After reading the book of Judges my first thought was Thank You Jesus. Having never really read the book of Judges, just small snippets for bible study here and there through out the years. I honestly thought it would be a book, like its title, about judges. Basically that we would see how the person that the Lord put in charge decides on matters or places judgement on others.
What I discovered is that this book is cyclical. What I mean by that is that we see over and over how the people of God continue to go back to their old ways. The people break their covenent with God. The people disobey His laws, by engaging in idolatry, disbelief and immoral behavior. We are told several times that there was no king but God was their King. The consequences of their behavior is that there is lots of lives lost, because God allows them to be oppressed by the Philistines. Until he raises up a judge, Samson. We continually see this pattern from the Israelites, they complain, say they will obey the rules, only to break the rules and then seek God to save them. They repent and turn back to God. Until the fall again and begin the cycle all over again.
Fortunately for us we also see who God is, his love for his people and how he chooses people for his good. Like he did when he chose Manoah and his wife, as told by the angel of the Lord of the impending birth of Samson. Judges 13:5 NIV - “You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
Samson was born to do great work for God. God’s gift to him was his tremendous physical strength. Judges 14:6a NIV - says, “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat.” Sadly, we see Samson use his abilities unwisely. He was a jokester, fell for the pretty girls and misjudges who he could confide in. For example, when he tells Delilah where his strength comes from and then she uses against him. The Philistines, seized Samson, gouged out his eyes and imprisoned him because of Delilah’s betrayal. It is then that the Lord leaves him. We see that even the ones dedicated to God are flawed. Samson is a good example of the cyclical behavior. Samson is born dedicated to God, follows God, then walks away when Samson relies on his own strength, then to finally turn back to God. Judges 16:28 NIV - “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died then while he lived.”
My take away is that God does hear our cries, our prayers. It’s never too late to start over. Our past fails are just that, in the past. Today is where we can start by putting our trust in Him, our King.