5The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life. (Psalm 121:5-7. ESV.)
The children's bible study this week is on pride with a focus on Samson. Each Sunday they bring home their weekly, lesson study guide (plus they pick events out of God's word to read, we do memory verses, they draw a picture of what they read, and then we pray. The verses above are the new ones on which they started working today.)
The telling of Samson is dear to me because I feel it is a great reminder of how easy it is to get ensnared by the sin of pride and fall because of it. Judges 16 tells of Samson and the strength with which the Lord blessed him. It also tells of Delilah with whom Samson fell in love.
18When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up again, for he has told me all his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, "I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him. 21And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. 22But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. (Judges 16:18-22. ESV.)
I can relate to Samson in that I too struggle terribly with being proud. As I mentioned before, it is difficult for me to accept help. I have an, "I can do it all by myself" mentality which has caused me to suffer dearly. As the Lord would have it I was placed into (and continue in) a situation where I am forced to get assistance from others. I absolutely cannot do it on my own and I have had to humble myself incredibly (even to the point of tears) and reach out to other individuals. It was so hard to even look them in the eye I was so embarrassed. And still I wait on the Lord and His divine orchestration for an outcome.
After at least 10 years of trying to handle my tribulation in my own wisdom and strength, depending on myself to make things right, and closing off to family and friends (for things only the Lord can give through His servants) I was broken and lowly. God knew EXACTLY what it was going to take to get me to stretch out my hand, open up, and not be so hard to read.
I have always "prided" myself on how quickly I am willing to serve others…to assist someone in their time of need. Yet, I could not receive. How gross is that? Can you see the arrogance just oozing from my pores?
I still feel a bit of discomfort when I am in receipt of God's precious provisions through those I know…but I am getting better. I continue to have a tendency to attempt to "fix" things on my own…but God has told me (as He did the sea), "Here your proud waves must stop." (Job 38:11.)
…who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples, (Psalm 65:7. ESV.)
You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them. (Psalm 89:9. ESV.)
Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the LORD on high is mighty! (Psalm 93:4. ESV.)
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31. ESV.)