Here are some of the scariest words in the Bible: “But he did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges 16 in The Christian Standard Bible). Samson, the strong man used of God, thought that he’d respond as he’d done before, but his God-given strength was gone. How often have Christians forsaken God in devotion, morality, and principle and then continued on in rebellion or worse, in a Pharisaical Christianity, never realizing that God’s blessing on their lives has departed. They’re operating in their own power for their own kingdom to prop up a façade of Christianity. We can’t deny that God used Samson in the middle of his flaws and even capitalized on those flaws at times (Judges 14:1-4), but that’s no excuse to wallow in sin and corruption.
King Saul was another God-follower who had a hard time choosing to follow God over fears and appearances. He became impatient and took things into his own hands (1 Samuel 13:7-14), and later he decided to amend God’s commands for his personal interests (1 Samuel 15:1-35). I’ve done it, too. I’ve been the Pharisee. I’ve been impatient in the things of God. I’ve rewritten the commands of God to my own liking. What about you?
Regarding God’s rejection, true and sincere repentance is the only solution coupled with calls upon the mercy of God. Of course, God makes the choice whether to use us again or not. He chooses to use whom He wills. It’s a privilege to be His instrument, and we must remain pliable in His hands, walking in His ways for His glory not ours. Although Samson was used of God at the end of his life, he walked a rejected and dejected life for a while. I don’t want to end up in the God’s Rejects Club in the company of King Saul, Judas, Ananias and Saphira, Esau, and Cain. I want to finish well in the company of Abraham, Moses, Paul, John, and Jesus.
This week you’ll read…
Judges 15-21: “He called out to the Lord: ‘Lord God, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.’ Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left. Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.” (Judges 16 in The Christian Standard Bible).
1 Samuel 15-21: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16 in The Christian Standard Bible).
Psalms 61-65: “God, you are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.” (Psalm 63 in The Christian Standard Bible).
1 Corinthians 15-16: Recently, I was watching an edited version of a newer Sherlock Holmes movie in which Mr. Holmes seems to imply that his investigation gave an unsupernatural explanation to the resurrection of Christ. He says, “In fact, I may well have reconciled thousands of years of theological disparity.” Sadly, some people in the real world, too, lack the faith to believe in the one true God and His miraculous workings in our world. Specifically, they don’t believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Christianity hinges on the resurrection, but our faith in the resurrection doesn’t make the resurrection so. Because it is so and because we believe in Christ and His resurrection, this makes our faith real and true. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15 in The Christian Standard Bible).
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MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.
CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.
NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.