I’m not one who generally buys Bible commentaries. Nor am I one who generally buys books of any kind by an author I have never heard of. The reason I bought this particular commentary (from an author I had never heard of) is because I have a slight addiction to heavily discounted books — especially heavily discounted books at a bookstore known for its quality material.
This commentary by Dale Ralph Davis will, I’m afraid, only further my addiction. Its value far exceeds what I paid for it.
Davis uses fresh, succinct, and insightful language to convey the meaning of each passage and to draw out its pastoral implications.
Allow me to share a couple snippets.
Speaking of Israel’s infidelity and Yahweh’s wrath in Judges 3, Davis says,
“Yahweh’s wrath is the heat of his jealous love by which he refuses to let go of his people; he refuses to allow his people to remain comfortable in sin. Serving Cushan-rishathaim may not sound like salvation to us — and it isn’t, but, if it forces us to lose our grip on Baal, it may be the beginning of salvation. We must confess that Yahweh’s anger is not good news nor is it bad news but good bad news.”
And again, regarding the incident of Samson and the lion in Judges 14:
“The mangled lion is meant as Yahweh’s sign to Samson. It shows him what Yahweh can and will do through him…
We must not ignore such previews. David argued that if Yahweh made him able to wipe out the lions and bears that attacked Jesse’s sheep, he would also give him guts and skill to knock off the King Kong of Philistia (1 Sam. 17:34–37). Mark suggests that if the disciples had understood the feeding of the 5,000 they would not have been astounded at Jesus’ presence on the lake (Mark 6:51–52). No, you needn’t expect lions to come roaring out of vineyards; but you should notice this pattern in God’s ways. He will, by some smaller episode of deliverance or provision, show you how adequate he is so that you will be encouraged to rely on him in upcoming and possibly more demanding circumstances.”