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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"A Bright Hope Dead in Darkness"

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"But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house." Judges 16:21

 

 


Sampson was brought into this world by the promises of God.  He was to be a deliverer to his nation, a judge of his people, and a blessing to his parents.  They named him Sampson, which means “sunny”--he was to be a bright, warm light to Israel.  He certainly had a sunny birth, and a bright future.  However, Sampson, the sunny ray of hope, died in darkness.  How could such potential be squandered?  The answer lies in a word:  sin.

Sampson was always self-reliant.  He had the promises and power of God, but rarely was it used in surrender to God's will.  Sampson never took his position or potential seriously.  In the account when he killed the lion, and then found honey in the carcass, he ate the honey, and gave to his parents and then made light of the whole ordeal.  He toyed with God's plan.

In the end, Sampson died in the house of the Philistines.  Many say that Sampson redeemed himself with this last heroic feat.  However, it would have been much greater for him to have been a "living sacrifice" than to have died with the enemy.  The scripture says he "shall begin to deliver Israel."  Indeed, he did begin, but he never finished. Why?  He failed because of sin.

Sampson's failed life reminds us of sin’s three consequences:
    1.     Sin is binding. "The Philistines took him."  They bound him with brass shackles and chains. Proverbs 5:22:  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Yes, sin will bind you with shackles that you cannot break.
    2.     Sin is blinding.  "And put out his eyes," Judges 16:21.  Sampson had been spiritually blind long before the red, hot poker seared his eyes that night.  Delilah had clearly been asking for his cooperation in killing him, and Sampson couldn't see it.  He was blinded by sin.  Ephesians 4:18, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
    3.     Sin is grinding.  "And he did grind in the prison house," Judges 16:21.  With his eyes gouged out, and chained to the mill, Sampson ground out the meal like an ox.  He was born with the promise to deliver, and now he was the prisoner.  Chained, blind and working like an animal, Sampson had fallen from all that God had for him.

May we bow our heads and sincerely say, "Search me, O God!  See if there be any wicked way in me!"  When God shows us the spots upon our hearts, may we cry, "Cleanse me!  Purge me with hyssop and I shall be whiter than snow!"  May we serve God while we live.  May we live clean and pure.

 



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Previous devotions

"Truths from a Tornado" - February 13, 2013
"Hopeful" - February 6, 2013

"If We Faint Not" - January 23, 2013

"Seventeen Years of Marriage and a Football Game" - January 16, 2013
"How To Avoid a Wasted Year - Part 2" - January 9, 2013
"How To Avoid a Wasted Year - Part 1" - January 2, 2013
"The Gift of a Life" - December 26, 2012
"Is Yours a Heisman Christmas?" - December 12, 2012

"Rest Unto Your Souls" - December 5, 2012
"Enthusiastic" - November 28, 2012
"Consider the Poor" - November 21, 2012
"A Presidential Prayer" - November 14, 2012
"Hope" - November 7, 2012
"Fear Not" - October 31, 2012
"A Great Awakening" - October 24, 2012
"The Fabulous Fabulist" - October 17, 2012
"Rest" - October 10, 2012

"Time Out" - October 3, 2012
"The Right Call" - September 26, 2012

"The Ability Which God Giveth" - September 19, 2012
"The Presence of God" - September 12, 2012
"Why God Delays" - September 5, 2012
"As the Whirlwind Passeth" - August 29, 2012
"In HIS Time" - August 22, 2012
"Happy Are Ye" - August 15, 2012
"By the Word of God" - August 8, 2012
"Well Done" - August 1, 2012
"Bearing His Death" - July 25, 2012
"Down By The Riverside" - July 11, 2012

"Thank You, Jesus!" - July 4, 2012
"Modern Day Sodom" - June 27, 2012
"Keeping What Has Been Committed" - June 13, 2012
"The Pause That Refreshes" - June 6, 2012

"The Sin of Idleness" - May 30, 2012
"Remembered" - May 23, 2012

"Graduating Diamonds" - May 16, 2012
"Mom-Others" - May 9, 2012
True Motherhood - May 2, 2012

What Missions Means to Me - April 25, 2012
The King and the Witch - April 18, 2012

Rules for Rearing Children (Part 4) - April 11, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 3) - April 4, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 2) - March 28, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 1) - March 21, 2012

Gullible Christians - March 14, 2012
Tenacity - March 7, 2012
Above the Storm - February 29, 2012
The Principal Thing - February 22, 2012
The Greatest Valentine - February 15, 2012
He First Loved Us - February 8, 2012
Real Love - February 1, 2012
Pardon Your Enemies - January 25, 2012
Applause - January 18, 2012
Finish! - January 11, 2012
Meeting New Goals - January 4, 2012
Meeting New Goals - December 28, 2011
The Word Made Flesh - December 21, 2011
Sonship - December 14, 2011
Fruit in Old Age - December 7, 2011


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Words of Truth - February 20, 2013