Daily Devotion for November 20, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow;
a reaper cannot fill his hands with it, nor one who gathers fill his arms.
May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the Lord be on you; we bless you in the name of the Lord.”
Samson Part 4 — Riddle, Wedding and Death[You might want to read yesterday's Devotional, or Judges 14:1-13 in your Bible, before you read this. It will make a lot more sense.]
After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle. On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father's household to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?"
So Samson's wife came to him, weeping, and said, "You hate me and don't love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven't explained it to me."
"Look," he said, "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother, so why should I explain it to you?"
She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people. On the seventh day before sunset, the men of the city said to him:
'What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?'
So he said to them:
'If you hadn't plowed with my young cow, you wouldn't know my riddle now!'
The Spirit of the Lord entered him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father's house, and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him.
Notes on the Scripture
Samson is not acting on a whim or carrying out a plan he formed. He is doing the will of God, which is to provoke the Philistines to war.
Samson's wife betrays him to her countrymen. Her loyalty is shown to belong, not to her husband-to-be, but to her tribe (and her false god). She uses her status as his wife to wheedle out the answer to his riddle, and then, like a spy, reports it to the 30 Philistines. They likely laughed heartily to themselves. Samson has thought to take their goods by rudely forcing them into a bet. But they have fooled him! They have used his wife to win the bet, and now Samson will have to pay them a huge sum.
But it is Samson who will have the last laugh. He first demonstrates that he knows what they have done, in his clever verse about them plowing with his "young cow". He does pays them, as he is obligated to do; however, to obtain the payment, he goes to the next town and slays 30 Philistines, then gives their clothes to the 30 Philistines in the wedding party. He then returns home, abandoning his deceitful wife.