Read Judges 15 -- 17
In Today 's 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 of the book of Judges. 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 neither prayed for guidance nor protection. He chose the enemies of God for his friends.
Early in life, Samson disregarded the spiritual significance of his Nazirite dedication by marrying a Philistine woman. He became deeply involved in sin as he made friends with Delilah, another Philistine woman. And, as always, with each person who presumptuously believes that God's mercy and long-suffering will continue indefinitely, we see Samson yield to Delilah's treachery. Then she said, Samson! The Philistines are upon you. When he awoke from his sleep he said, I will go out as at other times and shake myself free. (But he didn't know that the LORD had turned from him.) (Judges 16:20).
When Samson saw Delilah, he should have thought of his sacred Nazirite vow and his high calling as a judge. But sin had blinded him to his high calling and to the reason he was gifted with great strength. Consequently, the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him in bronze shackles, and he ground grain in the prison (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 spend his time turning the mill to grind corn into meal (16:21).
The story of Samson should send a strong message to every Christian who has fallen into the treacherous web of sinful pleasures. Samson is not the only servant of God who ever lost his power through worldliness and self-indulgence (16:19).
In contrast, by faith Moses . . . chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:24-25).
Through the strength God gave to Samson for his last victory over the Philistines (Judges 16:28-30). I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Government Officials: Gov. Frank Murkowski (AK) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY) · Country: Tonga (109,000) in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: Tongan and English · Religious freedom · 55% Protestant; 22% Mormon; 14% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal what is not pleasing to Him (Psalms 139:23-24).
Optional Reading: John 19
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:16