The Philistines lived on the west side of Canaan, along the Mediterranean seacoast. From Samson's day until the time of David they were the major enemy force in the land & a constant threat to Israel. The Philistines were fierce warriors; they had the advantage over Israel in numbers, tactical expertise, & technology. They knew the secret of making weapons out of iron. But none of that mattered when God was fighting for Israel.
Once again the cycle of sin, judgment, & repentance began. The Israelites would not turn to God unless they had been stunned by suffering, oppression, & death. This suffered was not caused by God, but resulted from the fact that the people ignored God, their Judge & Ruler. The warnings in God's Word are clear; if we continue to harden our hearts against God, we can expect the same fate as Israel.
The angel of the Lord could have been a special divine messenger sent from God or a pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus Christ. The reason for the angel's visit was to give Samson's parents the vital news that Samson would begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.
Samson was to be a Nazarite - a person who took a vow to be set apart for God's service. Samson's parents made the vow for him. A Nazarite vow was sometimes for him. A Nazarite vow was sometimes temporary, but in Samson's case, it was for life. As a Nazarite, Samson could not cut his hair, touch a dead body, or drink anything containing alcohol.
Although Samson often used poor judgment & sinned terribly, he accomplished much when he determined to be set apart for God. In this way he was like the nation Israel. As long as the Israelites remained set apart for God, the nation thrived. But they into terrible sin when they ignored God.
Manoah's wife was told that her son would begin to rescue the Israelites from Philistine oppression. It wasn't until David's day that the Philistine opposition was completely crushed. Samson's part in subduing the Philistines was just the beginning, but it was important nonetheless. It was the task God had given Samson to do. Be faithful in following God even if you don't see instant results, because you might be beginning an important job that others will finish.
Samson's tribe, Dan, continued to wander in their inherited land, which was yet unconquered. Samson must have grown up with his warlike tribe's yearnings for a permanent & settled territory. Thus his visits to the tribal army camp stirred his heart, & God's Spirit began preparing him for his role as judge & leader against the Philistines.
God uses a variety of means to develop & prepare us: hereditary traits, environmental influences, & personal experiences. As with Samson, this preparation often begins long before adulthood. Work at being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading & the tasks God has prepared for you. Your past may be more useful to you than you imagine.
Samson's Ventures: He grew up in Zorah & wanted to marry a Philistine girl from Timnah (Timnath). Tricked at his own wedding feast, he went to Ashkelon & killed some Philistine men & stole their coats to pay off a bet. Samson then let himself be captured & brought to Lehi where he snapped his ropes & killed 1,000 people.
Reference summary used from Life Application Bible, KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I reviewed this book, I think before 2005.
There's nothing better than setting down with a hot cup of chocolate, especially on a cold, dreary night. It's soothing & warms the insides through & through.
May you also begin to experience the victorious life Jesus came to give you.
Remember the Israelites? It was a short journey from the Red Sea to Canaan, the Promised Land. God had delivered the Israelites from Slavery in Egypt, & in Canaan the Israelites would be free to serve & worship HIM.
Then they wandered for forty years.
Someone shared this Biblical Truth with the author, & she realized she was "wandering in the wilderness." Her book is a product of her decision to become unstuck.
Are you wandering in the wilderness?
Whatever you desire, it will take faith in God for changes in your life to happen.
Make a list of your goals & vision if you haven't already. Make a list of the tasks you do daily, weekly, monthly & yearly to reach your mission.
Keep this list handy & pray over it each day. Find a scripture that aligns with each of your goals & pray those verses daily.
John 8 reveals two sides of God's LOVE.
The chapter begins with a woman caught in the act of adultery. The Scribes & Pharisees bring her to Jesus & tell him about her sin. According to the law of Moses, she deserves death by stoning.
Jesus said ... He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7). One by one they walked away.
Jesus asked the woman, where are thine accusers? Jesus said unto her, go, & sin no more (John 8:10-11).
Love is tender & it is sometimes tough. Love forgives & it also confronts.
Moving higher means growing up, & in order to grow up there must be a separation.
Abraham, Issac, & Jacob all went through a separation process & reaped great rewards.
Abraham left his family & caught the vision of a Promised Land & descendants who became innumerable as the stars.
Issac, Abraham's son, left familiar surroundings & traveled to Egypt. There God prospered him in the middle of a famine.
Jacob's greed & selfishness drove him to deceive. To help him escape the wrath of his brother, Jacob's parents sent him away.
The transformation in Jacob was so great that God changed his name from Jacob(trickster) to Israel(Prince of God).
Separation is challenging & painful, but let God have HIS way.
There is a parable in Luke 18 that reveals a key to getting our prayers answered. In verse one Jesus told this parable to encourage men to keep praying & never faint.
Jesus asks if - a man who had no reverence for God & no consideration for people - will help someone because of their persistence, how much more will God respond to you, HIS very own child whom HE loves dearly?
We should never beat ourselves up. God forgives when we ask, once we repent. We should learn from our mistakes.
Jesus said in John 15:5 that without HIM we can do nothing.
Pray Psalm 150 -- Praise ye the LORD, Praise God in HIS sanctuary ... Praise him for HIS mighty acts ... Praise HIM with the sound of the trumpet ... Let every thing that hath breath praise th LORD.
The author shared she's had several opportunities to move past her comfort zone.
II Kings 7: The city of Samaria had been surrounded by the army of Syria. The prophet Elisha foretold that the city would have relief within one day.
Four lepers sat on the outskirts of the city talking among themselves.
So, they decided upon a bold plan. They would visit the Syrian camp.
When the lepers arrived at the camp no one was there! II Kings 7:6-7 tells us the LORD caused a great noise that sounded like a mighty army approaching. The Syrians had panicked & fled into the night, leaving behind their belongings.
Leaps of faith aren't easy.
Taking a leap of faith will mean different things to different people.
God has appointed you to reach out & touch the life of at least one person.
One night the author dreamed she was in prison along with several friends. Her friends decided to break out.
Terrified of the bulldogs that guarded the place, she wasn't in agreement with their plan. Her companions were not afraid.
But as they walked towards the gate that would take them beyond the prison walls, the bulldogs cleared the path for them. They walked through & were not harmed in any way.
The author feels God spoke to her through her dream -- if she responded to HIS guidance with faith & boldness, the "bulldogs" in her life would move aside.
Has a bad experience made you fearful?
Our good works should flow out from our communion with God.
Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love others as you love yourself.
Take time to renew & refresh.
The Bible is our blueprint.
Living a Godly life is a fight, & we need every piece of information we can get our hands on.
We should strive to do a first-rate job in whatever we are involved with. Someone may be watching.
God is certainly watching. The Bible tells us to do everything as unto the LORD.
The author shares she's been through the ups & downs. And, boy have she shed a lot of tears. Through it all, she shares there has been one thing that sustained her: hope.
Karin Peavy is the author of Hot Chocolate For The Spirit. A rich, meaningful book. Shares on dealing with difficult transitions. Comfort for your heart throughout every season of your life.