Today’s Reading: Judges 16
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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,