Daily Devotion for November 21, 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 God's Power in Our Lives
Eternal spirit, giver of life, bearer of our pain and wellspring of all love, source of all that is and all that shall be, father and mother of us all, loving God, in whom is heaven: May the hallowing of your name echo through the universe. May the way of your justice be followed by the people of the world. May your heavenly will be done by all beings in your creation. May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope, and may earth see your kingdom.
With the bread we need for today, feed us; in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us; in times of temptation and test, strengthen us; from trials too great to endure, spare us; from the grip of all that is evil, free us. For your reign is the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Samson Part 5 — Samson's Revenge
Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a gift and visited his wife. "I want to go to my wife in her room," he said. But her father would not let him enter. "I was sure you hated her," her father said, "so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?"
Samson said to them, "This time I won't be responsible when I harm the Philistines." So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
Then the Philistines asked, "Who did this?"
They were told, "Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because he has taken Samson's wife and given her to another man." So the Philistines sought out her and her father and burned them to death.
Then Samson told them, "Because you did this, I swear that I won't rest until I have taken vengeance on you." He tore them limb from limb [literally, "hip to thigh"] with a great slaughter, and he went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.
Notes on the Scripture
The account of Samson's goading the Philistines is as colorful as it is dramatic. After the tumultuous and bloody wedding, he returns to the Philistine village and tries to sleep with his wife, only to discover that his father-in-law has married her to another man.
The father-in-law is, of course, acting reasonably. Samson had reason to hate her for her betrayal, and he certainly appeared to abandon her. The man tries to make it right by offering Samson her prettier sister instead.
But Samson hasn't done all this to get a pretty wife. He is looking for an excuse to attack the Philistines. And with his now customary flair, he gets his revenge in a colorful and unexpected way: he ties pairs of foxes together by their tails and puts a lighted torch between them, then sets them loose in the Philistine's fields.
He has now started something which cannot help but escalate. The Philistines, outraged at the burning of their crops, take their revenge on him by killing his wife and her father. This gives Samson the excuse he is looking for. He attacks the Philistines head-on, slaughtering them with his prodigious strength. Then he travels to a cave and hides out.