Read Judges 12
Jephthah's victory over the Ephraimites; Jephthah judges Israel six years; Israel delivered to Philistines; birth of Samson, Samson in Timnath; his feast and riddle.
The Spirit of the Lord began to move him [Samson] at times (Judg. 13:25).
Samson was the judge God appointed over Israel for twenty years. When he went to Timnath, it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines (14:4). But it appears he may have been so distracted by the woman, that he forgot the purpose God had for sending him there. Then when he caused trouble with the Philistines, the leading Israelites of the tribe of Judah rebuked him saying: Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? (15:11). How different would have been the outcome if the men of Judah had urged all the tribes of Israel to unite with Samson, pray, and overthrow the Philistines!
Each time the children of Israel cried unto the Lord (3:9, 4:3; 6:6-7; 10:10), God prepared a deliverer. This time the Israelites had been controlled by the Philistines for about forty years, but there was no prayer for deliverance. Therefore they remained powerless under the control of the Philistines. Israel had forgotten the Lord's purpose for bringing them into the promised land.
Even though Israel had forsaken Jehovah, God extended His mercy to them. His Spirit began to move upon Samson, the man who would deliver them. But Samson fell far short of fulfilling his calling, as the Lord foretold: He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (13:5).
Samson's life was filled with failure because of his self-centered desires, as revealed when he said: Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well (14:1-3). Samson was more concerned over pleasing himself than he was in pleasing God.
Samson went down — geographically and spiritually — when he went down to Timnath (14:1). While he was in enemy territory, he was not able to cope with the temptations he encountered there.
The three women in Samson's life are a type of the world, undoubtedly very attractive, as sin often is. They represent the fair, pleasure-loving world which seeks to rob the true Christian of his power with God.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-16).
Thought for Today:
The life of Samson is typical of many who get distracted from carrying out 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 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, pestered, persisted, and cried.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those who forsake or disappoint you (II Tim. 4:16).
Optional Reading: John 18
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:16