In Today's Scripture Reading:
Samson loses his wife; 1,000 Philistines slain; Delilah; Samson defeated, blinded, dies with the Philistines; Micah's idols
The early life of Samson is recorded in chapters 13, 14, and 15. Then it appears that many years passed for which we have no record until we read the tragic events in chapter 16.
There is no record that Samson ever expressed a desire to be used by the Lord to deliver the Israelites from the Philistine's oppression; so it is not a surprise that he rarely prayed for guidance or protection. He also chose nonbelievers in the One True God as his friends.
Early in life, Samson disregarded the spiritual significance of his Nazarite dedication by marrying a Philistine woman. He became deeply involved in sin as he made friends with Delilah, another Philistine woman. When Samson saw Delilah, he should have thought of his sacred Nazarite vow and his high calling as the judge over God's people. But sin had blinded him to the high calling of his consecration to the Lord and to the reason he was gifted with great strength. And, as so often happens with each person who presumptuously believes that God's mercy and long-suffering will continue indefinitely, we see Samson entrapped by Delilah's treachery. She said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him (Judges 16:20).
Consequently, the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes . . . and bound him with fetters (chains) of brass; and he did grind in the prison house (16:21). Not only did he suffer the gruesome torture of having his eyes gouged out, but he was forced to take the place of an animal and waste his life turning the mill to grind corn into meal.
The tragic story of Samson should send a strong message to every Christian who has ignored his opportunities to use his God-given abilities (talents) to seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Samson is not the only servant of God to waste his life on worldliness and self-indulgence (16:19). But, in contrast, by faith Moses delivered his people from bondage and chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, (rather) than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:24-25).
There are just two walks in life, either the broad (majority) way or the narrow way (living to advance His kingdom). The narrow way leads to life eternal; the broad way is reflected in Matthew 6:32: (For after all these things do the Gentiles (the worldly-minded) seek) — what they shall eat, what they shall drink, what they shall wear, where they shall live, and what more they can gain to please the self life. Jesus warned: Beware of covetousness (of material pleasures and earthly desires), for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth (Luke 12:15). Christ does not say: You ought not; but He says: You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).
15:4 firebrands =b> torches of flax on fire; 16:7 green withs =b> small new ropes; 16:11 fast =b> securely; never . . . occupied =b> never used; 16:25 make us sport =b> entertain us; 16:26 Suffer me =b> Allow me; 17:4 founder =b> metal worker.
Through the strength God gave to Samson for his last victory over the Philistines (Judges 16:28-30). I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Francis E. Boone, Jr. Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield Government Official: Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY) Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect Religious freedom 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Ask for your daily needs (Matthew 6:11).
Optional Reading: John 19
Memory Verse for the Week: II Peter 1:6