OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL. SUNDAY 3 MAY 2015. THEME : THE AGONY OF A BACKSLIDER.

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MEMORISE : Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and
do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. REVELATION 2 : 5.

READ : JUDGES 16 : 18 – 21.
18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called
for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed
me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and
brought money in their hand.
19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she
caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict
him, and his strength went from him.
20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his
sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he
wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to
Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison
house.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : 1 SAMUEL 1 : 1 – 2 : 36 AND MARK 2 : 13 – 28.

In today’s Bible reading, we see the agony of a backslider manifested in the
loss of Samson’s eyes. To lose one’s physical, intellectual or spiritual vision is
very agonising. Samson, a Nezarite of God from the womb, broke the covenant
of his calling first as an Israelite and then as a Nazarite. With reference to
the inhabitants of the land of Canaan such as the Philistines, God in
Deuteronomy 7 : 3 had thus commanded the children of Isreal :
“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not
give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”
Contrary to this instruction, Samson went to seek the hand of a Philistine
woman in marriage. When his parents tried to guide him back to the right path,
he in Judges 14 : 3 said :
“….. Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.”
“Also, concerning Nazarites such as Samson, God in Numbers 6:6 had thus
commanded:
“All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead
body.”
But the devil ensnared Samson with honey in the carcass of a dead lion he had
killed. In the process of collecting honey to eat, he ended up defiling himself
( Judges 14 : 8 – 9 ).

Many children of God are, like Samson, erring in the choice of a marriage
partner. Some have been destroyed by their appetite, because they could not
resist the devil when he asked them to turn stone to bread by sleeping with a
personnel manager to secure a job. To such people, the end justifies the
means, but the question is: can this temporary “respite” be worth the agony of
backsliding? One lesson we must quickly learn is that, the moment a Christian
begins to slide backward into his or her old way of life or into things that God
frowns at, he or she loses the power of spiritual vision. Such a fellow beings to
wallow in darkness of untold agony. After the last straw that broke the back
of Samson’s spiritual camel was engaged, the Bible in Judges 16 : 20 says :
“…. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times
before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from
him.”
Alas, the process of Samson’s downfall was complete and his eyes were put out.
The worst thing that happened to Samson was that he died with his enemies;
hence, he could not be considered a victor. My prayer for you is that you will
not backslide in Jesus’ Name.

ACTION POINT :
Search your life to see if there are ways you have been backsliding unnoticed.
Make amends and ask God to restore you back to your first love for Him.

AUTHOR : Pst. E . A ADEBOYE.

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