Read Judges 12:1
The tribe of Ephraim rejects Jephthah from living in Israel, but later pleads with him to be their judge. See how their lives apply to us. The seventh servitude is to the Philistines, while Samson is judge.
The Israelites, because of their sins, had been slaves to the Philistines. How sad it is to read that the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years (Judg. 13:1). During that time one cannot find one recorded prayer for deliverance.
One can behold a marvelous manifestation of the long-suffering and mercy of God when one couple prayed concerning their promised child: My Lord . . . teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born (13:8). The woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times (13:24-25).
Samson was anointed of God from birth to deliver Israel from the Philistines. He was given unlimited opportunities, but his life was filled with failure because of undisciplined, self-serving desires. This is exemplified when Samson decided to marry a Philistine and said to his parents: Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well (14:3). Even though Samson's life was filled with strife, lust for women proved to be his downfall. Nothing is more pathetic than to see the powerful self-centered Samson imprisoned by the Philistines, blinded and forced to grind grain like an animal when he could have been reigning over the nation that had made him a slave.
Like Samson, some allow pride and selfish desires to defeat their God-given purpose in life when they refuse to yield to Christ as Lord of their lives. Christ alone gives our lives value as He makes us a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Cor. 5:17). Only to the extent that we allow Christ to guide each day of our lives shall we be able to truly fulfill His will.
The Christian has been purchased with a great price — the precious blood of Jesus (Heb. 13:12). Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Cor. 6:20). By right of His purchase, the authority over our lives should be God.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6).
Thought for Today:
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (II Cor. 10:4).
By Samson, who, as a Nazarite, was to be consecrated to God from the womb (birth) to the day of his death (Judg. 13:7). Jesus was also set apart and consecrated to God from the womb to the day of His death on the cross. Unlike Samson, who failed God, Jesus totally fulfilled the will of God as He said He would do when He left heaven saying: Lo, I come . . . to do Thy will, O God (Heb. 10:7).
12:6 frame pronounce it right; 13:6 terrible awe-inspiring, evoking profound respect; 14:4 occasion against opportunity to destroy, but once again Samson became sidetracked; 14:17 lay sore upon him festered, persisted, and cried.
Pray for Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other Prayer Suggestion: Put on God's whole armor so that you may be able to successfully stand up against Satan's evil attacks (Eph. 6:11).
Optional Reading: John 18:1
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:15