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Seven Days Of Nagging
The story of Samson is one of the sad stories in the Bible. His parents had been unable to have children, but God intervened. In Judges 13:2 we read, “And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.” The Angel of the Lord was sent to Manoah’s wife to tell her that she would bear son. (Judges 13:3) God gave Manoah’s wife instructions for her life, for the life of the child and he also stated the purpose of the birth of this son. “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:4-5) God sent Samson to begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Manoah asked God to send the Angel again to tell them what they should do to this child. (Judges 13:8) God honored that request. Manoah wanted to honor the Angel, possibly by naming the child after him, but the Angel of the Lord would have nothing to do with that. When Manoah and his wife offered a burnt offering to God, the Angel ascended to heaven on the flame of that offering. Manoah thought that he and his wife would surely die, because he felt that they had seen God. His wife used better judgment and reasoned that they would not die, because God had told them His plan to begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines by their son.
Things went well with Samson at first. Scripture says, “And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.” (Judges 13:24) Sadly, Samson made a decision to go “down” to Timnath. “And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.” (Judges 14:1) This decision led Samson down a long, sad road to a tragic end. Against the wishes of his parents and against the teachings of God, Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman. This action was in direct conflict to the will of God. “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-4) The Lord used this marriage as a means to destroy the Philistines. Like many marriages today, Samson’s marriage to the Philistine woman did not last long.
“Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” Samson killed a lion with his bare hands, as he and his parents were traveling “down” to Timnath to arrange the wedding with the Philistine girl. Later, when they return for the marriage, Samson saw, in the carcass of the lion, that bees had made honey. He ate some honey gave some to his parents. At the wedding feast he made a bet with the Philistine men that they could not solve his riddle. Sampson said, “I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments.” Under threat of being burned with fire, both she and her family, Samson’s new wife nagged him for seven days until he told her the secret of the riddle. “And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.” (Judges 14:17) When this happened, Samson was very angry. He said, “If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.” He went “down” to Ashkelon, slew thirty men, took their garments and others spoils and paid his debt. He went home to his father’s house and his wife was given to a man that he had used as his friend. The nagging of Samson’s wife brought trouble to Samson and to the Philistine people.
Foxes, firebrands and wheat harvest: After some time had passed Samson decided to go reclaim his wife. She had been given to another man. In anger, he took 300 foxes, tied them tail to tail, put a firebrand on them and sent them to burn the standing wheat and the olive vineyards. The Philistines were angry and they took the woman and her father and burned them with fire. Many strange weapons have been used in war; no weapon is stranger than when Samson used the jaw bone of an ass to kill a thousand Philistines. Samson went into a prostitute at Gaza and this also caused him misery. Later Samson loved a Philistine woman, named Delilah. Delilah nagged Samson until he told her the source of his strength. She was paid to help the Philistines capture him. “The Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him “down” to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” While in prison Samson’s hair grew again, the spirit of the Lord came upon him again and he regained his strength. While many of the Philistines were gathered to honor their God, Dagon, Samson pulled the house down and destroyed the Philistines and he was also killed. Sampson’s life was filled with a lot of misery because of his own bad choices and because of two nagging women. Let us learn to build our houses and not tear them down with our words.
The good thing that that we know about Samson was that God listed him in His Honor Roll of faith. “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets.” (Hebrews 11:32) You also can be among the faithful if you will repent and be baptized and then live for Jesus. (Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 15:58) Nagging is one of the many things that that the Devil uses for the destruction and demise of families. Proverbs 31:10-31 gives a description of the virtuous woman. She serves God with her hands with her heart and especially with her tongue. God says of this virtuous woman, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) Thankfully, it seems that, at the end of his life, Samson went “up” to be with God! Is your life on a downward spiral, or are you headed up, spiritually and morally?
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Ricky Bagents, Douglas Butts, Terry Claunch, Johnny Cole, Camren Coleman, Lisa Cook, Tim Croley, John Curry, Nell Daughtry, Nelson Daughtry, Haley Fortune, Richard Harrell, Michael Hartin, Devin Hawkins, Sue Hunt, Orene Johnson, Charlie Jones, Katherine Myers, Barley Newton, Bill & June Perry, William Pierce, Jesse Mae Powell, Linda Reynolds, Peggy Scribner, Nathan Simmons, Johnny Sims, Evelyn Smith, Andy Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Alice Thompson, Leroy Waller, Cleo Wilson, and Barbara Woods. Crowne Health Care: Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Ruth Davis, Betty Findley, Betty Garlock, Davis Hester, Ruth Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Alice Padgett, and Annie Ruth Tetter. Pine Needle: Lydia Ann Raybon and Elizabeth Perdue
2. Our Lord’s Invitation: Please remember April Rowell in your personal, private prayers. She wants to recommit her life to God.
3. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to Margaret Pierce and her family in the death of her sister, Charlotte Moody.
4. Welcome to Walnut Street: We welcome Homer and Hilda Cauthen to Walnut Street. Their address is 7976 Honoraville Road, Honoraville. – Phone 382-5972 – Birthday: Homer June 3rd and Hilda May 26th – Anniversary December 24th. Make them feel at home.
5. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: March 3rd Emily Harrell and Matthew Jackson, March 4th Marty Sexton, March 6th Kenneth Smith, and March 7th Jason Owens.
6. Reorder of “Muscle & a Shovel” by Michael Shank: If you would like to order copies of “Muscle and a Shovel” please let Deborah Stallings know. You will pay when you receive your books. Price is determined by the number of books we order.
7. Thank You: (a) Dear Christian Family, Thank you for the prayers, flowers, food, calls and cards while I was in the hospital. Jesse Mae Powell, (b) A warm thank you. Life is a lovely garden, An ever-growing thing, Where thoughtfulness and kindness bloom like flowers in the spring. Thank you for being such a thoughtful people. Thanks for all the love and support and please keep us in your prayers. Love Shenelle Wilson & Family and (c) Our thanks to you. This extra-special thank you note sent to you today. Holds more appreciation than any words can say. For you’re among the nicest people we have ever known. And you’ll never be forgotten for the thoughtfulness you’ve shown. Thanks for the cards, the prayers, and the food. Your kindness was greatly appreciated, so good to have a Christian family that is so caring. A special thanks to Charles and Darrell for their services. Florida Wilson & Family
8. Religious Debate: The University of North Alabama Christian Student Center is hosting a religious debate on April 4th beginning at 6 PM. Bart Ehrman will affirm the proposition, “The pain and suffering in the world indicates that the Christian God does not exist.” Kyle Butt will deny that proposition. For more details visit www.unacsc.com.
9. Immediate Needs For Our Mission Work In Annai: We need, (1) Cement to finish Building -- $460 more is needed. (2) Moving fill-dirt to building in Annai -- $500. Total Amount Needed: $960. Thanks to all who are helping!
10. Area Events: (a) March 2nd – Youth Day – College Street Church of Christ – Speaker Nicholis Whatley – Theme “Do Right in a Do Wrong World” John 12:46, (b) March 2nd – 6th – Faulkner Lectures – Faulkner University, (c) March 9th – 12th – Gospel Meeting – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Dennis Sanders, (d) March 22nd – Ladies Day – Lay Lake Church of Christ – Speaker Mallory Baker – Time 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, and (d) March 23rd – 26th – Gospel Meeting – County Line Church of Christ – See bulletin board for speakers – Time 7:30.
What if God picked favorites? What if He liked country folk better than city folk? Or He preferred tall people over short people? Does God like one race more than others? Does He gravitate toward rich people and away from the poor? You are right if you believe we can expect more from God than this kind of favoritism. “So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality.” (Acts 10:34) God loves each of us unconditionally, and we are expected to do the same for one another.
James wrote, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1) He went on to explain how people who show more respect to a well dressed person than to one wearing rags are showing partiality. In so doing, we become “judges with evil thoughts.” Can a person who picks favorites based on money, race, social status, gender, or other differences be justified in God’s sight? “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9)
The way we treat others determines more than just what social circles we run around in. Those of us who discriminate against others are not just hurting the feelings of another person or brother or sister in Christ. They are endangering their own souls. Would God really condemn a person who showed prejudicial treatment against others? James continued, “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13) Those who are hateful and unmerciful to men and women made in God’s own image should not expect mercy from the God who created them.
Each and every person who will ever live is a part of the reason Christ hung on the cross at on Calvary. He “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus loves that person whom you belittle for his poverty enough to die for him. That person whose skin is not the same color as yours is just as important to the Lord as you are. Are you guilty of showing partiality?