Highlights In Today's Reading:
Ephraim quarrels with Jephthah and then six years of peace. Three more judges appear in chapter 12. Can you identify them? What remarkable things happened during the 7th servitude to the Philistines before Samson was born?
The Israelites had been slaves to the Philistines for forty years because of their sins. It is recorded 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 (Judges 13:1). During that time one cannot find a single recorded instance where prayer for deliverance was offered. However, one man prayed concerning his promised child: My Lord . . . teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born (13:8).
In this passage, one can behold the marvelous manifestation of God's longsuffering and mercy. He will prepare a man whom He can use mightily. 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 his self-serving desires (14:1-3). His self-demanding, self-importance is reflected in verse 3 where he said to his parents when he decided to marry a Philistine: Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
Samson's life was filled with strife and vain glory. His lust for women proved his downfall. Nothing is more pathetic than self-centered Samson, blind and grinding in the house of the Philistines when he could have been reigning over the nation that had made him a slave. The reason some try to be "somebody" is that they have not yet yielded to Christ as Lord of their lives. Their religion is too self-centered. Christ alone gives our lives value and meaning as He makes us a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17). Only in the measure in which we allow Christ to guide each hour 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 (Hebrews 13:12). Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:20). The authority over our lives then should be Christ, by right of His purchase.
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 (Romans 6:6).
Thought for Today:
The person that yields his life to the authority of Christ knows the joy of Christ being Lord.
By Samson, who, as a Nazarite, was to be consecrated to God from birth to the day of his death (Judges 13:7). Jesus was also set apart and consecrated to God from birth to the day of His death on the cross. Unlike Samson, who often failed God, Jesus totally fulfilled God's plan as He said He would: Lo, I come . . . to do Thy will, O God (Heb. 10:7).
12:6 could not frame =b> could not pronounce; 12:14 nephews =b> grandsons or other descendants; 13:6 terrible =b> awe-inspiring; 13:12 order the child =b> teach and train; 14:12 sheets =b> linen garments, like shirts.
Pray for English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; .2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious• Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior was born (Luke 2:11).
Optional Reading: John 18
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:22