Friday, February 15, 2013

RESTORATION

Suggested Reading: Judges 16

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Tel Lachish National Park. According to the Bible, the Israelites captured and destroyed Lachish for joining the league against the Gibeonites (Joshua 10:31-33), but its territory was later assigned to the tribe of Judah (15:39) and became a part of the Kingdom of Israel. In this picture you see an ancient wall of the Commander's palace that has been excavated.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Judges 16:20

And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

Here is a very sad verse. A mighty champion of God has compromised himself. He has let down the standards with which he was raised and conducted himself in a way that would guarantee shame for him, his people, and most of all, his God. Here is a man who was unaware that the Lord was no longer with him. Defeat was inevitable. During his humiliating imprisonment, doing a job that an ox would normally do, he repented to God. That most often repeated verse in the Bible, “His mercy endures forever,” took hold. God restored His supernatural strength in Sampson once more.

If we wonder where God’s strength has gone from our lives, just look back and almost always we’ll find a time when we departed from Him. He did not leave us or forsake us; we forsook Him by going our own way. He’s always there waiting for us to return. The word, “repent” means, “turn around with sorrow for our disobedience.” Let us return to the crossroads where we went our own way, ask forgiveness, and make a new start.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You always did the will of Your Father. According to Your promise, You live in me. Therefore, I pray with confidence, believing that You are leading me in the way I should go. Keep me, by Your grace, on the straight and narrow path of consistent Christian living. In Your Name, Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a teen I heard a preacher who entitled his sermon, “A haircut in the devil’s barber shop.” From the time I was a small child I knew the story that was coming. I would feel so sad for God, for Sampson and for all the people. And yet, there was hope. I knew that with repentance, God would restore that which was lost.

A letter from several years ago stands out in my memory. A preacher from New Brunswick had turned away from God, left his calling, and gone into a life of rebellion against God. He may have had his reasons, but the letter did not tell that story. What it did tell was that one day, while watching the 100 Huntley Street telecast, God’s Spirit overwhelmed this old preacher, and he cried out in repentance and was restored to God. The next week, the preacher went to his ungodly son and asked his forgiveness for failing to live a consistent Christian life. His son forgave his Dad and together they prayed. The son came to faith in Christ. One week later, the son was killed in a car accident. I marvel at the grace of God. God knew of the son’s impending death. He brought Dad back to Himself just in time. Truly, God’s “mercy endures forever.”

Yours in celebration of God’s unfailing love,

David

Further excavations in ancient Lachish reveal many rooms.

14 thoughts on “Friday, February 15, 2013

  1. What a story David of that pastor, but most of all of God’s
    grace and mercy….just in time…because He knows every
    detail of our lives…we can trust Him fully and fear nothing.
    God’s perfect timing in the details of our lives, as a family,
    has been so amazing lately, (obvious)…so this story once
    again speaks volumes of God’s omnipotence to orchestrate
    the affairs of our lives and show us how much He loves and
    cares for us. May we live today expecting Jesus to do the
    impossible…glad Sampson experienced forgiveness and
    God’s power at the end.

  2. It’s always sad when a child of God forsakes their fellowship with the Lord. Whether it’s the story of Sampson or the story David pointed out with the old preacher, we must never forget that God is forever faithful in His love for us. That’s why it’s good to get to know your best friend, the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the helper, the companion, who wants to communicate, relate and encourage you. By not relating to the Holy Spirit, we not only grieve Him, we miss out on God’s best for us. God is closer than we could ever imagine but for whatever reason, we tend to stray (the Bible would say it’s because of our carnal, fleshly existence). As David said, restoration is always possible, God is always willing to love His wayward child, just as He has a love for all of His children. The joy and fellowship of the Lord is always available, the decision is, will we partake? The choice is ours, I pray we make the correct one.

  3. The account of Sampson is a sad story. He was self-driven, placing himself in compromising places with compromising people. He obviously had a weakness for women, and men feared him for his strength and reputation for killing others. You make a good point David, how we can abandon our Lord for choices in life which only avail self-destruction and oppressiveness. Yet thankfully, we can make the necessary adjustments, knowing we have not been abandoned. God’s ways are beyond our ways and His timing must be taken seriously. Life is short.

  4. This story of Samson hit so close to home for our family but OUR FORGIVING God intervened, forgave and is leading the one who wandered back to the fold, studying THE WORD and trusting HIM, through the HOLY SPIRIT to guide his path. HALLELUJAH for a Saviour who never leaves us.

  5. With all gentleness, it is Samson, not Sampson, in the bible. I realize everyone is following the spelling from David Mainse’ 100words.

    God used the life of Samson as a great example, just as he has with the Israelis all through Judges. Do not follow our own will and be swayed by temptations, which the devil uses to weaken us and move us away from following God’s will. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson when he needed Him, each and every time, and when he called out to Him, as in this verse–to accomplish everything that seemed impossible. Even though Samson let himself fall away, he knew he could call out to God, in that last moment, and that He would answer. The symbolism of his hair, that had the Spirit and life of God in it because of the heritage of his mother who gave birth to him, kept growing, even when it was cut off. Awesome!

    Wishing everyone a blessed day! Our God is so good!

  6. I believe that the opening “direction” next to the scripture location should read – “Required reading”. It upsets me everyday to see “suggested reading”. We should be eating God’s Words which are perfect, pure, Holy Spirit Breathed. To say “suggested reading” is a sad point with me. Sorry David. I do appreciate you and your dedication, experience, intellect, and Godly direction so much. Just my inexperience, I guess. (from McDonald’s in Dundas, Ontario).

  7. Sometimes people feel that they have been “too bad” and that God will not forgive them. Satan is a deceiver and he is the author of confusion. But God is merciful and will forgive ALL sin and accept everyone – He is not a respecter of persons!!! God is waiting with open arms for those to come back into the fold. Hallelujah!!!! He will never give up on us!!

  8. Good Morning Everyone,
    Thank you each one for your replies. I am learning so much from God’s Word and fellow blogger’s replies. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that convicts, encourages and enables!!!! He does the drawing, we are must heed His voice. Proverbs 29:23 says A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land. Brookswood Baptist, the church I go to asked us to pray that God and prayer be allowed in our schools again!!!! Please pray with us. David I know you have said the same. Thank you and may our eyes be fixed on Jesus as the hymn starts Turn your upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!!!! God bless !!!!!

  9. Samson’s story speaks to me, for there have I gone as well, off doing my own thing and running ahead of the Lord. Oh how blest we are to know that He waits for us with open and forgiving arms for our return.
    I have often heard, that if we don’t feel the Lord with us, retrace your steps and you will find it was not Him who moved or changed direction!
    Thank you David and Reynold for this wonderful learning tool along with the photo’s.

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