“So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.” Judges 16:12
God gives us strength we as humans could not possibly imagine. The spiritual strength he gives us stretches into the events of life from time to time.
Take Samson, who had all kinds of strength and did very well as long has he realized the strength came from God and was to be used for God’s purposes. He gives us lessons we can use today when he strayed away from God and lost his strength.
God promises to do great things. He wants to walk with us as His people and makes promise after promise He will always deliver.
“O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. ~ Ps 98:1
Whether the bonds binding our arms are snapped in a spiritual or a physical way, we must rely on God in all things, and we will be like the Olympic weightlifters. We will be able to lift things we never thought would rise. We will be able to bear things we never thought we could bear. And we can do things we never thought we could do. And not just in an individual way.
There is an amazing account in the Bible about a battle being fought by the people of Israel. Things were going well as long as Moses held up his arms with God’s staff visible to the people below. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but when his hands dropped, the Amalekites were winning. As his arms became tired, a man stood on each side and held his arms up.
What an illustration of the people of God working together for great things. It takes all of us to do the things God has in mind. When we are not at church or in ministry, we think it doesn’t matter. But it does. Together we assist one another to do worship, feed the poor, help those in need and love God and neighbor.
God is not in the business of ordinary. We can warm a pew now and then if we want to. We can pray once a week or month or year. We can turn to God twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, or some random time of need.
Finding miracles and the blessings that follow takes strong arms powered by the grace and love of God. All the time, every day, every week, we can bring ourselves and our families to see what God can do and let them be amazed.They will not see unless they approach God, and become the friends and family with the constant relationship He has in mind.
This account of Moses holding his hands up is miraculous enough, but things can get bigger with God, and they do.
Look at this moment when Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still so they could finish winning a major battle.
3 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! ~Joshua 10:13-14
Now that’s big. Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still for 24 hours at noon. There are some accounts that NASA, when mapping space expeditions, ran into a missing day or time gap that they could not understand. Interesting reading and not difficult for an all-powerful God to do.
If God will stop the sun for His people, just think how easily He can lift our spirits. Imagine how He can heal and restore our bodies and spirits. And, if we dare, to accomplish great things with our arms and souls that wax miraculously in this world that is in great need of God’s holy actions.
We must stretch out our arms, as God prompts us to bless the world. Keeping arms crossed is a sign of disengagement, even possibly disapproval. Raising his arms made it possible for Moses and his people to cross the Red Sea on dry land. The arms of Jesus were nailed to the cross to achieve our salvation.
I Corinthians 16:23 says, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
The message, a paraphrase of scripture, puts it this way for our purposes today. “Our master Jesus has His arms wide open for you.”
What a blessing for you and me, dear reader.