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Judges 13-16


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                                      
Thru the Bible in a Year
       The story of Sampson is both inspiring and tragic; it conveys the power of faith and the self-destruction of pride.
       Sampson was born of parents who had given up on having children until God intervened.  His life was immediately dedicated to God and his parents are instructed that he is never to drink fermented beverages, eat religiously unclean food or cut his hair or beard.  The parents are thrilled and do just as the angel instructed them.  As a result, the boy grows up with miraculous strength and favor with God.
       After what appears to have been an obedient and uneventful childhood, Sampson rebels against some of the teaching of his people and decides to marry one of the women of the country, a Philistine girl named Timnah.  At his wedding feast she betrays him and after he literally goes to war against a group of Philistines, killing them all, she is given to someone else by a father who undoubtedly is glad to be separated from this hot-headed young Israelite.
       Sampson is distraught and in his new anger at losing his bride destroys much of the Philistine’s harvest as well as their vineyards and olive groves.  In response, the Philistines now kill both his former intended wife and her father.  The action is probably meant to appease Sampson, but simply makes him more angry with them.
       After exacting a great deal of punishment on the Philistines, he again falls in love with one of their women, this time Delilah.  She works on him to discover the secret of his strength and when he finally tells her, ignoring innumerable warnings and danger signs, his hair is cut, he is captured, his eyes put out and he is put on display grinding grain in the prison.
       Brought out to entertain the Philistine rulers at a celebration in the temple of Dagon, he prays that God would one more time allow him to use his strength to destroy it even if it costs his life.  God answers his prayer, and the temple is destroyed along with many Philistine leaders and Sampson himself.
       It is easy to misuse our talents.  When they are only used to enrich or aggrandize us, they are wasted.  In the service of God, they do wonderful things.  What is you talent?  How are you using it for God?  Is there anything you are withholding from Him?  Make a commitment today that you will find a way to serve Him with your best abilities.  Then go to work and do it!
A. Eugene Pearson 2012