No. 92
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Yesterday we were looking at the Bible story of Samson. This story happened in history, by the way, it is not make-believe. We left poor Samson yesterday pulling a grinding wheel around like an animal. But all the time he was doing this, his hair was growing! Remember how God had departed from Samson when his hair was cut off? He was a man of a special vow to God, this vow was a religious promise of great importance. We don’t make vows like that today, for we live in an age after Jesus Christ has died for the sin of the world.

Remember that Samson was captured by the Philistines?
One day the lords over the Philistines had a great worship session to their god, the evil Dagon demon. They made sacrifices to an ugly idol of Dagon. They laughed at the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth. They said that Dagon was stronger than the true God, and that God’s servant Samson was now weak. Samson had killed many of the wicked Philistines, but now they said he was just a helpless nothing with blind eyes. They decided to bring Samson out into the huge building where they were worshipping, and torment him and make a fool of him in front of everyone. And of course they would also ridicule and curse God as well. What awful people they were. But they didn’t know Samson was sorry towards God, and his strength was coming back!

So the guards dragged poor blind Samson out into the great worship building. The Philistines must have cheered and laughed to see him. Samson said,

“put me between those big pillars, so I can lean on them.”

They were huge stone pillars that supported the roof. It was a big place alright, because about three thousand people were in it. They screamed and roared and sang out awful things against Samson and his God. Then Samson began to pray quietly to himself, with his long hair flowing down his back.

He said,

“O Lord God, remember me,
I pray thee, and strengthen me,
only this once...” (Judges 16:28).

Then Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which were keeping the whole house standing up, his right arm around one and his left arm around the other.
He said, “O God, let me die with the Philistines.”
Then he pulled the pillars downwards as hard as he could, with all his might. And he was massively strong again! The building began to shudder, and the people looked around in alarm. Then the whole huge place fell down on the enemies of Israel - and it fell on Samson as well.
Later Samson’s brothers and his father came and took him away to bury him with his own people.
“Thou shewest [show] loving-kind-ness unto thousands....
the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, [is] his name,” (Jeremiah 32:18).

Some people think of Almighty God as a weak god who will never bring judgment against evil men who will not repent. This is not true, for God is not only merciful but He is also Holy and righteous and filled with justice. God can give us all strength for our lives, not just Samson. God can give us physical strength in order to do our work for Him, and spiritual strength so that we do not give up when the going gets tough. Maybe not like He gave Samson, but certainly He gives us power and abilities to serve Him on this earth. You can trust the Lord God always, especially when times are difficult and hard.

“ The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17).

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