Scripture Read: Judges 13 - 14
Title: Samson's Early Days
(H) Highlight verse: "And Manoah said, 'Now when your words come true, what is to be the child's manner of life, and what is mission?'" Judges 13:12
(E) Explain: Samson is an appointed judge of Israel after the nation had, once again, done evil in the sight of the LORD. The story or Samson begins with his birth account. When you read this account you will see many similarities between the birth announcement of Jesus and the birth announcement of Samson. Both were men who were commissioned to set the Israelites free from captivity. Both of their stories end with death that brings salvation. Samson's death brings a temporal salvation to the nation, but Jesus' brings salvation to the world. The middle of both of their lives are VERY different. We will look more closely at Samson's successes and downfall in the next HEAR journal entry.
But in this account an angel of the LORD comes and announces the birth of this boy who will save the nation of Israel from the hand of the Philistines. Both his parents had faith that this would come true. His mother says, "WHEN your words come true..." Not "if", but "when".
Early on in this account we see that Samson is kind of a self-centered character. He was boastful and he was sort of a brat. He begged his parents to get him a wife from the Philistines and they did, but we find that the Spirit of the LORD was with him and upon him. God used Samson, as we will see tomorrow, even though he was proud, self-centered and disobedient but all didn't end well. Eventually his sin catches up to him.
(A) Application: There are many parallels with the life of Samson and the life of Jesus. However, the things we must remember in this parallel is that one man died as a result of his sins and the other died to save from sin. One man lived a self-centered life and the other lived a selfless life. One lived a sin-filled life and the other lived a sinless life. Both died and brought salvation to the people of Israel. But only one, Jesus, rose again from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father to bring complete redemption to all who believe and full freedom from the shackles of sin. Samson may have been a precursor to the exciting reality of salvation, but only Jesus brings true freedom, redemption and salvation. that leads others to the Kingdom of God.
(R) Respond: Lord, protect me from being prideful. I pray that you would keep me from falling prey to my impulsive desires of the flesh. Keep your Spirit upon me, so that I may bring glory to you name through Christ in me.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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