The popular television series “Hercules” extols the strength and prowess of the mythological half-man half-god son of Zeus. If television had existed 1100 B.C. Hebrew children would undoubtedly have watched their own super strongman—Samson. God raised Samson to lead Israel during a time in its history when it was harassed and oppressed by the Philistines. His father was Manoah from the tribe of Dan. An angel visited his mother before he was born and told her that he would be a Nazirite—set apart at birth for service to the Lord. His hair was never to be cut.
Samson’s physical exploits were awesome. Read Judges chapters 14-16 to pick up his story. For twenty years he rescued Israel from its enemies. But Samson had one major weakness—immoral women. In many ways, his flawed life paralleled the conduct of his nation. In the end, a conniving woman named Delilah managed to extract the secret of Samson’s strength and betray him.
Judges 16:20--Then she cried, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” When he awoke from his sleep, he said, “I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
Anthony Klco said, “The ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ can be traced back to the ‘dids’ and the ‘did nots.’” But effort can be counter-productive if it is not in accordance with God’s will. By breaking God’s commands Samson lost his strength. He continued to exert effort but it was useless for the Lord had left him.
Is God pleased most by what we do or by what we are? What’s the point of staying busy if we’ve compromised what is sacred to God? We dare not let anyone see or perceive us to be inactive. We trust that we can save ourselves from any challenging circumstance if we will just work hard. We are the people of “DO!” But “DO” is only as good as “BE”. We must BE holy. We are to BE faithful. Right?
If only Samson had listened to his Father. He would have died strong in the Lord instead of as a blind mocked man buried beneath Philistine rubble. May we obey God’s voice before we embark on our own courses of action. The Apostle Paul passionately wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). Are you fighting in the flesh or relying on the Spirit? Something to think about . . . in reveration!
We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our individuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)