be careful and walk humbly before God, and you will be surprised what He can do.  I have experienced a situation when I began to preach in England.  This is now sixty years later and I say this now.  Why not me? It is no secret what God can do.  What He’s done for others He’ll do for you.
​by Pastor Curt Darling

The first thing we read as we begin these verses today is that they turned away from God to a false god called Ashtoreth.  Under Joshua things were good.  However, Joshua eventually died.  God raised up judges and there were constant ups and downs and is permeated that way all through the book of Judges.
Another factor seen in these verses is the anger of the LORD. There is a verse somewhere that God is angry with sin all the time.  That is why Jesus came to put His anger away.
​Now I would like to say something  about our modern society. If God was angry then could He not be angry with our modern society?  There is a verse in Hebrews 9:26 saying that Christ was once offered to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Why are people not accepting this as I have 61 years ago. 

​By Pastor Curt Darling