July 31, 2018

Judges 14:1–4 (NLT) — 1 One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. 2 When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.” 3 His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?” But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.” 4 His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.

This whole chapter 14 enforces what I said on Sunday that we should be more concerned about godliness than giftedness. Samson certainly was gifted but he wasn’t very godly. By not honoring his father and mother he wasn’t honoring God. The only person Samson seemed to want to please was himself. Anytime we are not portraying godly character we are not honoring God.

It was God’s plan to use Samson to free Israel from the Philistines but Samson wasn’t very cooperative. When we don’t permit God to rule in our lives by obeying him God will overrule what we are doing to get his will accomplished. Samson should have been going to war instead of going to a wedding but God used it as an occasion to attack the enemy. As a result you will read in this chapter that Samson killed thirty of the enemy. In fact you will see that most of what Samson did in defeating the enemy wasn’t of his planning, God just worked it out for good. But eventually as we will find out in the rest of the story of Samson that there are consequences for not being godly.

This chapter gives me great hope in that in spite of me and my sometimes foolishness God will work all things out in my life so that his will is accomplished. Unlike Samson my plan is to give him permission to rule in my life and my goal is going to be to pursue godliness. You? I don’t want the Lord to have to raise up someone else to do the job that was assigned to me.

Esther 4:10–14 (NLT) — 10 Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” 12 So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai. 13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Be Inspired Hilltop!