A short devotion for 30th August

Call to worship

Offer your very selves to God: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance. Romans 12:1

Bible Reading

  • Judges 13:1-7 & 24

Confession

Lord, we acknowledge before you that often we can be like Peter: hearing your word but going off on our own track, not wanting to see your path, especially if it looks rough.

Lord, we acknowledge that there are times when we want the world, but don’t give much thought for our souls.

Lord, we acknowledge that there are times when we are a stumbling block to others and to ourselves, looking for complications instead of just following you. Forgive us, Lord, and help us to follow you. Amen

Adoration

Lord God, you invite us to come in and share your story. We stand amazed in your presence, Lord. We wait on you, lost in wonder that the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory, with his angels and you want us, too. We adore you, Lord above all. Amen

Message: Samson’s Second Chance

Text

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes. Judges 16:28

Introduction

From time to time we have looked at great men of God who were blessed with a second chance, men like King David, Peter the apostle; now we come to Samson. Samson was a man of great strength. He would have made Charles Atlas look like weakling.

Like Sarah, Abraham’s wife (Genesis 17:19), Samson’s mother was told that she would give birth to a son (Judges 13:3) and, like Sarah, she too was barren. You see NOTHING is impossible with GOD. In Luke 1:37 Mary (Jesus mother) was informed that her cousin, Elizabeth who was also barren was to give birth in her old age. He was John the Baptist the one who prepared the way for God’s Son, Jesus.

Samson’s mother was referred to as ‘The Woman’. She was told that her son would be a ‘Nazirite’. A Nazirite was one who took a vow of separation and self-imposed abstinence for the purpose of some special service. The Nazirite vow included a renunciation of wine, prohibition of the use of the razor, and avoidance of contact with a dead body. The vow could as in the case of Samson last a life time.

Samson’s Task

“he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:5) The Philistines were a constant threat to the Israelites. It is from their name that we get the name Palestine. They were also known as Sea People. In Judges 14:4 & 15:11, we are told that Israel was being ruled by the Philistines. God used Samson’s desire to marry a Philistine woman the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel) v 4. Samson used 300 foxes by tying their tails together, putting torches on every pair (150 torches) and sending them into the harvest field, He burned up shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves. (Judges 15:5b) He used a jawbone of a donkey to attack the Philistines (15:14). Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. (15:20)

Samson’s Failure

There is no doubt, Samson was a thorn in the side of the Philistines and they wanted to capture him and their opportunity came when he fell in love with a woman by the name of Delilah. To cut a long and interesting story short, he eventually told her where his strength lay, “If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” (16:17). Because of him telling Delilah where his strength lay, the Philistines were able to take him prisoner, displaying him in the temple of their god, Dagon. The Philistines thought this idol made of stone that cannot see, hear or move was able to fight for them! Samson, a mighty man of God, used greatly in battle, a leader of Israel and, like King David after him failed, because of LUST.

When we think of these great men, sadly two words come thundering through the pages of Holy Scripture to us and they are these, LUST & REPENTANCE. Let us have a reality check, would we want our sons follow the example of Samson?

Samson’s Second Chance

Then Samson prayed to the Lord. (16:28) It was after he prayed and the Lord answering his prayer was he used to fulfil and complete his God-given task taking out the Philistine rulers and people.

Before we start to point the finger at Samson let us look at what Isaiah says in 53:6 “We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. We, like Samson, David & Peter must repent, return to the Lord and live our lives for Him.

Prayers of Intercession

We pray for people the world over who find themselves in difficult situations. We pray that they would all have someone to care for them and lift them before you.

We pray for all who are persecuted for their faith: for all who are misunderstood, for asylum seekers who flee real danger in their homeland.

We pray for those who work tirelessly to address wrongs. We pray for people whose lives don’t always work out right, through their fault, or through no fault of their own.

We pray for people in our lives who need your protection, Lord, that we will always be faithful in prayer for them. Merciful God, hear our prayer. Amen

Blessing

May God the most holy enfold you; may Jesus our Saviour restore you; may the Holy Spirit surround you; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among and remain with you this day and for evermore. Amen