Israel’s Final Judge

Marvelous grace of our loving God, Grace that exceeds our sin and our shame. Yonder on Calvary’s Mount outpoured. There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled (Song book). … More

Opportunity

The repeated apostasy of Israel leads up to a time of oppression by the Philistines. The Philistines were probably the worst enemies that Israel had ever had. This time their oppression lasted for 40 years (v. 1). During this time we come to one of the most outstanding of the judges and his name was Samson (vv. 2-5). He was the twelveth judge and probably had more opportunity than any other man ever had, but failed. He was the last of the judges who was conquered by the Philistines. During Sampson’s time of leadership we are given the secret of his success. He was to be a Nazarite from birth and separated unto the service of God.  (Numbers 6:1-21) His long hair and his diet were to be outward signs of inward dedication (v. 5).

The wife of Manoah explains to her husband how an angel had told her she was going to have a son (vv. 6-7). Samson was born; lived by the lust of the eyes, and often responded with the pride of life. Yet Samson in the final analysis, as God saw his life - was a man of faith. What a picture of grace. One moment causing godly sorrow, and the next leading to a repentant prayer of faith. At his darkest hour God brought him back to the place of blessing. God is truly the God of the second chance.

Samson is one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever seen of the futility and loss that friendship with the world brings. Samson gradually became a friend of the world and reaped in his lifetime the complete loss of everything he had lived his entire life to get. I always like to say: If Samson made it - anyone can. He was about as low and as far and defiled as you can get and yet he made it and was one of God’s dear heroes of the faith.

Application

As a parent I need to realize the opportunity I have of passing my values on to my children and grandchildren. They should learn important things about life, trusting God and how to live from me. What my family needs to be taught today I’ll be glad I taught them all the years of my life.

Judges 13:1-7 (English Standard Version)


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