Day 39: emotions pt. 1: What drives you? (START)

I was never the best student. I wasn’t a bad student; I was just very . . . average. I waited until the last minute. I put in enough effort to get an average grade. I would study for a test, but only as much as I thought I really HAD to.

One time (maybe twice ever) though, I pulled an all-nighter. It was my last semester at Community College, and I so badly wanted to be done with that school & move on to the larger university that had once denied my enrollment application.

We’ve all been there right? Even though I was tired, I couldn’t listen to my body but instead had to push thru and get the job done. It’s not natural or easy, but it’s necessary.

The story of Samson is found in Judges 13-16. We’re going to spend a few days on this story and examining what lies behind our actions. To give a quick snapshot though, here are some highlights of Samson’s story:

  •          Chosen by God in the womb
  •          Nazirite vow to God
  •          Destined to help save Israel from Philistines
  •          Saw & selected his wife from among the Philistines
  •          Tore apart a lion, struck down 30 men, caught 300 foxes, killed 1000 men
  •          Visited a prostitute, loved Delilah
  •          Seduced by Delilah . . . resisted a while but then gave in
  •          Had his head shaved, lost his power, captured by the Philistines
  •          Prayed for strength one final time, pulled down the temple, killing 3000 Philistines & himself in the process

Today, let’s focus on chapters 13 & 14 of Judges.

I notice a trend – visual stimulation & selfishness . . . ‘saw’ (14:1), ‘right in my eyes’ (v 3), ‘right in Samson’s eyes’ (v 7), ‘pressed him hard’ (v 17). And these are all AFTER God’s Spirit had blessed, stirred, and was with him (13:24-25)!


Couple of lessons . . .

First, God can be with you & bless you, and you still make wrong choices. And that should be more ENCOURAGING to us than demoralizing. That means that even when you make choices that don’t honor Him, He’s still WITH YOU!

Second, your eyes get you in trouble. Making decisions based on what’s right in your eyes will not take you where you want to go. In fact, I wonder if Samson would have been so quick to share his riddle (14:17) when she ‘pressed him’ if he had looked away back in verse 1 when he first saw her.

After all, he ended up losing the girl to his best friend & raging with anger (v 19-20).

Tomorrow, we label what’s going on beneath the surface.


Thoughts to Pray/Journal:

  1. What are you ‘seeing’ that you shouldn’t be? What measures can you put in place to help?
  2. Why is it so easy to do ‘what is right in our eyes’ versus God’s eyes?
  3. Think of a time you were raging with anger. Reverse engineer that moment. What started it all? What were you feeling just PRIOR to anger?



Judges 13

Judges 14