God is My Strength

Judges 15:9-20

9The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?” “We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

11Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?” He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.” 12They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.” Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13“Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.

14As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

16Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone  I have made donkeys of them.
With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.” 17When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi. 20Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Beautiful in its time!

Do you accept that God has situated you exactly where He wants you to be in your life? Do you believe that God has given the kind of life He designed for you? Why did God create us very uniquely from others so that we are envious about the height, weight, looks, material abundance or situation of other people?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Does the word “everything” include you and me, our situation? If it does, what we say or think won’t change it. You’re beautiful. Your situation is beautiful. Right now, you may not see it that way. But as you grow in faith, you’ll find agree.

How much trust do we have in God? It’s helpful to measure the level our faith, to know our spiritual status. The magnitude of challenges God allows tests reveals strength o faith. The more we grow in our faith, the more we trust God.

Psalm 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The writer of Psalm 73 testified that he envied non-believers with material abundance, awesome strength, powerful influence, and can do whatever they wish to do life. Believers can also be attracted to materialism. But as we grow in our faith in Christ, we won’ t be scared of probable practical challenges in life.

When Samson made the Philistines angry, he was not scared about probable danger waiting when the Israelites handed him to the Philistines.

1. Probable

9The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?” “We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

11Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?” He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.” 12They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.” Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13“Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.

The willingness of Samson to be tied up and handed over to the Philistines showed his care for his people. Did the 3,000 men from Judah who handed him to the Philistines think that they can overpower Samson? Probably, but maybe they may have been more scared of the Philistines than Samson.

When Samson told the 3,000 men of Judah not to kill him, he may have probably sensed that they were so scared of the Philistines’ cruelty, and that they were willing to sacrifice Samson for their own safety and their families as well.

Sacrificing Samson for the sake of the whole Israelite community was picture of Christ sacrificed for the sake of humanity. When Samson overpowered the Philistines, it was also a portrait of Christ’s victory over death.

Like the Israelites who were scared of the Philistines, we are also scared of probable dangers ahead of us. The Lord knows our tendency to be scared.

God’s word encourages us in 1 Corinthians 15:52-57, 52In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we trust that Christ has given us victory over death, should it not follow that whatever God allows us to encounter will have practical and eternal results? Can you agree that the victory that Christ gave us include practical life?

2. Practical

14As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. 16Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.” 17When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.

The narrative of Samson’s victories was practically unique. Samson did not use traditional or ordinary weapon of war like spear or sword. When they handed him over to the Philistines, he was tied up. The Spirit of the Lord gave him strength and wisdom to use whatever practical weapon he can grab at that time.

How do you use donkey’s jawbone as weapon? Can you believe that God has already given practical means to solve practical problems we may encounter in this life? It says in James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Samson was victorious because the Holy Spirit gave him wisdom and strength. We also need wisdom from the Lord to be victorious over problem.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit includes godly wisdom and supernatural ability.

We may but not necessarily rely on traditional solutions to problems if we receive wisdom from the Lord. If God made us beautiful in its time, it follows that He had prepared for needs He deems necessary for righteous lifestyle—spiritual, practical and physical needs.

3. Physical

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi. 20Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Samson practiced his faith in God when he used his victory over the Philistines as rhetoric confession to his physical needs. Samson did not expect to die of thirst after his battle. He believed that his victory comes from God so that he cried that God would also satisfy his physical need of thirst.

Can you believe or imagine when God opened a spring of water to satisfy the thirst of Samson? Samson believed that if God can give him super strength to defeat the Philistines to save the Israelites, God can easily satisfy his thirst.

By faith, we believe that Christ has defeated death to save us. Can we believe that God can readily provide for our practical needs to defeat problem?

It says in Romans 8:35-39, 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Many times we panic when we face difficult problems. The most difficult problem of human is death. No mankind can ever solved it. But Christ was victorious over death. We should trust Christ to help us with our problem, right?

Given, but we still find it not easy to trust Christ with practical problems. Why? We are more scared of what others will say about our problems. We are scared that others will blame us, make us feel guilty or gossip about us.

When we are empowered by Christ’s Spirit, we love the Lord more than others. What others say against us won’t affect the lifestyle we live. In time of trouble, we seek Christ’s empowerment and He gives us strength to keep on.

><(((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2018 <‘)))>< … <‘)))><

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