Thy Will Be Done

Opening Prayer: 

As we study this passage, help us, Father to grow in our appreciation of Your boundless creativity.  Father, You are too big to be put in any box that we might construct.  Amen

 

Read: Judges 16:4-6, NIV

Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.” When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

 

Reflect: 

In the previous scripture we have a picture of Samson falling asleep in Delilah’s lap while she betrayed him to her people by shaving off his hair.  When his enemies at last had him under their control, they were in no rush to kill him.  They gouged out his eyes and sent him to work as a helpless slave in their prison.  It was very unwise of them take such a chance with someone they knew had been a lethal warrior representing the God of Israel.  It was even more unwise to assemble all their most important and powerful people for the celebration and then to expose themselves physically to Samson.  It is amazing how uncurious they were about the possibility of his strength returning with the regrowth of his hair.  At a minimum, they should have kept it shaved.  

As it turns out, things went south for the Philistines very quickly and Israel was set on the path to overcoming their occupation by the Philistines.  The God of Israel had won.

 

Apply: 

It is easy to get all worked up over current events in America.  There are accusations and counter accusations in the press all the time.  There are demonstrations and counter demonstrations.  In a way, we Christians are left wondering what ever happened to our predominately Christian country that now seems to have put God on the witness stand for a trial to determine if He exists and if so, does He matter.

We live in a fallen world where people exercise freewill and are free to get things wrong from time to time.  I think we should concentrate on asking God to prevail in our country over evil and leave the details to Him.  Since this is a democracy, however, we should vote.  Our favorite form of exercise should be pulling the voting lever.

As we do so, we should keep this analogy in mind.  Human history is like a great ocean liner that has set sail from New York bound for London.  We are the passengers on that ship and have free will to do whatever we want.  However, regardless of what we do or do not do, the ship will one day dock in London.  God was never dependent on Samson to liberate Israel from occupation by the Philistines.  God used Samson’s rebellious nature to defeat His enemies.  We should expect the unexpected from God in our time as well.

 

Closing Prayer: 

God, please bring a revival to our country that will turn the hearts of Americans back to You.  Help the numbers of converted Christians and the fervor of their faith to become an overwhelming force that is reflected in how we govern ourselves, and care for our communities. 

Terry Schneider