Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 22, 2016

THE LORD HAS DEPARTED FROM ME?


Judges 16:20

And Delilah said, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” So he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as before, and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

Personal Challenge

I am sure that many remember the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson, as a young child, was set apart by his parts so that he would grow up being a servant of God. In this being set apart, he lived the life of a Nazarite. Part of this way of life meant that he was trained in the ways of the synagogue, he never cut his hair or partook in alcohol or other debaucheries of the world. As he grew up God touched him in a way that gave him great strength and he performed many great feats against the Philistines who were oppressing his people. All of this is in chapters 13-15 of Judges. Then here in chapter 16, we pick up with Samson falling in love with Delilah, a Philistine harlot. She is persuaded by the Philistines to find out the source of his strength so that they can defeat him and go back to oppressing the Jews. She ultimately seduces him into revealing that the strength is in his hair and after wooing him to sleep cuts it all off leading up to this verse. Not only had his strength left him but so had his Lord. I often write of how my God will never leave His children or forsake them, so how can this be in Samson's case. If we read the entire story, starting in chapter 13, we find that it was never God that had left Samson but Samson who had left God. How often do the temptations of this world turn my focus off of God and onto myself or the ways of the world? It happens all of the time. I then have a choice that I must make. I can turn away from the temptation and remain close to God or I can entertain the temptation and start moving a little bit away from God. Here is where the spiral into sin takes me and pulls me farther and farther from God until it looks like He is no longer with me. He is still there. It is only I who can no longer see Him through all of the mud and mire of sin that I have covered myself with. What is the answer to this dilemma? Call out to my Lord, repent of my ways, and run back into His arms. As the parable of the Prodigal Son tells us, He will be right there with open, loving arms. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

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