Using Our Talents
The story of Samson is a great lesson in squandered opportunity and misuse of talents. Samson did fulfill his purpose to lead Israel against the Philistines for 20 years, but he could have been so much more. He was of holy birth, and had such amazing strength and power that he was able to rip apart with his bare hands a lion who attacked him. He also killed 1000 Philistine men with the jawbone of a donkey. But he made some very poor choices when it came to satisfying his flesh. And instead of using parables and teaching, Samson used riddles for personal gain (Judges 16:12-18). And on multiple occasions he fell prey to the schemes of his wives. His first wife was a Philistines who prodded him until he disclosed his secret to her, causing him to kill 30 men to pay his debt for losing the bet on his riddle. The next woman Samson was mentioned with was a prostitute. And then we read of Delilah, who ultimately became his downfall.
“With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.” – Judges 16:16
Similar to his first wife, Delilah nagged him and nagged him and nagged him until he caved in to her nagging. There is much that we can learn from this, but the one thing that stands out to me is that we never read where Samson inquired of the Lord, asking for guidance, strength and wisdom. He was led by the flesh, instead of keeping his vows to the Lord, and squandered his amazing God-given gift of strength. Now it’s easy for us to sit here and say, “bad Samson”. But isn’t there a little bit of Samson tendency in each of us where are we tempted in the flesh? Have we never satisfied our desires of the flesh? If we are honest, we probably fail more than we care to admit.
So what happened when Samson sinned? In verse 19 we read that “his strength left him.” That is exactly what we can expect to happen to us. When we are separated from God, His strength leaves us. Thank God for Jesus, who died on the cross, so that our sins could be forgiven, and we could be made new again in Christ Jesus. Samson is a great story about life. And I would suspect that it resonates with all of us who are often tempted in the flesh often every day. But when we are tempted, let us turn to the Lord and seek God’s counsel. He will help us to be strong, and make good choices. He will remove the chains and strongholds in our lives that are holding us back. God is our strength and our redeemer. All things are possible through Christ who is my strength!
We are not alone. God will never leave us. He will never forsake us. That is His promise to us. What talents do we have that we are using to satisfy the flesh, that could be used for God’s glory? If we only satisfy the flesh, that will be our downfall. We are not expected to be perfect. But we can seek God first so that His power will not leave us, and so that we make better choices. We will be able to stay strong when tempted by the enemy. And we will live the life of victory that God has planned for us.
Image courtesy of: mrbille1
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this great Word. Thank you for helping me to be able to relate to Samson, and know that we are all faced with temptations of the flesh. Help me to seek you first Lord. Fill me with your wisdom to know what to do, and what to say in times of trial. Fill me with your strength to be able to make the right choices, and to stand firm in the face of temptation and trouble. Fill me with your presence and help me to walk in your ways. Thank you for this morning, and for giving me another day to live and breathe on this earth. Help me to use it for your good, and be a light unto your path, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Judges 13-16;11,12; 2 Corinthians 2
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – (Matthew 6:33)
- “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – (Philippians 4:13)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11)