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Super Hero

Daily Reading: Judges 14-15

Scripture Focus: [Samson] was very thirsty, and he called upon the Lord and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” (Judges 15.18)

Devotional Thought: When I was a little boy, my siblings and I used to play super-heroes. We would argue over who could be Hercules or Atlas or Tarzan. If those were taken, sometimes I had to be Samson. We knew about the others from black and white TV shows. And, we had heard enough about Samson in Vacation Bible School that we knew he was a strong hero, too, but he didn't always win.

The story of Samson is a mixed bag, isn't it? He was a hero in Israel, delivering his people from Philistine oppression. God gave him strength and victory in battle. But, he was immoral and impetuous. I wonder sometimes if he isn't a picture of some modern Christians.

Whether it was eating honey from the carcass of a lion or engaging the services of a prostitute, he constantly struggled to keep his fleshly appetites in check. When he saw a Philistine virgin, he just had to have her as his wife, even though it was strictly forbidden him as a Nazarite. When his pride was damaged, he sought vengeance on those who mocked him and brought trouble on himself and others. When he grew weary and thirsty, he accused God of leaving him. Samson was indeed a super-hero, but he was also a spiritual infant.

Samson needed the New Testament principle: "All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2.16-17).

Prayer: Lord, help me to be a spiritual super-hero. Not for the praise of man, but for the pleasing of my heavenly Father; not to master people, but to master my passions. Help me to be a hero like Jesus! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 56.1-6

1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

5 All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life.

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