TODAY'S READING: JUDGES 13-17

OVERVIEW:

The birth of Samson; the life of Samson; the death of Samson; Micah and his mother's idolatrous religion.

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

Samson was born in a godly home to parents that prayed (Judges 13:8,12). He was God's special gift to them and the nation of Israel. His parents brought offerings to God and dared to believe His wonderful promises (Judges 13:15,21). God gave Samson the power of His Spirit that made him strong and called him to be a Nazarite, one who is wholly surrendered to the Lord. According to Numbers 6, a Nazarite was never to drink strong drink or touch a dead body; and the mark of his dedication would be his uncut hair. All of this wonderful heritage Samson despised by the choices he made in his life. Instead of putting himself in God's hands to accomplish his God-given task, he chose to live to please himself. What a tragedy it is to waste a life that was supposed to be set apart for God's service. Let Samson be a warning to each of us who name the name of Christ, so that we don't repeat his sad mistakes. For we, too, have been called by God and set apart (sanctified) for his!

use just as Samson (II Tim. 2:21). Hebrews 11:32 names Samson for his faith in God's Word, but apart from this, little else can be said on his behalf.

One evidence of spiritual decline is in the way we submit to the authority in our lives (in Samson's case - his parents). In Judges 14:1 God says "Samson went down". This is true both spiritually and geographically. Instead of staying within the borders of Israel, Samson went into enemy territory and fell in love with a heathen woman (II Cor. 6:14). He knew the laws of separation that God had given to His people, but he chose to ignore them. Note that he “TOLD” his father, (he did not ask him), to "get her for me" (Jud. 14:2-3) because she pleased him well. Not exactly what you would call a selfless desire. It did not even bother Samson that his parents were displeased with this idea of his (Jud. 14:3). This is just the beginning of Samson's demise because of the poor and selfish choices he made in his life. We must understand that God has placed into His creation certain principles and laws that are non-negotiable. Whether or not we believe them is irrelevant. Th!

ey will affect our lives just the same. The law of gravity is one such universal principle. Regardless of what you believe about gravity, it still holds you to the ground and can kill you if you violate it. One of the very basic principles of God's creation is that of authority. God has designed that all the world, and every individual life, be governed by authorities (Rom. 13:1-6; I Pet. 2:13-18). For this reason, God made it abundantly clear in His Law that rebellion must be substituted for honor in those that take His name. This attitude of respect and honor was to be learned very early in life, in the way we respond to our first authorities...our parents (Ex. 20:12, Eph. 6:1-4). Note that there are no qualifying statements or exceptions given (i.e. the same goes for children with good parents as it does for those with bad parents). If you honor your parents you will be blessed, and if you don't...consider the Bible's warnings to you (see Ex. 21:15; Deut. 21:18-21!

; 27:16; Prov. 20:20; 30:11-17). We must let the tragic life!

of Sams

on be a fearful reminder to us all of the high price to pay for disregarding God's principle of authority.

The rest of Samson's life (Judges 15-16) is an illustration of a man who has power to conquer others, but who cannot conquer himself. He set the Philistine fields on fire, but would not control the fires of his own lust. He killed a lion, but would not put to death the passions of his own flesh. He could easily break the bonds that men put on him, but the shackles of sin gradually grew stronger on his soul. Instead of leading the nation, he preferred to work independently; and as a result left no permanent victory behind. He was remembered for what he destroyed, not for what he built up. He failed to check the impulses that began to dominate early in his life, and twenty years later, they killed him. It remained for Samuel and David in later years to finally defeat the Philistines. Samuel, by one prayer, accomplished more than Samson did in twenty years with his great physical strength (see I Sam. 7:9-14).

In chapter 17 we have an incredible picture of a false religious system that has black-robed priests (see vs. 4; an ephod = a priestly garment) called "fathers" (vs. 10) who use idols (vs. 4,5,10) as aides in worship in their house of gods. Note that Micah calls a man younger than himself "father" (vs. 7,10). This happens to be the exact same false religious system still existing today...it is called the Roman Catholic Church. Note in verse 13, Micah thought he was doing the right thing and that the Lord would be pleased (compare this with vs. 6). The sad truth is that Satan has always found a way to concoct some false religious system to put God's name on, in order to give people a false sense of security, so he can damn their souls to Hell. And the whole reason this happened was because Micah neglected to consult God's Word on this matter! This is the same reason why the Roman Catholic Church still deceives so many into thinking their okay with God...they neglect to !

ever consult God's Word on the matter! Pray for them! One billion of the world’s six billion people are Roman Catholic.

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

Through SAMSON - Judges 13-16; the son of promise who was born to be set-apart for God in order to deliver Israel from her enemies.