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A young teenage boy had just gotten his driver’s license. When he got home, he asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him into his study and said to the boy, "I’ll make a deal with you. If you bring up your grades, study your Bible a little, and get a haircut, then we’ll talk about the use of the car."
After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss the use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, "Son, I’ve been so very proud of you. You have brought up your grades, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your haircut." The young man waited a moment and replied, "Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, even Jesus had long hair..." His father interrupted him at that point and said, "Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went!"
“Just Ask Him!” Judges 16: 28-30 Key verse(s): 28: “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, ‘O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.’”
Has there ever been a time in your life when things have gotten so bad, that your sins have become so burdensome, that God simply wasn’t anxious to hear your prayers? Doubtless there isn’t a Christian among us who would answer that question in the affirmative. Sure, God always listens to our prayers no matter how poorly we have lived our lives. The Bible tells us that this is so. Yet, how many of us really believe it all the time no matter what the circumstance?
Many years ago I remember studying about the great king of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric. He reigned for decades over the fading splendor of the Roman empire and was known for his great bravery and cunning. During his reign the empire, or what was left of it, experienced a very rare period of peace. Yet in his last years, Theodoric disrupted that peace with a brutal act that would affect the remainder of his reign and his life. He put to death two men, Symmachus and Boethius. Both these men were honorable men but posed what Theodoric believed was a threat to his reign. Both were brutally killed. This was an act that haunted the emperor for years to come. He experienced difficulty making decisions and often awoke in the middle of the night in a sweat and great fear.
Remorse had closed itself upon Theodoric. His conscience pestered and plagued him mercilessly to the point of distraction. Finally, one evening at a feast Theodoric beheld the head of a fish that had been served on a platter and it instantly become the visage of the brutally murdered Symmachus. Theodoric removed himself to his bed chamber and became very ill. Trembling with fright and regret, he finally fell to his knees and repented to his physician of his great guilt. Three days later he died calmly and in a peace with His Lord.
Theodoric found that even though the burden of his guilt was great, the prospect of forgiveness and peace was many times more alluring than escape. He bent the knee and unburdened his heart to the Lord. Although he had allowed that guilt to effectively block his prayer pathway for years, it finally became too much of a burden. Prayer overcame fear. So too with Samson. Despite his terrible sins, God still loved Samson. He was willing to hear and answer his prayer of confession and repentance and use him one final time to do his will. His way leads to peace even when it seems that His way is blocked by the burden of sin and sorrow. That’s the horrible thing about sin. It often keeps us from going to God when we need most to be there. Don’t let feelings of guilt separate you from the grace and mercy that God has waiting for you to claim. He still has great things for you to do--just ask Him!
Back in 1990, I was a tenant residing in a compound where the landlord and his family were also enclosed. The landlord and the tenants respected my family since they understood my position as a minister and servant of God. He allowed the believers to have their weekly fellowships within his compound yet he never attended even one of them. One night, I was awoken from sleep by screams. I opened my front door and realized that robbers had broken into his house and stolen from him. The following morning, he embarked on a programme of securing his house. Workers flocked into the compound and in a few days, several concrete walls had been build all round his house, each with a big and strong iron door. There were several iron doors before his main living room. He also bought a siren with a powerful flashlight ontop of his house and he employed another extra guard to keep the compound safe.
Well, after my landlord securing his place, there was some confidence created within him and his family but this did not go on for long as I was to be surprised. One evening, the watchmen reported to them that some strangers were about in the compound. Instead of locking themselves in their house, they ran away from it, infact, I opened my house for the landlord’s wife. She opted for my house which had a wooden door, one that could be knocked off easily. I advised her to sit on the sofa and keep quiet. Apparently, the landlord’s wife knew where the security was since she couldn’t trust the iron gates and the iron doors in her house, she knew that its where the Lord is in control, that one can be safe. There’s no better landlord than our Lord and creator Jesus Christ. Trust Him in all situations and circumstances and He will see you through.
Why did the Philistines allow Samson’s hair go grow back when they knew it was the key to his great strength?
Was it because they blinded his eyes? No, for even a blind
but strong Samson could cause severe havoc.
Why then did they allow his hair to grown back? Because the
Philistines did not know a forgiving God. If one of the
champions of their god Dagon had betrayed Dagon the way
Samson betrayed Jehovah, it would have been off with his
head. "Let hi...
I have also witnessed another neighbor being attacked at night in a similar event, but in this case, the robbers couldn’t get into his house for the iron gates were too strong to be broken. And as they were struggling to break open, the police were alerted and came fully armed to shoot at the thieves. The thieves managed to escape before the policemen arrived and when they arrived, they cordoned the place and though that the robbers were still in. Then the owner emerged while holding a sword ready to strike. The policemen shot him down as they thought that he was one of the criminals since he refused to identify himself. He had escaped the robbers bullets, but he couldn’t escape the policeman’s though he survived the ordeal, he realized that iron gates or electric fences, the Lord is the great shepherd.
For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like."
As I read this text I couldn’t help but think of friends and relatives that slowly lost the connection between the "real world" and their memory and consciousness. There is a very pleasant man who sits on the porch at a nursing home where Janet and I have visited. We often take Samson, our Yorkie terrier, with us. As we walk to the porch with Samson on the leash, the man will say these precise words: "Cute little dog. What’s his name?" We’ll tell him and he’ll repeat it and say, "Cute little dog." When we come back out, he will say again, "Cute little dog. What’s his name?" His brain malfunctions. He can no longer connect one moment to the next!
Kids have a unique way of telling stories. Their heart is in it, but their mouths don’t always spit out the right words. Here are a few of my favorite headliner Bible stories stated by kids: *The first three books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, and Laxatives. *Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark. *Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. *Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. *David fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people, who lived in biblical times. *Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. *Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles and he pulled down the pillows of the temple.
While on a field trip with my daughter years ago, I saw an amazing thing. As the museum host was carrying us through the nature scenes I saw a porcupine in the glass case. The host explained thatthe porcupine has the best armor of any animal. He has only one predator which is the fox. No animal would fair well to grab a porcupine by the back, but the fox is much smarter than that.
He begins circling the porcupine slowly while the porcupine trys to keep an eye on him. In the process of time, the porcupine becomes extremely dizzy in turn rolling over on his back exposing his unprotected belly which the fox then attacks.
The devil comes in the for...
Charles Spurgeon said, “Success exposes a man to the pressures of people and thus tempts him to hold on to his gains by means of fleshly methods and practices.”
Back in college, my agriculture extension lecturer used to warn us about our field work activities that we ought to be careful when visiting some homesteads. He emphasized on the significance of learning the peoples culture and traditions. This was due to the fact that in some families, several large stones are placed in the compound in a strategic place. Each of these stones represented a daughter in the family a therefore a prospective suitor would sit on the stone which represented the lady in question; say, the first stone represented the eldest girl in the family and therefore any young man found on the stone, would prompt the lady represented being given to!