Scripture reading for March 13th: Judges 13-16
Sampson is an interesting figure in the history of God’s people. He was born with such potential to be great! An angel visited a sterile and childless elderly married woman and told her she would conceive a son. He was to be raised a Nazarite from the womb because he would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines. (Judges 13:2-5) Manoah, the husband, prayed for this angel to return and his prayers were answered. They were given further instructions as to how to raise this son and named him Sampson.
This son was born and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir Sampson at an early age. He was, however, attracted to Philistine women and asked for one for his wife. This was against the desires of the godly parents who knew God’s word. God, however, used this to further His purposes. (Judges 14:1-4) Sampson had a temper as well, and this came out during a family gathering with his new wife’s family. They coerced his wife to get an answer to Sampson’s riddle. When she gave them the answer, in anger he killed thirty men and took their clothes to pay his vow! (Judges 14:19-20) Leaving his wife, he returned to his parents’ house.
Later Sampson went back to get his wife, and found that they had given her to his best man at the wedding. This infuriated him and he took 300 foxes, tied their tails together, tied torches to their tails and let them loose in the grain fields. This caused more anger to flare and Sampson took revenge again with a jawbone of a donkey, killing more than a thousand Philistines. (Judges 15:15)
It seems that Sampson’s life was filled with anger, revenge, and lust for foreign women. Sampson was anointed by God with great strength, but his lack of self-control caused him to become ineffective. He went to Gaza to see a prostitute and they nearly caught him. (Judges 16:1-3) He fell in love with another Philistine woman named Delilah. Delilah ended up betraying Sampson for money. Sampson was taken captive and his eyes gouged out. (Judges 16:20-21) Sampson’s final act was one of faith, when he prayed for strength to get revenge. God answered his prayer!
We must be careful with our lives. Carnal Christians can be taken captive by the enemy too. Check out your life and heart today!