A fully updated edition of Spurgeon’s morning and evening devotional The Interpreter using the ESV.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Year One, July 15

He Gives Power To the Faint1
Samson’s marriage led to a complicated argument. He ended up burning wheat fields belonging to the Philistines by tying flaming torches on the tails of foxes and also killing many of his enemies. He then left and camped at the top of a rock call Etam. But God gave him only a little rest, because there were many more Philistines for Samson to conquer.
Judges 15:9-20
9Then the Philistines came up and encamped in Judah and made a raid on Lehi. (This was probably the valley below the stronghold Samson used to protect himself. It was later named Lehi, or the place of the jawbone.) 10And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” They said, “We have come up to bind Samson, to do to him as he did to us. (The men of Judah had become almost like slaves. They cringed with fear before their harsh masters. Sin makes men cowards.)
11Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” (What a depressing sight! These cowards act like friends of their persecutors and the enemy of their best friend. Could things be any worse than to talk this way to this great champion?) And he said to them, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.” 12And they said to him, “We have come down to bind you, that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” (False brothers are our worst enemies. They will ruin us when our enemies cannot. Beware of hypocrites.) And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not attack me yourselves.” 13They said to him, “No; we will only bind you and give you into their hands. We will surely not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock. (Does this not remind us of our Lord who was bound by those whom he came to save and then turned over to his enemies?)
14When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. (This shout came a little too soon. It was quickly turned into a shriek of horror and then into the silence of death.) Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. 15And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. (The weapon used did not matter much. The power was in the arm. The Lord can use the weakest to overcome the strongest.) 16And Samson said,
“With the jawbone of a donkey,
heaps upon heaps,
with the jawbone of a donkey
have I struck down a thousand men.”
Like our greater Champion, who exclaimed, “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me.”2
17As soon as he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand. And that place was called Ramath-lehi. (Which means either the throwing away of the jawbone or the hill of the jawbone.)
18And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the LORD and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” (Samson knew how to pray and to pray in faith too. This was the saving point in his character.) 19And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore (the fountain of him who prayed); it is at Lehi (or the place called Jawbone), to this day. (God helps his servants in big situations, but sometimes he strengthens their faith by bringing smaller tests into their lives. But he will not leave them alone even in their minor difficulties. He quenched Samson’s thirst by bringing a refreshing spring of water right where the jawbone fell from the hero’s hand. God never runs low on power. We have only to trust him, and we shall do great things, and receive great things.) 20And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. (He used his skill and bravery to defeat Israel’s enemies and bring peace to the land. God used Samson to show Israel that he could make one man chase a thousand and two to make ten thousand run away.)
1 Isaiah 40:29
2 Isaiah 63:3

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