I have always liked the story of Samson. How God gave him such great strength that allowed him to do some amazing things. Equally astounding is how when his hair is cut, he loses his strength. I mean doesn’t strength come from muscles? But then again the fact that Delilah kept asking where his strength comes from makes me question those pictures they showed me in Sunday school of him. I mean he looked like a WWE wrestler and it would be pretty obvious where his strength was coming from. Really though his strength came from God and I think Samson lost site of this. He placed his trust in himself and he lost everything.
Micah does the same thing in the next few chapters. He puts his trust in religion and not God, even going so far as to have an idol, shrine and a personal priest.
“”I know the Lord will bless me now,” Micah said, “because I have a Levite serving as my priest.”” Judges 17:13 NLT
Of course we see this fail as well later in the next chapter when all of those things are taken from him. In Luke, the parable of the prodigal son, it is more of the same. A man trusting in his own wisdom and way of doing things. I remember wanting to get out on my own, wanting to break away from my parents, but I can’t imagine actually asking for my inheritance while they are still alive. I mean that is some serious gall and pride. Of course as we have heard pride goes before the fall. And fall he did.
“The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one game him anything.” Luke 15:16 NLT
The good news is that when Samson and the prodigal son finally come to their senses and in humility ask for forgiveness, God redeems them. Throughout the bible, old and new testament alike, we see a God who is ready and wanting to bless and redeem. I have witnessed this my own life as well. Not that life is always or ever easy, but when I am trusting in His strength and not in my own, the burden is a little lighter and I find that he blesses me. Those blessing come in many different ways, but they are there. So if I want to be blessed, I need to be searching out my heart making sure that my trust is in Him. Not in my job, money, family, relationship, ….. fill in the blank. Not that any of those are bad, but anything other than God is just a substitute and will in the end leave me wanting.