Archives For June 2017

Liberty for License

by Steve Popoola on June 19, 2017 in Discipleshipship, Faith

If Samson was alive today, he would be telling people who love to live on the fast lane, “been there, done that”. Samson lived his life breaking every rule in the book. He was chosen by God to rule Israel, yet lived carelessly and did things that were clearly in contrast to God’s laws. He relied on his superhuman strength which was given to him by the same God that he took for granted.

Chapter 16 of the book of judges starts with Samson going to Gaza which is clearly an enemy territory. While he was there, he saw a prostitute and spent the night with her. News soon went round that Samson was there and an ambush was laid for him with the anticipation of taking him out in the morning. Unfortunately for them, Samson got up in the middle of the night, tore the city gate out of its hinges and carried it away. A city without a gate is defenceless and at that point, the people were concerned more about replacing the gate than follow him.

Want or Need?

by Steve Popoola on June 12, 2017 in Devotion, Discipleshipship, Faith

Scripture does not tell us much about the growing up years of Samson except that, “And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25)
By the time we flip to the next chapter of Judges, Samson is already a grown man. We learn that one day, He went to Timnah where one of the Philistine women caught his eye (Judges 14:1) We are not told what he went to Timnah to do but what we are told was that the minute he saw this Philistine woman, he had to have her. This was one of the weaknesses of Samson. When he got back home, he told his parents, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me” (Judges 14:2)
Samson had no regard for the feelings of his parents or for the letter of the law. Samson as an Israelite was not supposed to marry a Philistine woman. As a Nazarite he was devoted to the Lord and therefore should not even consider marrying someone who was a worshipper of Dagon. When the parents objected to this relationship, He insisted, “Get her for me! She looks good to me” (Judges 14:3)

 

Not by Power or Might

by Steve Popoola on June 5, 2017 in Faith, inspiration

Lately, I have been learning a lot about Samson from the story in Judges 13 – 15. It is not the first time I have read this story but as is often the case when I read scripture, there is always something new to learn even when reading the same portion of scripture you have read before.

 

So as I began reading from chapter 13, I noted that Samson’s mother was barren. We don’t know whether she was past child-bearing age but what was established was that she could not have children. They had obviously been married many years and had undoubtedly tried having children ti no avail. If there was any doubt about her ability to have children, this was made clear when she had a visitation from an angel. The first recorded words of the Angel was, “You are barren and childless…” (Judges 13:3) Of course, the Angel didn’t just come and tell her what she already knew, it was to prepare the ground for what was to follow.

 
The first lesson I learnt here is that no matter what we are going through, God knows. He is aware of every little detail of our lives. It is God’s prerogative to intervene within a short while, after a long while or not at all. In the case of Manoah’s wife, God chose her for the miraculous birth of one of the greatest judges of Israel. Continuing his address, the angel said, “..but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.”

 
Time and time again, we see God disrupting the natural processes of nature so His divine purposes are accomplished. In this case, God was raising a man who would deliver the Israelites who were at the time being oppressed by the Philistines.
The Second lesson I learnt is that while God is always willing and able to change the circumstances in our lives, we have a part to play. Immediately the Angel breaks the news to the woman, he gives specific instructions, “So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.” (Judges 13: 4-5)

As we will learn later, the Angel’s words came to pass and Samson was born. In verse 25, we read, “And the Lord blessed him as he grew up.”  We can deduce from this verse that the parents , especially the mother followed everything she had been instructed to do concerning the child.

 
There things that God has blessed us with, gifts that he has given to us. We have a responsibility to use those gifts to spread God’s love, joy and peace with the people around us…but are we?

 
Are we seeking to have things just for the thrill of it or to rub shoulders with celebrities and the high and mighty in society?  We have a responsibility to be salt and light to people around us whether they are Christians or not. Samson’s mother knew that the boy was not meant to be exclusively hers but was destined to be God’s instrument to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.
Are you willing to share what God has given to you so that others can experience God’s deliverance and salvation?

 

(To be continued)

 

Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, steve@biblepraise.org