WEDNESDAY March 20, 2019
Stripped of Power
Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people present with him, about six hundred men.
1 Samuel 13:15
Saul suffered the consequences of his own foolishness and sin. Not only did he lose his kingship, his troops decreased dramatically. In the battle against the Ammonites, there were 330,000 fighting men of Israel (1 Samuel 11:8). Saul chose for himself 3,000 men; most deserted––fled. They scattered and hid in caves, rocks and holes––anywhere they could find. God stripped Saul of his men, and he only had 600 weak men left!
When his men saw the weakness of his leadership, how could they remain? Saul was no longer being led by God. Who was going to follow such a man? Both Saul and his army had deteriorated, all because of the king’s pride and stupidity––it happens all the time.
Samson was a judge in Israel, and he also became a foolish man. When God’s Spirit came upon Samson, he received strength. On one occasion, he killed 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:14-17). It was God’s strength that helped Samson overcome the Philistines.
Samson often failed to obey God’s law. He visited Delilah––a prostitute. After he allowed lust to rule his life, the Lord departed from him. Delilah betrayed him into the hands of the Philistine lords. Samson’s strength was gone, and his enemies overcame him. They plucked out his eyes, and he became sport for his enemies. It was not until Samson cried out to the Lord that God, in his mercy and grace, gave him back his strength one more time before his death (Judges 16:20-35).
We need to pay close attention to the lessons learned in these storie, so we do not make the same mistakes.
Are you sure you want your personality taken over by One who will require obedience to the written Word? …Who will strip away from you many loved objects which secretly harm your soul? Unless you can answer … yes…You may want the thrill of the victory or the power, but you do not want to be filled with the Spirit.
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