Ephraim quarrels with Jephthah and then he judges for six years of peace. Three more judges appear in the 10th, 11th, and 12th chapters. It is important that we recognize how their lives apply to us. The 7th servitude is to the Philistines and the Lord raises up Samson.
Verses for Today:
Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. . . . And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well (Judg. 14:1-3).
Each time the children of Israel cried unto the Lord (3:9,15; 4:3; 6:6; 10:10), God pepared a deliverer. But this time, there was no mention of prayer for deliverance, although they had been slaves of the Philistines for 40 years (13:1).
Israel had forsaken Jehovah, but God in mercy began to move upon Samson (13:25) who could have delivered them, but the people remained powerless under the control of the Philistines.
Samson was not an idol worshiper but he was more concerned with satisfying himself than he was with pleasing God. This was evident when he insisted on having an idol-worshiping Philistine wife, saying to his parents: Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well (14:1-3).
Samson's undisciplined life typified the spiritual condition of Israel during that period of the Judges and revealed how a self-willed life results in sorrow and suffering for self as well as others.
The three women in Samson's life represent the attractions of the pleasure-loving world which kept the people of God from the blessings He wanted them to enjoy. All of us are tempted to please ourselves and fail both to pray and to live the will of God. Self-pleasing is expressed in many forms: pride, jealousy, theft, using the tithe for self (robbing God), hate, irresponsibility, using wine, and a host of other fleshly desires. Every day that we fail to deny ourselves and take up our cross, our opportunity of serving the Lord is weakened. Perhaps the greatest failure is that of not presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, expecting that the mercy and long-suffering of God will continue indefinitely.
As a Nazarite, Samson could have been an example before all the world to this day of the power of faithful commitment to God as he delivered Israel from the Philistine bondage. We too are called upon to be separated from the world with a desire to fulfill the Lord's will.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light (Rom. 13:12).
Thought for Today:
Let us allow the same Spirit that stirred many in the past to stir us to fulfill the will of God in our lives. Only by knowing the Word of God can we know the will of God.
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 plan 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 =pestered, persisted, and cried.
Pray for Country: Colombia (38.6 million) in northwestern South America • Major language: Spanish • New government has declared religious freedom • 93% Catholic; 4% Protestant; .5% Tibal; .2% Muslim; .1% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; 2.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray fervently with others (Rom. 15:30).
Optional Reading: John 18
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10