The Fine Art of Failure: Week 8 - Day 2

Opening Prayer: 

Father, You alone, in Your omniscience, see the days ahead of us.  Keep our focus on You and our hand firmly in Your Righteous right hand.

 

Read: Judges 14:4-7 NIV

“(His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.) Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. [As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.] Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.”

 

Reflect: 

The Israelite world that Samson grew up in had changed drastically from that of previous judges.  They had grown to a place that they were comfortable with the Philistine’s occupation of their land.  Overall it was peaceful and the Israelites could go about their lives without much interference.

 Timothy Keller in his book Judges for You (page 139) describes the situation as follows:

In the past, Israel groaned and agonized under their occupations by pagan powers, because their domination was military and political. But now the people are virtually unconscious of their enslavement, because its nature is that of cultural accommodation. The Israelites do not groan and resist their “captors” now because they have completely adopted and adapted to the values, mores and idols of the Philistines…”

 God intervenes because the Israelites are in danger of losing their identity as the “chosen people of God.”  He develops His plan around a flawed, impulsive, unteachable and proud person by the name of Samson, chosen to be His next Judge to disrupt the status quo of the Israelites. 

 In the situation described in this Scripture, God uses Samson’s rebellion against His Law, (when Samson chooses a Philistine woman), to begin the process of disrupting the lives of the Israelites and bring them back to Him.  This event makes me look at my life and realize how often God has overridden my poor decisions to insure His plan for my life is carried out.

 

Apply:  

This week think about the fact that the church and the world can’t live together as one.  If the church is in harmony with the world, then we have a problem.  If the church is staying close to the Word of God there should be some conflict between the two. Are you in conflict with the world or are you in harmony with it?  Does God need to intervene in your life to get you back on track?

 

Closing Prayer: 

Father, You are always faithful and desire faithfulness from us. Show us where we may be stepping away from you and wasting our time and gifts in worthless worldly ways.

 

 

Terry Schneider