Scripture: Judges 13-15. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Once again, the cycle of sin, judgment, and repentance of the Israelites began, and God delivered them into the hands of the Philistines. A man named Manoah had a wife who was unable to have her own children. God blessed her with a boy named Samson, a Nazirite, who was to be set apart for God. Samson was to begin to deliver the Israelites from the Philistine oppression. When Samson became an adult, he saw a young Philistine woman who he wanted to marry. His parents objected to this because it was against God’s law; however, they gave Samson the wife he wanted. Samson was then tricked at his own wedding feast, allowed himself to be captured, and killed one thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone. God had given Samson great strength.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Once again, the Israelites struggled severely before turning back to God. The warnings that God gives us are clear in the Bible, and we must stay away from letting our hearts grow hardened. We must always follow God. God had given Samson a specific task to start. We must always be faithful in following God’s ways for us, even if we are not seeing instant results, for we never know when we may be starting an important task that others will finish. We must ask God for guidance and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and the certain tasks that God has prepared for us. And, as we use the gifts that God has given to us, we must be sure that we are helping others, not just ourselves. Samson was seeking vengeance on the Philistines. Revenge is an uncontrollable, ugly thing, and each act of retaliation can bring on another. The only way of stopping the revenge cycle is by forgiveness. Samson’s strength came from God. Be sure to thank God for His gifts on a daily basis. We must concentrate on keeping our words, actions, and attitudes focused on God and not on ourselves.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, protecting our hearts from growing hardened in this fallen world. Help us to be faithful. Thank You for the many gifts that You give to each one of us. Help us to be self-less, always helping others and not just ourselves. We know that revenge is not a good thing. Please help us to stay away from acts of retaliation and vengeance when someone harms us. Help us to forgive one another in love, instead. Help us always to concentrate on keeping our words, actions, and attitudes focused on You and not on ourselves. Please forgive us for the many sins that we commit, and help us to forgive others. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.