And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. Judges 16:20.
Day by day Delilah urged him, until “his soul was vexed unto death;” yet a subtle power kept him by her side. Overcome at last, Samson made known the secret: “There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” A messenger was immediately dispatched to the lords of the Philistines, urging them to come to her without delay. While the warrior slept, the heavy masses of his hair were severed from his head. Then, as she had done three times before, she called, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson!” Suddenly awaking, he thought to exert his strength as before, and destroy them; but his powerless arms refused to do his bidding, and he knew that “Jehovah was departed from him.” When he had been shaven, Delilah began to annoy him and cause him pain, thus making a trial of his strength; for the Philistines dared not approach him till fully convinced that his power was gone. Then they seized him and, having put out both his eyes, they took him to Gaza. Here he was bound with fetters in their prison house and confined to hard labor.
What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!—now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him. There was no virtue in his long hair merely, but it was a token of his loyalty to God; and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited.
Had Samson’s head been shaven without fault on his part, his strength would have remained. But his course had shown contempt for the favor and authority of God as much as if he had in disdain himself severed his locks from his head. Therefore God left him to endure the results of his own folly.
Conflict and Courage p. 134
—–Please continue to pray that God will lead B. L
Over the years, we have enjoyed spending time in nature. In whatever part of this vast country we have lived we have hiked or camped in the mountains or beside a stream or lake or in a pine forest. Sometimes, we just took a nice long drive and reveled in the beauty of God’s great creation. Even here in Kansas, we can find some beauty, although we have to look harder for it than in other places we have lived.
How important it is that each of us leave the city behind and go out into nature whenever we have the opportunity. Even after 6000 years of sin, there are scenes of grandeur that are breathtakingly beautiful. As we walk beside a river whose rushing water is splashing over great rocks worn smooth by its action, we can think of the works of the Lord upon our heart, constantly bringing about circumstances to mold us into His image. When surrounded by great, snowcapped mountains dotted with evergreens nearly to their summit, we can meditate upon the Rock Christ Jesus, Who veiled His glory and majesty and came to this dark and sinful world to live a life filled with all the troubles and trials the evil one could heap upon Him. He is our “chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” He is “the stone which the builders disallowed,” Who is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” <1 Peter 2:6,8> As we gaze upon the colorful clouds at the close of the day, we look forward to our Heavenly Home where all is light and beauty, “and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Rev 21:23 Even as we marvel at our Great Creator’s handiwork, we can see signs of the enemy’s work in dead and dying flower, leaf, and animal. This makes us look forward to the time when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev 21:4
David exclaimed, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast.” “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Ps 33:6-9,19:1-6,8:3-9
May praise the Lord for His marvelous creation as we spend time viewing His handiwork is my prayer.