The Holy Spirit - Learning from Judges
‘We are weak but He is strong’ (Church Hymnary, 418). In himself, Gideon was weak (Judges 6:15). In the Lord, he was ‘a mighty warrior’. Gideon was full of questions. God said to him, ‘Go... I will be with you’ (Judges 6:12-16). Our true strength does not come from ourselves. It comes from the Lord - ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). Gideon’s true strength came from ‘the Spirit of the Lord’ (Judges 6:34). We must always remember Jesus’ words, ‘Without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). Consider Gideon’s weakness. Consider your own weakness. Rejoice in God’s power. Never say, ‘My own hand delivered me’. Our testimony must always be this: ‘...God has given...’(Judges 7:2,14). ‘It is the gift of God...lest any man should boast’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Samson’s birth was announced by an angel. Jesus’ birth was announced by angels (Judges 13:3; Luke 1:30-33; 2:8-14). Samson’s death was a great triumph over the Philistines. Jesus’ death brought the greatest triumph of all - victory over Satan (Judges 16:30; Hebrews 2:14-15). The story of Samson points us to the greater Story of Jesus. There is, however, a great difference between Samson and Jesus. Often, Samson was concerned only with what pleased him (Judges 14:3,7). Always, Jesus did the will of God (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me’ (Luke 4:18) - We expect these words from Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God. When, however, we read that ‘the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon’ Samson (14:6), we rejoice in the grace of God - ‘while we were yet sinners... the Holy Spirit has been given to us’ (Romans 5:8,5).
‘This man receives sinners’ (Luke 15:2). These are the words of legalistic Pharisees. They were intended as an insult. They are also words of divine grace: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:15). Samson was a sinner. There is no question about that. Is he any different from the rest of us? - ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Samson was a sinner yet, ‘the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him’ (Judges 14:19). We are sinners. Christ died for us. God has given us His Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). This is divine grace. Samson often wandered. Still, the Lord was at work in him. Prompted by the Spirit, Samson ‘called on the Lord’. Samson was ‘very thirsty’. He prayed. He was ‘revived’ (Judges 15:18-19). ‘Wilt Thou not revive us again...? (Psalm 85:6). Pray for revival!