Read The Bible, April 2

Judges 16-18

It’s always a wonder when we see strong men so malleable in the hands of women. That’s the story of Samson. Even though he had kept himself from strong drink and unclean food, and even though he had never cut his hair and tried to obey God, he just wasn’t very discerning when it came to women. They could talk him into anything.

So Delilah makes many attempts to discover Samson’s secret – and she finally does. As soon as he tells her that his strength comes from his long hair, Delilah has Samson’s hair cut, has him blinded, and finally has him carried off with the Philistines.

Yet God is not through with him. Samson’s final act is one of tremendous self-sacrifice. He has the opportunity to pull the temple down upon thousands of the Philistines, and he dies in the process. Samson kills more in his death than in his life, and delivers his nation from the harsh rule of their neighbors.

So we go into more ungodly incidents. This time in Hebrew history can be pegged by one saying: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”(17:6)

They might be considered the original “if it feels good, do it” generation. With no boundaries, people trampled each other. The weak and kind were overrun by the strong and arrogant.

The priests held onto idols and went where they had greater honor and accommodation. Truly dark, dark days for a nation which had known the Lord.

In our day, we need to take heed to the lessons to be learned here. Just because our nation at one time held high standards morally and spiritually doesn’t mean that it always will. Each generation has to be willing to take up the torch and fan its flame.

The fire can go out when there is no one to tend it. So my prayer is that many will rise up in our world who are willing to be the people God has called them to be. Many will tend the flame and help keep the one true God in the forefront.

Luke 7:1-30

When we look at Jesus, we see many characteristics – many facets of God’s personality. He says, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.”

So when we see Him encounter the grieving widow, we have a window on God’s attitude towards her – or you when you are going through a hard time.

There are times when He says, “Stop crying, get up, and do the Word.” There are other times when we are encountering situations which are extremely hard to bear, and His compassion is the only source of strength we have. I can’t think of any harder situation than the death of a child.

As Jesus sees the widow accompanying her dead son – her only child – He feels compassion for her – and raises the son from the dead.

What a moment for her! Instead of having a funeral, these people have a celebration to beat all celebrations. He was dead; now he is alive!

Is there something in your life which seems dead? Is there a vision you once had of a great marriage or a great family or a great ministry? Do you sometimes feel that the vision is dead? Have you fought and fought for the dream and feel like giving up?

I say to you today, “Don’t ever give up!” Let the resurrection power of Jesus flow into your heart and your life. He will restore the lost hopes and dreams. He will give you renewed faith and courage to pursue His best for you.

Spend quality time with your Savior. Pour out your heart to Him and expect Him to answer you. His touch today is as life-giving as it was in this story.

Jesus brings back life wherever He goes.