MJRVIC2000   253,047
SparkPoints
100,000 or more SparkPoints
 
 
MJRVIC2000's Recent Blog Entries

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 1/21/2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 1/21/2013

Judges 15:9-17
SAMSON THE JILTED JUDGE, Lesson 20a

Over 200 years ago, the great hymn writer William Cowper, penned the following words:

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Cowper wanted to remind his readers that our God is ever working behind the scenes of our lives to accomplish His perfect will. This is a truth we see played out in the life of Samson time and time again.

As we have already discussed, Samson is a study in contradictions.
He was chosen by God to be the deliverer of Israel before he was even born, yet he seemed to live every moment of his life for himself.

He was to be a man separated unto the Lord in holiness and purity, yet he lived his life seeking the embrace of ungodly women.

He was to be a Nazarite all the days of his life, yet he violated his vows on many occasions.

Samson was sinful. Samson was selfish. Samson was devoted to himself, yet he was used of the Lord in spite of his failures and his shortcomings. That may be the greatest contradiction of them all. It certainly is the most amazing aspect of Samson’s life to me.

In the passage before us, the events following the failed wedding of Samson continue to escalate out of control. The Philistines deceived him at his wedding. Samson killed thirty Philistines to settle a gambling debt. Samson’s bride is given to another man.

Samson retaliates by burning the Philistines crops. The Philistines respond by burning Samson’s bride and her father to death. Samson retaliates by killing many Philistines.
In this text, we will see the continuing escalation of hostilities between Samson and the Philistines. We will also see the response of Samson’s own people. We will see them turn their back on the man God sent to lead them to victory. We will see that while Samson may not have been perfect, he was surrounded by a people who had grown accustomed to the dark.

In this passage, we will see Samson as The Jilted Judge. We will see a man rejected by the very people he came to save. We will also see a man used by the Lord to accomplish the will of God who was only out to serve himself. There are several lessons that present themselves to us in our text. Let’s be sure we do not miss them. Let’s take a sometime to examine these lessons as we think about “Samson The Jilted Judge”.

v. 9 THE PHILISTINES AND THEIR ATTACK
The Purpose Of The Attack – The first word of verse 9 is “then”. The Philistines began their attack after the slaughter carried out by Samson in verse 8. Up until this time, they had paid Samson little attention. Now, apparently, they see him as a force to be reckoned with. Up until now, Samson’s activities have seemed to be related to personal issues only. Now, they indicate to the Philistines that they have a problem on their hands.

Here is one man who is capable of singlehandedly killing a whole bunch of Philistines. So, the Philistines launch their attack into Judah to remind the Israelites about just who is in charge. They have come to put Israel back in its place before things get out of hand.

The Program Of The Attack – The Philistines are after Samson, v. 10. He has attacked them, and they are determined to bring him into custody.

The Plan Of The Attack – They come into Judah and begin a campaign of terror. The phrase “spread themselves in Lehi”, means they began to spread out and attack the village of Lehi. This is a campaign of organized terror. Their goal is to make Israel cower before them in fear, and that is just what they do.

The Place Of The Attack – Verse 8 tells us that Samson went to “the top of the rock Etam”. This area was located in Judah, and that is where the Philistines press their attack. They have their sights set on Samson, and they are determined to get him.
In this attack by the Philistines, we can see a vivid picture of how Satan and his forces attack the people of God. The Philistines are representative of the enemies of the Lord. They attack in retaliation for what Samson did to them.

You need to be aware that when you attack Satan’s territory, he will not sit idly by and take it. He will swiftly launch a counterattack against you. When you begin to give your time to the things of God, you can be sure that Satan will attack you. He will send distractions into your life that will hinder you from the Bible, from prayer and from serving the Lord. He will tie you up so that you do not have time to serve the Lord.

Just let a church begin to grow and reach people for Jesus, then the enemy will come. He will bind that church with disruption from within and by attacks from without. His goal is to undermine the work of the church so that it becomes ineffective in the cause of Christ. Far too often, Satan succeeds in this goal.

When Satan makes his attack, like the Philistines, he will “spread” his influence around. He will attempt to affect as many areas of a life and of a church as he can. This “spreading” gives the impression that his power is greater than it is. When he attacks a life, he will multiply his attacks so that the believer feels hemmed in on every side. When he attacks a church, he will set loose many tongues against it, within and without, to give the appearance that his way is the right way.

If he can, he will bluff you into believing that you need to change sides and join his cause. If he can, he will cause you to become discouraged and to lose hope in the fight of faith. It nearly worked with Elijah – (1 Kings 19:1-18). We need to be real careful that we are not taken in by the tricks and traps of the devil and his followers.

Notice where the enemy attacked; they attacked the very place where the opposition resided, (v. 9). Samson was in Judah, and the enemy attacked in Judah. The devil works the same way. He is not a coward! When he is attacked by an individual or by a church, he will attack back.

I say to you that our lives ought to be the kind of lives that Satan hates, but loves to attacks. Our church ought to be the kind of church that Satan hates, but loves to attack. He ought to hate us because we are serving the Lord without fear. He ought to hate us because we are fearless in our living and in our testimony. He ought to hate us because we are not afraid to take a stand for the truth. He ought to hate us. But, if he does, we must know that he will attack our lives. He will attack our church.

The only way to avoid his attacks is for us to never do anything for the Lord or against the devil. As long as we do nothing, Satan will not attack. When we take our stand for truth, righteousness and Jesus Christ, he draws a bull’s-eye on our backs!

That was Peter’s experience –( Luke 22:31). That was Paul’s experience – (2 Cor. 12:7). It will be our experience as well when we take a stand for the Lord.

Today’s Verse!
Isaiah 40:28 (New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

Today’s Hymn!
“Stand By Me” By C. A. Tindley (1923)

When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the world is tossing me
Like a ship upon the sea
Thou Who rulest wind and water,
Stand by me (stand by me).

2.
In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the hosts of hell assail,
And my strength begins to fail,
Thou Who never lost a battle,
Stand by me (stand by me).

3.
In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I do the best I can,
And my friends misunderstand,
Thou Who knowest all about me,
Stand by me (stand by me).

4.
In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my foes in battle array
Undertake to stop my way,
Thou Who savèd Paul and Silas,
Stand by me (stand by me).

5.
When I’m growing old and feeble,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I’m growing old and feeble,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my life becomes a burden,
And I’m nearing chilly Jordan,
O Thou “Lily of the Valley,”
Stand by me (stand by me).

Today’s Prayer!
Heavenly Father, God of Faithfulness, Fellowship and Forgiveness! Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and Redeemer. We praise You Jesus for the price You paid, the sacrifice You made, and the unthinkable suffering and death You willingly endured on the cross for us. Thank You for the peace and forgiveness we received by Your unselfish act of love. Thank You for the new birth we received in You unto a life of eternal new hope through Your resurrection. Thank You for the shield You have provided, the shield of Your salvation. Enlarge the path beneath our feet so we may walk by faith in You without slipping or falling. Thank You for reconciling us Jesus to our True God. In His name we pray and give thanks and praises. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDITOR 1/22/2013 3:09AM

    Thank you for the goodie, Vic.

If we really think about it with the mind of Christ and what He endured, if the devil does not attack us or someone/something we care for, then we are not a threat to him and are not stirring up the Kingdom of God and the gifts we possess.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat." Christ Jesus intercedes for us!



Report Inappropriate Comment
RUTHEY01 1/21/2013 4:24PM

    emoticon emoticon Vic. These messages you post are really needed in these "end times". It doesn't matter if we are new to the faith or seasoned "veterans" the attacks come. I have been blessed to be allowed to "mentor" new Christians at various times in the past. I always tell them that they have joined the greatest Army ever and to put on the Armor of God and keep it in place. It there are any gaps in our armor, the darts of the enemy can get through.

I feel blessed to be able to read these inspiring messages from God through you. Have a Blessed Day, my brother!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/21/2013 1:50PM

    Thank you so much for posting this. It is truly inspired. I feel strengthened from reading the message here. God bless you in your ministry.

Comment edited on: 1/21/2013 1:52:08 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINJEN 1/21/2013 10:48AM

    Wonderful message! Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 1/21/2013 8:36AM

    Very timely! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TXGRANDMA 1/21/2013 8:29AM

    Lots of research went into this blog, Vic! You would make an awesome preacher if you aren't one already! I totally understand about the devil attacking us and our churches when they are a threat, and going against his evil plans. The thing is, he knows that he loses in the end anyway, but wants to take as many of us with him as possible into that eternal furnace! The road to the Devil is smooth and wide.......
The road to God is rough, and we must battle our way! BUT! We have God's help, so how can we lose?

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 1/21/2013 8:03AM

    You put a lot of work in to your blogs Viv, God bless you for doing it emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAMARIEZ1 1/21/2013 7:59AM

    Thank you for being with us thru hard times!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 1/21/2013 7:49AM

    Thank you Vic for this great message. I can relate to Satan attacking both the church and me presently. I am so grately knowing that God is already where I am going and I know where I am coming from. When God walks alongside us we can be assured Satan will not win us over. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Praise God. Thank you for sharing this great lesson just when it applies to me presently. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 1/21/2013 7:34AM

    emoticon Vic. emoticon
I could relate to it all, and especially liked this comment:
"...our God is ever working behind the scenes of our lives to accomplish His perfect will." emoticon
It is reassuring to know God is before and beside and behind and under and above and within and all around us- omnipresent and always working all things for our good. Romans 8:28 and 29 (Blessed assurance! ) emoticon

Hope you have a great day in the Lord.

Comment edited on: 1/21/2013 7:35:10 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CASTIRONLADY 1/21/2013 6:53AM

    I hope you don't mind that I sent your words to my pastor. We are a small church that is beginning to grow and the attacks have started. Thank for encouraging me to be mindful in the attacks, keep serving Him and praise God through it all!

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 1/20/2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Sun, 1/20/2013

Judges 15:1-8
THE BITTER TASTE OF SWEET REVENGE, Lesson 19c

v. 7-8 SAMSON’S RAMPAGE
When Samson hears about the death of his wife and her family, he takes things to the next level. The violence just continues to escalate. Let’s take a look at Samson’s rampage.

v. 8 His Retaliation – This verses says that “he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter”. This refers to “total and absolute” slaughter. Samson killed them all. He did not stop until they were all dead. He got the ultimate revenge against his enemies: he took their lives!

Often this world seeks retaliation in the same way. Someone attacks a family, and they are in turn murdered because of what they have done. When we hear about such actions we sometimes respond by saying, “I don’t blame them one bit. I would have done the same thing.” When we think that way, we are revealing that revenge is a part of our makeup. We are revealing the truth that we are not above a little getting even ourselves.

I can’t tell you what I would do if members of my family were attacked physically. I can’t promise you that I would not seek revenge. I can handle it when people say mean things about me, but I have a hard time when they talk about my family, just because they are upset with me. A part of me wants my “pound of flesh”. It’s just the grace of God that keeps me from acting on those desires!

Did you know that scientists have determined that there is a part of the brain that produces feelings of pleasure and satisfaction that is stimulated when we act in revenge? That’s right; we find pleasure and satisfaction in getting even. It’s part of our human nature. It is hard wired into us and we have a hard time walking away and simply letting things go.

A lady was sick, so she went to the doctor. He examined her, did a number of tests and told her the bad news. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I’m afraid you’ve contracted rabies.” The doctor left the room for a minute, and when he returned the woman was busy writing on a piece of paper. He asked, “What are you doing, writing your will?” She said, “No, I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite.” That’s just the way most people think about revenge.

v. 7 His Reasons – Samson’s reasons for seeking revenge are purely selfish. Look at the language of verse 7. He does not mention the Lord. He does not mention the nation. He does not mention the injustices of the Philistines toward the people of God. There is no mention of the Lord’s will, the Lord’s glory or the Lord’s name. All Samson can think of is himself. He says, “I will be avenged of you.”

Here is the main problem with revenge: it has nothing to do with the Lord, it is all about us. Our pride is hurt. Our feelings are wounded. We feel the need to get even. It is all about us and how we feel about what has been done to us. That is Samson’s problem, and it is the problem of every person who seeks to get even.
God has a better way!

Instead of taking matters into our own hands, we are to leave them in His hands, (Rom. 12:17-21).

Instead of attacking those who attack us, pray for them, love them and be good to them, (Matt. 5:44-48). Avoid Old Testament praying! Imprecatory prayer might have been the rule of thumb in the Old Testament, but Jesus Christ wants His children to act and react in love. We need to pray for them because they are going to face the Lord one day with their evil deeds. So, we should pray for their salvation if they are lost or for their repentance if they are saved. His judgment or His chastisement, as the case may be, will be far harsher than any revenge we might dish out!

Instead of seeking revenge, we should thank the Lord that we have been counted worthy to suffer with Him, (Matt. 5:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:12-19; Acts 5:41).
Instead of attacking others, we should do what we have been commanded by the Lord to do. We should practice full and free forgiveness,( Eph. 4:32; Matt. 18:21-35; Luke 17:1-5).

Conc: As a hundred thousand fans watched, Richard Petty ended a 45 race losing streak and picked up, what was at the time, stock-car racing’s biggest purse, $73,500. It all happened at the 1979 Daytona 500.

Petty’s win, however, was a complete surprise. Going into the last lap, he was in third place, running half a lap and 30 seconds behind the two leaders. All at once Cale Yarborough, the driver of the car in second place tried to pass Donnie Allison in the lead car on the final stretch. This caused the first placed Allison to drift inside and he forced Yarborough onto the infield grass. What happened next was incredible.

Yarborough pulled his car back onto the track, caught up with Allison, and forced him into the outside wall. Both vehicles came to a screeching halt. The two drivers jumped out and quickly got into an old-fashioned slugging match. In the meantime, third-place Petty cruised by for the win.

The Donnie Allison, who was leading that race, got his revenge, but in the end, it was bitter and not sweet. We will experience the same results when we seek to “get even” with others for the things they do to us and say about us.

If this episode from Samson’s teaches us anything, it teaches us that revenge is a game played by fools. Wise men know when to walk away and leave matters in the hands of a sovereign God Who will one day settle all accounts and balance all the books.

You never get even when you seek revenge. All you will do is make the problem worse for you and everyone involved. How much better it is to be like Jesus than like Samson. Here is what the Bible says about our Lord. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth,” (Isa. 53:7).

What has the Lord said to you through this message?
Is there someone you need to forgive?
Are their some things you need to let go?
Do you need to repent of seeking to harm others by your actions or your words?
Do you need to turn away from vengeance?
God sent this text for a purpose. I needed to hear it, and I suspect that you did too. Let’s obey Him as He speaks today!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Philippians 4:13 (New International Version (NIV)
13 I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Love of God” By: Laurene Highfield (1916)

Since the love of God has shed
priceless blessings on my head
I have made it my own
I will hide it in my heart
that it never may depart
It shall rule there alone
CHORUS
(men echo)
The love of God
within the heart
Will kindliness
and warmth impart
(together)
The soul will glow like Jesus
in His tender mercy
If the heart is made His dwelling place
(men echo)
The love of God
glows like a flame
Through endless years
it is the same
(together)
The love of God will never
fail nor lose its glory
Till we see Him face to face

VERSE 2
Since the Son of God came down
with His love our lives to crown
He with us would remain
Greater love there could not be
Jesus died for you and me
In our hearts, He would reign
Chorus:

VERSE 3
He who gave His love to me
that I might from sin be free
Bids me share it today
"As I love you," He has said
"you must serve men in my stead
As you go on your way."
Chorus:

VERSE 4
While His love burns true and bright
we are walking in the light
He has shown us the road
We His glory must reflect
lest our dimness and neglect
Keep some soul from its God
Chorus:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of Encouragement, Excellences, and Eternity! We your children do not want to be weak, ineffective, or half-hearted in our worship to You or in the life we live for You. You, O God, are everything to us. We do not want to be like those who hear Your Word and then lose it because their hearts are far from You. Teach us to worship You in Spirit and in truth. Teach us to live according to Your Will and Way. Forgive us when we fall short of Your glory for us, and guide us in the way we shall go. This we pray in the blessed name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALLIE1958AR 1/20/2013 2:54PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 1/20/2013 2:00PM

    Thank you for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. Strangly enough, I am a great Nascar fan and actually saw that race. There was another instance last year the same happened between Jeff Gordon and Clint Boyer. They are bitter at each other over their incident. I have learned in the past to pray for people who have done wrong to me, and not look for retaliation. I also put the past behind and let God deal with it. I appreciate what God is doing in my life and I love Him so much and praise His Holy Name. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAINTBETH 1/20/2013 10:45AM

    Amen!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/20/2013 9:28AM

    I am learning to pray for my "enemies". It is hard to pray for someone and keep feelings of retaliation. I know now the prayers are meant for MY good as much as anyone's. Praise God, He can rewire the human brain! Thank you, Vic.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAMARIEZ1 1/20/2013 8:57AM

    Life is short! No time for revenge! In Gods time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 1/20/2013 7:53AM

    emoticon for posting Vic, The NIV bible is JUNK

Report Inappropriate Comment
CASTIRONLADY 1/20/2013 7:49AM

    Never can figure out no matter how early I am up, you are up earlier. I am glad you are up before the sun. That makes two that are watching over us, and proclaiming the word of the Lord. Thanks for being an early risee.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDITOR 1/20/2013 7:03AM

    Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic. And thank you for knowing the God, whom sometimes we wait upon, to hear the words: Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

While we wait upon Him, dear believers, let it be for His empending return instead!

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 1/19/2012

Saturday, January 19, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Sat, 1/19/2013

Judges 15:1-8
THE BITTER TASTE OF SWEET REVENGE, Lesson 19b

v. 3-6 SAMSON’S REVENGE
Instead of taking his defeat like a man and going home to regroup and seek God’s will for his life, Samson plans to get even. The problem with getting even is that it is impossible. Samson is about to find out that revenge always escalates out of control. He is about to learn the truth that violence always begets violence.

v. 3 His Motivation – Look at Samson’s language in this verse. He is concerned about himself. He is concerned about what they have done to him. He is motivated in his revenge by vanity. Notice how he even seeks to justify his actions by claiming that they had done worse to him.

Samson’s motivation for attacking the Philistines is all wrong. He should have been attacking them because they were oppressing the people of Israel. He should have been attacking them because it was what God had raised him up to do. He should have been attacking them to help deliver his people from Philistine bondage. Instead, Samson attacks the Philistines because he is mad about how he has been treated. He is doing what God called him to do, but he is doing it for the wrong reasons, and out of the wrong motivation. Can you see that?

This is a good place for us to stop and take a look at our own motivations. Our motives for serving the Lord will determine our faithfulness to Him and will regulate our service to Him.

When we serve God because we receive some benefit in return, we will be shallow in our devotion to Him. When the perceived benefit is no longer there, there will be a drop off in our faithfulness and service.

For instance, someone comes to church out of a sense of obligation or out of a desire to be a part of a social outlet. Then, they join a club or a lodge. That new outlet meets the same need and they stop coming to church.

Or, someone serves in the church because they receive the thanks and gratitude of the congregation. If that thanks and gratitude dries up, so does their service. The same is true for those who serve simply for monetary gain. When the money is gone, so are they.
This is a warning about seeking to attract people using gimmicks. Someone said, “If you get them in with a hot dog, you will have to keep them with a hamburger.” That is exactly right! A lot of the churches that have resorted to worldly methods and gimmicks to draw their crowds will see a falling away when they run out of gimmicks to keep them there.

That is why we need to examine our motives. Why do we serve the Lord? Why do we come to church? Why do we do the things we do? If we are motivated by love for the Savior; if we are stirred by the thoughts of all He did for us in dying for us, saving us, keeping us and blessings us; if we realize that everything we have is merely the product of His grace; then we will have proper motivation for our service to Him. That kind of motivation will enable us to flesh out 1 Cor. 15:58, which says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” What motivates you?

v. 4-5 His Methods – Samson is determined to exact his revenge against the Philistines. He catches three hundred foxes. These animals are probably a kind of jackal that used to roam Israel in large packs. He ties them tail to tail, making 150 pairs of these animals. He ties a burning torch between their tails and sets them free. These terrified animals run through the wheat fields, the olive groves and the vineyards and burn them all to the ground. This would have been a devastating blow to the economy. After all, verse 1 tells us that it was the “time of wheat harvest”.

The fire of revenge burned within Samson’s heart. He is upset about losing his wife, but he still smarts from what the Philistines did to him at his wedding feast. He cannot let it go; he just has to have his “pound of flesh”.

v. 6 His Miscalculation – Samson has his revenge. He probably thinks that will be the end of the matter. If he thinks this, it is a terrible miscalculation.

The Philistines are upset by the loss of their crops, their olives and their vineyards. They ask around to see who did this and they are told that Samson is responsible. Being wicked, selfish men themselves, they are instantly filled with thoughts of vengeance. However, they do not attack Samson to his face, they act like the cowards they are and try to attack Samson through others. They take the woman he married and her father and they burn them alive. Probably, they shut them up inside the family home and burned them to death.

This is a terrible scene, but it showcases the truth that revenge has the tendency to escalate. Someone does or says something about us. We respond back in either actions or words. They respond back to us with even harsher actions and words. And, so it goes until lives are ruined, reputations are stained and relationships are forever shattered.

It is never God’s will for us to seek revenge against those who hurt us. Most people think they have to “defend their honor”. If they are attacked, they think it shows weakness on their part to just take it and let it go. Samson thought this way. Most people are quick to rise up against those who attack them and attack back with an extra measure of violence and vengeance. That, my friends, is not God’s plan for His children!

When we are attacked, we must never attack back. To do so puts us on the same level as those who attack us. Those who attack others, those who spread rumors and gossip, those who try to ruin reputations, are the lowest of the low. To do so tarnishes our testimony and reveals that the love of Jesus Christ is not a powerful force in our lives.

Those who attack others do not love them, but are walking in hatred. To do so reveals pride in our hearts. Those who attack think they are right and everyone else is wrong. They are walking in pride. When we attack them back, we are no better than they are. We are also walking in pride because; we are saying that life is about us, and not about the will of God for our lives.

How are we supposed to respond when we are attacked? I will say more about this in a moment. I think I will be able to show you that God has a better way of responding to our attackers than for us to attack back.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Galatians 6:9 (New International Version (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“God Will Make A Way” By Don Moen (1990)

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength
For each new day
He will make a way
He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness
He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His Word will still remain
He will do something new today

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Divine Father, God of Declaration, Dedication and Destiny! Help us to be aware of Your presence always and help us to seek You for the right reasons always. Teach us to be blameless and upright, to seek Your justification for all our problems, especially when calamities come our way. Enable us to focus inward where we can find You and not outward. Comfort us by the power of Your Word and Spirit. Direct and guide us in the way we need to go. Be our light and lead us less we fall. These things we ask in Jesus’ glorious name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND IN VITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 1/19/2013 7:36PM

    Beautiful prayer. Thank you for the lesson.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 1/19/2013 7:27PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Just as the hymn goes, God will find a way and it's up to us to let Him revenge instead of us trying to do it. I have found in the past and now that I don't strike back and I feel like I'm the victor because the other person does not know what more to say or do. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. This lesson emphasises how our actions should be.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUEZQMD 1/19/2013 6:33PM

    Thank you, Vic. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOWINELADY 1/19/2013 2:41PM

    Amen

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/19/2013 8:58AM

    Thank you, Vic, for this devotional. It is human nature to want to retaliate, to have the last word. I thank God He Has made a Way and will continue to make a way for His children in every trial and temptation.


Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 1/19/2013 8:33AM

    Motivation is the key isn't it Vic. We must examine if what we are doing is to serve God or to serve our own selfish motives.

I love "God will Make a Way" - so much truth in this simple song.

Thank you,

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 1/19/2013 8:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDITOR 1/19/2013 7:43AM

    May we never seek our own revenge! Amen. May we recall, VENGEANCE IS MINE SAITH THE LORD. What is He saying to you today? You said it spectacular today, Vic: " When we are attacked, we must never attack back."

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 1/18/2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Fri, 1/18/2013

Judges 15:1-8
THE BITTER TASTE OF SWEET REVENGE, Lesson 19a

When we last saw Samson, he was headed back to his father’s house. At his wedding feast, he was betrayed by his bride and he was outwitted by 30 Philistines. In anger, Samson killed 30 Philistines and took their garments to settle a gambling debt. He went back home to soak in his anger.

As we have seen so far, Samson is anything but a good godly example. He was born to be a Judge in Israel. He was sent by God to be a Deliverer of His people. All we have seen thus far is a man who cannot control his passions. In this passage, we will once again see the selfish side of Samson.

In this text, we will watch Samson as he takes revenge against his enemies. We will see the outcome of anger that is allowed to burn out of control. We will see that revenge may appear attractive when it is born in the heart, but that in the end, it becomes a very bitter thing.

I want to teach about The Bitter Taste Of Sweet Revenge. I want to point out the lessons we should all learn from Samson’s life. These lessons will help us to see that getting our revenge against those who wrong us is never right, nor is it worth the cost. Let’s consider the lessons taught in this passage as we think about The Bitter Taste Of Sweet Revenge.

v. 1-2 SAMSON’S RETURN
v. 1a The Plan – As I said earlier, Samson ran away from his own wedding in ager. He never stayed to consummate the marriage. After a time, his anger cools off and Samson decides to make amends with is bride. He brings her a nice present, something that every woman desires; he brings her a goat. He goes to her with the idea that he will consummate the wedding and settle in to live with her has husband and wife. That is Samson’s idea, but that is not how things turn out.

v. 1b-2a The Problem – Samson’s father-in-law refuses to allow Samson into the woman’s chamber. He tells Samson that as far as he is concerned, the wedding is off. After all, Samson demonstrated a lack of love for the girl when he abandoned her at the altar and ran home to mama. The father assumes that Samson “hated” his daughter and he gave her to another man. The marriage was in effect annulled.

v. 2b The Proposal – The father offers Samson a trade. He encourages Samson to take the prettier younger sister instead of the girl Samson was set to marry in the beginning. The father must have believed that Samson didn’t really love his daughter, but that the attraction to her was purely physical in nature, and he was probably right,( Jud. 14:1-3). He assumes that Samson will be just as satisfied with the younger sister.

Samson is learning a valuable lesson in a very hard way. He is learning that you can’t trust Philistines. Samson has been cheated by these people in three ways:

He lost his bet with the Philistines because they cheated by threatening his wife with death if she didn’t help then get the answer to Samson’s riddle, (Jud. 14:12-17).

His wife had been taken away from him and given to another man, (Jud. 14:20).

The dowry, or “bride price”, that Samson had paid for the woman had been forfeited as well. The text doesn’t specifically say that Samson paid a dowry for her, but that was the way weddings were transacted in those days.

I would encourage you to remember that God warns His people against forming close relationships with unsaved people. He forbids marriages like the one Samson was about to enter into, (2 Cor. 6:14). That prohibition extends beyond marriage to all the associations we enter into in life. It includes our friendships, our business relationships, our social relationships, etc. Believers need to be very careful about the kind of people they form close associations with in life. The wrong kind of relationships can have a devastating effect on your own spiritual condition. Listen to these two verses:

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners,” (1 Cor. 15:33).

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed,” (Pro 13:20).

The kind of people we want to have around us are the type that will help us grow stronger in our relationship with the Lord. Listen again to the Word of God:

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works,” (Heb. 10:24).

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend,” (Pro. 27:17).

“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel,” (Pro 27:9).

The principle taught here is not that we should totally separate ourselves from a lost world. No, for we are commanded to share the Gospel with them, (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20). We should, however, understand that there is a vast difference between those who are saved and those who are lost. When we allow ourselves to get too close to a lost world, we will pay a high price. Listen again to the Word of God, (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).

TODAY’S VERSE!
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 (New International Version (NIV)

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“His Yoke Is Easy” By: D. S. Warner (1893)

1.I’ve found my Lord and He is mine,
He won me by His love;
I’ll serve Him all my years of time,
And dwell with Him above.
Refrain:
His yoke is easy, His burden is light,
I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so;
His service is my sweetest delight,
His blessings ever flow.

2.No other Lord but Christ I know,
I walk with Him alone;
His streams of love forever flow,
Within my heart His throne.
Refrain:

3.He’s dearer to my heart than life,
He found me lost in sin;
He calmed the sea of inward strife,
And bade me come to Him.
Refrain:

4.My flesh recoiled before the cross,
And Satan whispered there,
“Thy gain will not repay the loss,
His yoke is hard to bear.”
Refrain:

5.I’ve tried the road of sin and found,
Its prospects all deceive;
I’ve proved the Lord, and joys abound,
More than I could believe.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Gracious Father, God of Charity, Comfort and Communion! Help us to hear You speak to our hearts and give us direction for our life. Enable us to follow Jesus so closely that we never walk in any kind of rebellion against You. Keep us from being stubbornly addicted to our own desires, wants and determinations. Teach us to do Your will and not with the esteem of men, but to be diligent in pleasing You. Lead us in this land of unrighteousness, to do what’s right in every situation for we delight to do Your will. This we pray in Jesus’ Holy name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDITOR 1/18/2013 2:54PM

    Thank you for the goodie and note Vic. I believe Samson grew weary in listening to the Lord speak to his heart. A fair warning for us all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 1/18/2013 10:49AM

    Amen!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 1/18/2013 8:34AM

    Thank you for the great lesson, hymn and prayer Vic. Sampson taught us what not to do. I find that I can learn something new each day, even if it's what not to do. I pray each day that I will follow God's way and not the way of the world. Sending you God's richest blessings for sharing His message.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CASTIRONLADY 1/18/2013 8:30AM

    Amen! Selfishness has replace the selflessness God requires of us to walk before Him blameless. Preach on, Vic!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 1/18/2013 8:26AM

  Stay close to God and not man

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 1/18/2013 8:18AM

    Amen and emoticon Vic for posting emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAMARIEZ1 1/18/2013 7:46AM

    following Jesus today!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/17/2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Thu, 1/17/2013

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

Judges 14:10-20
A GAMBLER’S TALE, Lesson 18c

v. 19-20 SAMSON’S WRATH
The Outburst Of His Wrath – Samson has a debt to pay. He doesn’t go out and buy 30 changes of clothes. He doesn’t have them made, he just goes out and kills 30 Philistines in Ashkelon, some 20 miles away, and takes their garments to the men who won his bet in Timnath. It was cruel and it was vindictive, and it was a further indication of Samson’s heart.

Your reactions to the negative actions of the people around you are a window into your heart. When you are like Jesus, you will react like Jesus, (Matt. 5:11-12; 43-48). When there are problems in your heart, you will react according to your fallen nature. You will be bitter, unforgiving, vengeful, hateful and mean-spirited. Our reactions are indeed a window into our souls.

The Outcome Of His Wrath – Samson is so angry that he does not stay to consummate the wedding. He returns to his father’s house and calls the wedding off. What we have here is a “runaway groom”. When the girl’s father sees that Samson has abandoned his daughter, he gives her to one of the 30 men, probably the one who was acting as “best man”.

This event shows us that neither Samson, his prospective father-in-law, nor the “best man” held the marriage vow in high esteem. Samson showed no love and commitment to the woman. The girl’s father didn’t care that he had been given a dowry, or that he had promised his daughter to Samson. The “best man” didn’t care that the girl was promised to another man. This is just another indication that we are dealing with corrupt hearts.

The outcome of anger and wrath is always tragic. That is why God said, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath,” (Eph. 4:26). That is why the writer of Proverbs said, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly,” (Pro 14:29). And, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression,”( Pro. 19:11).

Anger is dangerous. It destroys friendship and ruins relationships. One man said, “Anger like fire, finally dies out - but only after leaving a path of destruction.”
Anger also reveals who is wrong in a matter. An old, uneducated cobbler used to attend the public debates held at a famous English university. All the debates were held in Latin. A friend asked him if he understood Latin.

“No,” replied the cobbler, “but I know who is wrong in every argument.”
“How,” replied his friend. “Why, by seeing who is angry first.”

The Ordering Of His Wrath – Verse 19 is one of those verses that causes you to think. We know that what Samson did was wrong. It was wrong for him to marry the Philistine girl, but we know God was in it, (v. 4). It was wrong for him to go out and commit murder, but we are told that he did it in the power of the Holy Spirit, (v. 19).

This is just a reminder that our sin will not derail God’s plan. His purposes will be fulfilled. Verse 4 tells us that God “sought an occasion against the Philistines”. Samson was an unclean vessel, yet the Lord used him in spite of, and sometimes, in the midst of, his sins. God even used Samson’s sins to accomplish His Own will. God used the anger of Samson for the good of God’s people. God was determined to stir up strife between Israel and the Philistines. He used Samson’s anger to accomplish His will. I can’t explain all this, but suffice it to say that our God is sovereign over all things, even the sins of humanity.

Regardless of why and how this happened, let it be said that Samson should have been attacking the Philistines for the glory of God and not for revenge. He will receive no reward for his actions here.

Conc: This passage speaks volumes to us about maintaining the condition of our hearts.
We must take care that we do not allow ourselves to flirt with evil.
We must take care that we do not harbor anger, animosity, un-forgiveness and ill will towards others.
We must beware that we do not seek wealth we have not earned.
We must be sure that we maintain tender hearts and keep short accounts with God.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Hebrews 8:10 (New International Version (NIV)
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Love One Another”

Stanza1 "Angry words! O let them never From the tongue unbridled slip;
May the heart’s best impulse ever Check them ere they soil the lip."
Refrain:
Love one another, thus said the Savior. Children obey the Father’s blest command.
Love one another, thus said the Savior, tis the blest command.

Stanza 2 "Love is much too pure and holy, Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment’s reckless folly Thus to desolate and mar."
Refrain:

Stanza 3 "Angry words are lightly spoken, Bitterest thoughts are rashly stirred,
Brightest links of life are broken By a single angry word."
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God of Beauty, Blessings, and Bountifulness! As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so it will yield seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so let Your Word be to our minds, hearts and souls. Your Word will not return to You empty, but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which you sent it; so let it be with us in our lives that we may glorify You our Father and God. For Your Word we thank You Father. For Jesus our Lord who is the Word we thank You. For Your Spirit that teaches us from Your Word we thank You! This we pray in Jesus’ Mighty name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKINGUP2012 1/17/2013 3:57PM

    emoticon Vic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 1/17/2013 12:00PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I know how anger can destroy situations that God puts us in. He will see us through them only if we allow Him to guide us without anger. Reasoning and accepting everything through God, will give us a clean, pure heart. God bless you Vic for sharing this lesson.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIE924 1/17/2013 9:41AM

    Anger can be such a destructive emotion. Thanks for the reminder. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 1/17/2013 8:57AM

    emoticon Vic

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 1/17/2013 7:42AM

  How we respond when we are angry shows others what our relationship with Christ is like

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAMARIEZ1 1/17/2013 7:33AM

    God provides! We must be patient! Thank you for the lesson Vic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PINKSPARKLE1965 1/17/2013 7:07AM

    4Deborah—Leadership Model Deborah provides a picture of leadership that wasn't normally seen in the society of her time. Very few women in Scripture rose to positions of national leadership. Deborah stands out due to both her spiritual and civil leadership. She was the only woman who served as a judge during those extended years of turmoil.
. And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.

5. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Id like to add this to your reading about today emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZMOMXTWO 1/17/2013 6:49AM

  thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 Last Page