WILD • Wild One – 4/7/24

The Old Testament records Israel’s cycle of sin, repent, serve God… repeat, repeat, repeat. Each time they strayed and followed their own way, other gods, and royally messed up, God would remove his hand of protection for a time and allow them to suffer the consequences of their sin. At a point, God would send a deliverer, judge, or prophet to call them back to Him.

After 40 years under Philistine rule, Samson was born to a couple who had been barren, longing for years for a child. He was born for the purpose of delivering Israel from the Philistines. This couple had been faithful to God when the nation around them strayed. An angel informed them that their son was to be a Nazirite, which meant that his hair was never to be cut, he was not to touch anything dead, get near a corpse or grave, and he was not to touch anything involving grapes, no wine, vinegar, or liquor.

Samson possessed super-hero strength. He grew and God blessed him, and the spirit of the Lord was working in him. However, Samson decided to make a visit to one of the Philistine cities, Timnah. Scripture says, he “went down to Timnah.” As the story unfolds, we realize that “going down” was not just a geographical reference. Samson had no good reason for going to Timnah nor for fraternizing with the Philistines. While there, he is attracted to a woman. He returns home and asks his parents to arrange a marriage with this Philistine woman. Though they try to dissuade him, and remind him that he needs to stay true to his calling and marry an Israelite, he will not be detoured. The road down to Timnah spirals further downward.

Samson was obviously “in lust.” He allowed his desires to interfere with God’s will for his life. Desires aren’t bad. We were created with desires, but desires must be submitted to God’s will and God’s timing, and Samson did not consider God in his decision.

You must keep your guard up and pay attention to where you’re headed. The downward path usually progresses as it did with Samson: people, places, principles, potential. Samson started hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places, then he boldly broke God’s principles, and ended up wasting his God-given potential.

You need to evaluate your relationships and the places you frequent. If you are on a “downward” trajectory, with God’s help you can make the right decisions and change your direction. 

Scriptures: Judges 13:1, 3-5, 2-25, 14:1-3

Verses: Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. (Judges 14:1)

Questions: Do your relationships draw you closer to God or farther from Him? Do the places you frequent inspire you to draw closer to God or farther from Him? When you look at your life right now, are you going up or down? Explain your answer. If you are a parent, are you modeling a loving, committed relationship with Jesus Christ for your children? What changes do you need to make?

Prayer: Dear Lord, draw me nearer to you. Help me to share your love with my friends and family who don’t know you. I want to be salt and light to those around me. Help me to love people where they are while keeping my eyes on you. Bring me more Christ-centered relationships for strength and support along the way. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen. 

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