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July 25 I Sunday

Psalms 37-39

Acts 26

 

“Then the Philistines seized [Samson], gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding corn in the prison.”   —Judges 16:21

 

If we asked Samson at the beginning, Do you think you will become powerless, defeated and humiliated with your eyes gouged out as a prisoner? Samson would probably laugh at our question, shake his head and say there is no way this would happen. Yet, little by little, Samson moved away from what God had ordained for him in his consecration as a Nazirite to eventually losing the very thing that was the symbol of his strength.

      Did we notice when Delilah was seeking to get the secret of his strength, each of the alibis that Samson gave was a little bit closer to hair? Samson said, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bow-strings that have not been dried…If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used…If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin…If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man” (Judges 16: 7, 11, 13, 17). 

      A preacher from Kenya once shared this African story. He said there was a law in the land that prohibited the eating of porcupine. One day, a man was hunting porcupine and somebody said to him, “Don’t you know there’s a law that says you must not eat porcupine?” The man answered, “Yes, I know. I’m not eating porcupine; I’m just hunting porcupine.” Another time, this man was found skinning a porcupine and somebody said to him, “Don’t you know there’s a law that says you must not eat porcupine?” The man responded, “Yes, I know. I’m not eating porcupine; I’m just skinning porcupine.” After, this man was roasting porcupine and somebody said to him, “Don’t you know there’s a law that says you must not eat porcupine?” The man replied, “Yes, I know. I’m not eating porcupine; I’m just roasting porcupine.” Then, the man was licking the porcupine, and somebody said to him, “Don’t you know there’s a law that says you must not eat porcupine?” The man explained, “Yes, I know. I’m not eating porcupine; I’m just licking it.” Could we imagine what happened next? The man was eating the porcupine!

      There is a subtlety and deception with sin. We may think, “I won’t go there, which is where the real sin is. I will just go over here and creep a bit closer, maybe even allow myself to slightly indulge, but never going the full yard.” Samson’s undoing shows the real danger when we play with sin.

      May we be on guard against the devious lies of alluring sin and resist the temptation of sin.

Prayer: Dear God, the temptation to sin is a slippery slope. The desire may begin small but can manifest itself in ways that I cannot imagine. Help me to resist the temptation of sin. Thank You, God.


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