Invite Wise Counsel

Community tags

This challenge has 0 tags that match your profile.

Related Content

2 1
Costing Everything
Samson's life ends with him in custody and being blinded by the Philistines. The Philistines are having this celebration and a worship service to their false God. They decided they want to bring Samson out into the temple for entertainment to mock him, and Sampson is stood next to the pillars that are supporting the temple. In Judges Chapter 16:28, Samson prays, and he prays to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” So, we see Samson do something that we haven't seen him do yet: he prays. He seems to finally acknowledge that all of his strength comes from God that he is dependent upon God. He's part way there, but he still doesn't humble himself. He doesn't repent. He says, “Remember me, strengthened me. Let me with one blow get revenge on my enemies from my two eyes.”  He's not focused on the mission God has for him. But it’s not just about recognizing our dependence on God and asking God for help. It's about surrendering and submitting your life to him and saying, “God, I want to live for. I want my purpose in life to be to glorify you and to fulfill the mission that you have for me.” We see with Samson that his life ends with him being humiliated, but he isn't humble. And so the challenge for us is to recognize our dependence on God and ask for his help to humble ourselves before him, by acknowledging our weaknesses and understanding that our strength is found in him alone.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: When in life do you most struggle with being humble and recognizing your dependence on God? How does Samson’s story change the way you view pride?
2 0
Doing the Same Things
In Judges 15, we find that Samsung has led Israel for 20 years, but after 20 years, it doesn't seem that much has changed in his life. Chapter 16 begins this way: One day, Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute. He went to spend the night with her. So, Samson is 20 years older, but he's still not checking his blind spots. 20 years later, he is struggling with the same stuff and continuing to run into the same problems that are running him off the road.  We read that Delilah goes to betray Samson to gain incredible riches by telling the secret of his amazing strength. Samson was in the same situation 20 years earlier, where the Philistines are trying to get him to give up a secret. There were all kinds of warnings for Samson, but he never recognizes them or learns from his mistakes. And so, Delilah eventually coerces him into telling the secret of his strength - cutting his hair (verse 15).  Samson’s pride, combined with his actual physical strength, had convinced him that he had other strengths that really weren't there. He was so confident in one area of his life that it made him confident in all areas of his life. He began to think he wasn’t going to get caught up in the same things that other people get caught up. Despite all the examples and situations that he has seen throughout his own life, he still believes the negative consequences aren’t going to happen to him.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: When have you found yourself repeating the same mistake that you have in the past? Why do you think you continue this pattern when you know the negative outcome?
2 0
Offended and Vengeful
As Judges 14 comes to a close, Samson’s wedding to the woman from Timnah is drawing near, and Samson has challenged the 30 groomsmen with a riddle in which the loser has to provide clothes to the winner. The groomsmen are able to solve the riddle since they are able to get Samson’s fiancé to tell them the answer after threatening to kill her and her family if she doesn't help them. In response, Judges 14:19-20 tells us: “He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home. And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.”  When he finds out this news, he's offended, and he's ready to enact some revenge. We keep waiting for Samson to bravely and selflessly fulfill his destiny, accept his mission, and help his people find freedom, but it just never happens. Upon hearing that his father-in-law has married off his bride-to-be, he goes out, catches 300 foxes, ties them in pairs by their tails, and lets them loose in the field. There are several examples in Samson's life, such as these, where we see that he is constantly getting caught off guard by his blind spots. He is petty. He is prideful. He is selfish. He is easily offended.  However, we find that God is still accomplishing his purposes along the way. Remember that Samson was set apart from birth to help lead the people of Israel out from the Philistines. Samson, although he acts petty, vengeful, and selfish at times, also knocks out the economic foundation for the entire nation. So, God's still using him, even though Samson's heart is not aligned with God. DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: Is there someone or a particular situation in your life that you find yourself being easily offended by? How can you lean on God more to have a better response?
2 0
Compromise Followed By Cover Up
We read in Judges 14 that Samson starts to take part in activities that are against his Nazarite vow. He walks through a vineyard even though he is not supposed to touch fruit of the vine, and eats honeycomb from the inside of a lion’s carcass. It is interesting to note that verse six tells us that he didn't tell his parents about any of this. He doesn't include it when he discusses what has happened throughout his day. He is making compromises, even though they seem small to him, that lead him to cover up what he has done. Oftentimes, areas of compromise are followed by coverup.  Now, some areas of compromise are inevitable. We will find ourselves taking shortcuts, and compromises are going to be a part of our lives. No one's going to be perfect in this area. When compromise comes, do you cover it up? Do you have a pattern of compromise and then cover up? That should be a huge warning sign to us. And for Samson, these just seem like little things that aren’t a big deal. It's this idea of you checking your side view mirror and noticing there is something in your blind spot. It can seem really small and far away to where you probably don't pay much attention to it. And that's the mistake. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. It probably seemed justifiable in the moment, but later was regrettable.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTION: When have you justified a seemingly small compromise? What were the later consequences of this compromise?