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Pay Back

Pay Back

02 April 2011

Today’s Reading: Judges 13-16; 2 Corinthians 2

Scripture:

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28 NLT)

Samson was born out of a miracle promise from God to Manoah and his wife. God brought Samson into the world to rescue Israel from the Philistines. His parents prayed for wisdom in how to raise him right, but in spite of their efforts, Samson grew up to be a self-willed, self-centered man.

He had an eye for Philistine women and his anger over things that happened to him because of women was his primary motivation for his attacks on the Philistines. Eventually his eye for women cost him his eyes. If you don’t see what you should see, you will see what you shouldn’t see.

Instead of using his great God-given strength in a positive way to inspire and unify Israel to achieve lasting freedom from the Philistines, for Samson it was all about revenge – Pay Back.

I don’t enjoy the story of Samson and his self-centered, short-sighted motivation and behavior, but I can learn from it!

Some life lessons from Samson:
• Miracle birth announcements don’t insure godly character.
• Parental desire to raise a child properly doesn’t guarantee character. It can help.
• God used Samson in spite of his self-centeredness and immoral behavior. How much more could God have used him if he had lived a God-centered life?
• God used Samson in spite of his wrong motivation. However, Loving God and Loving People is definitely a better motive than revenge.
• It still comes down to the condition of the heart. Samson had little lasting influence and his life ended badly. It’s a heart issue.

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the Samson story. Like most of what I read in Judges, it’s frustrating and disappointing. Please help me to live my life out of motives and character that won’t leave you, me, or others frustrated and disappointed. Amen.

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