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Memory Scripture: "But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:14-15
Oh, Samson, Samson, Samson.
What a fool you were.
As we read through the book of Judges we come to the story of Samson.
Destined by God before he was born to be a powerful force for the Israelite people, God gave his parents instructions regarding Samson's life. If followed, Samson would prove to be a great leader for the Israelite's.
Samson was told by God that his strength would be lost if he ever cut his hair.
It was a secret that no one knew except he and his parents.
Enter a cunning Philistine seductress on the scene...Delilah.
Remember, God had given the Israelites clear instructions on not intermingling with the Philistine people. Their influence was too powerful and it would saturate the hearts of God's people and turn them away from the Lord.
With nauseating nagging and much persistence, Samson finally shared his secret with Delilah.
Before the night was over, she had set him up. The Philistines came into his room, cut his hair, and gauged out his eyes.
He was taken to prison.
As his hair grew out in prison, his strength began to return.
God gave Samson one final chance to destroy the Philistines and live out his purpose.
He ended up killing more people by his death, than when he did while he was alive.
What can we learn from Samson the fool?
Oh so many things.
Be careful who you hang out with.
There are people who are out to harm and destroy and manipulate. Be wise.
Do not share secrets with just anyone. Samson was foolish and prideful and shared the most sacred thing he possessed, and Delilah used it to destroy him.
Use the gifts God has given you right now.
Pray to stay focused and not lulled by distraction and comfort. Samson lived a lavish life of self-indulgence. God had a big plan for his life, but Samson wanted to live life his own way. Separate from God's plan for him.
Obey God's commands. Samson mingled with the very people that God had sent him to destroy
On the positive side, we can learn from Samson's life that God often gives us another chance.
Samson was at the tail end of his life, and he prayed that God would remember him and help him one last time.
I wonder how different things would have turned out for Samson if he would have obeyed the Lord and followed His ways.
We have much to learn here.
Are we following the Lord and obeying His commands? Or are we wasting our time here on Earth.
Are we using our gifts and talents to serve Him and others?
Are we getting a little too comfortable in our indulgences and tuning out God's plan?
Are we hanging with people that we know are not God's best for us, yet we cannot seem to shake free?
The good news is, it is never too late. God is always ready and willing to help us get back on track.
Whether we are 9 years old, or 99. He is not done with us.
If you have young kids, teenage kids, or adult kids, the life of Samson is a great teaching tool. Let us all learn from him.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." Erma Bombeck
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