|Theme: The Prayer for Replenishment|
|Focus on: Samson|
|Reading Portion(s): Judges 14 & 15|
|– Important Background Information|
|– Helps you find strength in God|
|What this article teaches you|
|Great victories are won by God’s servants when they are filled with the power of the Spirit of the Lord. During such moments and events of Spirit-empowered ministering the servant of the Lord will not feel any fatigue. But once the event is over he can be suddenly overcome by exhaustion. From dizzying heights of spiritual victory the servant of the Lord is suddenly brought down to the common and ordinary level of human existence.
This is the real time of testing. It is the time when the enemy can easily topple the servant of the Lord. He might have been victorious in the great battle. But he can easily succumb to the lesser test of exhaustion. He needs replenishment of strength now. It is here many fall: Not during the battle; but after the battle has been fought and victory won. So a wise servant of the Lord would pray for replenishment of strength after the battle. This replenishment will give him strength to continue and not fall.
Attacks and counter-attacks! Judges chapter 15 is the story of attacks and counter-attacks.
Samson had married a young Philistine woman. He had posed a riddle before the thirty companions he was given during the customary feast. But they put pressure on her to coax Samson to tell her the answer to the riddle. She found out the answer and passed it on to the thirty. They in turn told Samson the answer to the riddle. He told them that they were able to answer only because they had got the help of his wife. He, by the power of the Spirit of the Lord upon him, went and killed thirty men and gave their clothes to his thirty companions who had explained the riddle. Thus he kept his part of the bargain.
But Samson burned with anger. He went back to his father’s house. Later, during the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. But in the meantime his wife had been given to the friend who had attended him at his wedding. When Samson came to know of this he thought that this was an opportunity to really get revenge on the Philistines. So he caught three hundred foxes, tied them tail to tail in pairs, fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the fields of the Philistines.
The Philistines found out the reason quickly. In their anger, they went up and burned Samson’s wife and her father to death. Samson had used fire to destroy. The Philistines also used fire to burn his wife and her father to death. Attack and counter-attack!
Samson did not sit still. He found yet another reason in this incident to attack the Philistines again. And attack he did! He attacked them viciously and killed many. Then he went and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam. And then the Philistines came to take Samson prisoner. He was handed bound to the Philistines by the men of Judah.
When he approached Lehi the Philistines came toward him shouting. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power. The ropes lost their strength as when charred by fire and the bindings dropped from his hands. Then he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey. He grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. He said that with a donkey’s jawbone he had made donkeys of the Philistines. After that he threw the jawbone down.
A jawbone was used by Samson to kill a thousand valiant men! Some things are noteworthy here. First of all, he never had time to choose a good weapon. Secondly, none might have been available. Thirdly, his fellow Israelites from the tribe of Judah not only did not help him but also handed him over to the Philistines to be killed. So he was alone against a thousand men.
Yet out of that most unlikely weapon of a donkey’s jawbone he killed a thousand men. We need not seek far to find the secret of this great feat: The secret was that the Spirit of the Lord had come upon him in power. When the Spirit of the Lord thus empowers a man, any simple available thing could be used to bring glory to God.
Yet this fight left Samson exhausted and very thirsty. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are men and not machines. Even though we battle in the power of the Spirit of the Lord, we are still subject to hunger and thirst. We might be strengthened to do some great feats by the Spirit of the Lord like how Samson was enabled to do in this incident. We may not be aware of our physical needs during those intense moments of battle. Yet as soon as the weapon is thrown down once the fight is over, we are suddenly made conscious of the fact that we are exhausted. Out of the sphere of the spiritual we are suddenly brought down to the common plane of the physical.
Samson cried out to the Lord. He told that it was God who had given him this great victory. He acknowledged that he was God’s servant. He also reasoned with God. He asked God whether he should now die of thirst and fall into the hands of unbelievers?
This is a significant prayer. It is a prayer that is not so common. It would surprise us to note that Samson never prayed during the battle. No cry went up from his lips during the moments of the battle. And it would be quite right to think that it might have taken some time to kill a thousand men. The battle never frightened him because he was aware of the great strength he had because the Spirit of the Lord had come upon him in power. But his prayer or cry came immediately after he had exulted in his victory and he had thrown the jawbone down.
There is a lesson here. Servants of God sometimes find no need to pray during some great event they undertake for God. This is because they are so assured of God’s presence, power and help during the event. It could be preaching, teaching or organizing a meeting. They would be so focussed and in right relationship with God that no need for special prayer is felt. And again the event, like this battle that Samson fought, would occupy the mind so much that there is not much time to think of praying.
But reality strikes once the event is over. You feel happy that the event really went well. And then you feel the thirst. You suddenly find yourself being a common man. Then it is good to cry out to God to replenish your strength. If you don’t cry out thus, this exhaustion can defeat you. What the great battle could not do to defeat you will be accomplished by your fatigue. That would be a great tragedy indeed.
God heard the cry of Samson. And miraculously He opened up the hollow place in Lehi. Water came out of it. Samson drank and his strength returned. He revived. God always listens to such a cry. But many servants of God are pulled down to defeat by exhaustion after a great event simply because they don’t cry out to God for replenishment for their spent energies. We should be humble enough to realize that we are human beings and not machines.
Make sure that you cry out to God for replenishment as soon as a great event for God is over. As soon as you put down the instrument of your victory seek God for replenishment. Without that a physical need like thirst can destroy what you have worked for so faithfully. So be humble to cry out to God for replenishment.