“And she said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson.’ And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”
This is the story of when Delilah had betrayed Samson and Samson had been used to rising and conquering the Philistines and he had presumed he could do that again. But Judges chapter 16, verse 20, as he says, “‘I’ll go out as it other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know at this moment that the Lord had left him.” And this verse is a keen reminder of what we see all over the Bible. Everything, everything depends on whether or not the Lord is with you and for you or if the Lord is against you. Everything in our lives hinges on the presence of God with us, the help of God for us.
Everything in our lives hinges on the presence of God with us and the help of God for us.
And if God is with us, if God is for us. In the words of Romans chapter eight, “nothing can stand against us.” But if we are on our own and if God is against us, then we have no hope. And you read about Sampson’s life and you can’t help but to think how foolish he was in so many different ways with so many different things he was doing. Yet I read this and I think how foolish I can be. And so Judges chapter 16 leads us to pray, God, you are our only hope today. We can do nothing good without you, without your grace. In the words of Jesus to us in John 15, “Apart from you, we confess we can do nothing.” And we say, “Oh God, apart from you, we don’t want to do anything. We don’t want to live our lives apart from the fullness of your presence, your spirit in us, leading us, guiding us.”
God, as we read Judges 16, we think, no, God, help us to live in step with your spirit, in alignment with your word, to do according to what you have said, to do according to how your spirit leads, and as we do so, to be confident no matter what happens to us in this world, if you are for us, with us, nothing can stand against us. So, God, help us to live pure holy lives in your presence with your power working in and through us. God, we pray for that in each of our lives, in every facet of our lives. Keep us in step with your spirit, we pray. And keep us, guard us from sin, from going outside of that which you have clearly spoken in your word, outside of the leadership of your spirit in our lives. God, help us to walk humbly with you today, obediently to you today. And even as we think about this picture of your presence with us, we think about the Great Commission.
We think about your promise, that as we go and make disciples of all the nations, that you will be with us always for the spread of your love and your grace in the world. So, God, we pray that as you are with us today, that you would use our lives to make your grace known in others’ lives, that you would grant us according to your promise, supernatural power to be witnesses to people around us, witnesses around the world. We pray for those who are working among the Baloch people of Iran or Pakistan. God, we pray, may the power of your spirit be upon them. May your spirit raise up more to go to them. And, God, we pray that the Baloch would be reached with the Gospel. We pray for the Baloch. We pray for people right around us.
God, we pray that you would be with us as we go today, tomorrow, and that you would help us to live in step with your spirit to share the Gospel and the power of your spirit, and in all of this, to experiencing the fullness of your presence with us. We pray this according to Judges 16, verse 20 in Jesus’ name. Amen
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.