Lord, You and You alone are my God and I will never forget to honor You and praise Your name.
Read JUDGES 16:23-31
 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”  When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”  While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,  Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”  Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.  Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”  Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,  Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.  Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Samson ultimately defeat the Philistines?
What starts as a fairy tale ends as a tragedy—or is it a triumph? Samson’s last act is one of faith and fulfills God’s purpose (13:5)—a work which David will complete l00 years later—but at what cost? Samson’s leadership seems morally ambiguous, leaving us with more questions than answers. What was admirable about Samson? Was his leadership brave or blind? Perhaps it’s easier to look at someone closer to us in time and then we might be able to appreciate the complexities of the situation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a prominent German theologian and a pacifist in the 1930s. Bonhoeffer’s involvement in plans by members of the German Military Intelligence Office to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April, 1943. “The ultimate question for a responsible person to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live,” he wrote to his fellow conspirators. He was later executed by hanging in April 1945, shortly before the end of the war. Was he a destroyer or a deliverer? Was his leadership brave or blind?
What is going on around you that you should actively oppose in Christ’s name? Ask God for wisdom.
Lord, help me to live responsibly and courageously. Help me to oppose what is wrong—to be brave, not blind.
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