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Strength Lost and Restored.

Strength Lost and Restored.

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Published by glennpease
BY HENRY J. BEVIS.


"Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow....."
Judges xvi. 22.
BY HENRY J. BEVIS.


"Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow....."
Judges xvi. 22.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 09, 2013
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STREGTH LOST AD RESTORED.BY HERY J. BEVIS."Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow....."Judges xvi. 22.Wb are about to direct your attention to some pas-sages in the life of one of the most remarkablechampions of Israel* A man in covenant with God ;who broke that covenant by his sins ; but to whomat last the symbol of the covenant was restored.I. The right reloHon of man to God is ihe condition cf his real streng^i.There were many remarkable circumstances con^nected with the birth of Samson ; and the angel whoappeared to his mother gave her most minute direc-tions about the training of the child, that thus hemight be fitted for the great work to which he wasdesignated. The mother was to be separated that thechild might be consecrated to God. He was to be aazarite from his birth, no razor was to come on hishead, his unshorn locks were to be the symbol of hisbeing in covenant with God. When he grew up, hewas to make the act of consecration his own ; to bea dedicated man ; to perpetuate his personal relationto God, and to cherish the outward symbol of theStrength Lost and Restored. ziicovenant, having learnt the secret of his strength.You look back and think of some true, loving woman,you were proud to call your mother. You rememberher unfeigned faith. You can never forget how oftenyou overheard her prayers on your behalf, — ^you even
 
remember when you stood at her knees, and shetaught you to pray. When years passed away, yousaid, " O Lord, truly I am thy servant and the son of thine handmaid ; thou hast loosed my bonds." Youmade the act of consecration your own; you re-nounced in your own name " the world, the flesh, andthe devil." You subscribed with your hand unto theLord ; you called yourself by the name of Jacob, andsumamed yourself by the name of Israel ; you liftedup your hand unto the Lord. Where there is a rightrelation to God, there is personal dedication, and asthe result, there will be separateness and sanctity.The consecrated man was to be temperate and chaste,to avoid ever3^hing that would defile him, — all ex-cesses and uncleanness, to live a life of self-denialand self-sacrifice, to ketp his garments unspotted bythe flesh, and to keep himself unspotted from theworld. You are not to suffer the flesh to overshadowthe spirit. You are to " abstain from fleshly lusts,which war against the soul;" to mortify your mem-bers which are upon the earth; and to ''keep yourbody under and bring it into subjection." ''I beseechyou therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, thatye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, accept-P2212 Strength Lost and Restored.able unto God, which is your reasonable service. Andbe not conformed to this world; but be ye trans-formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye mayprove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfectwill of God." The Divine presence will be recog-nised by the man who stands in a right relation toGod, — ^the true strength of the man is in God. TheSpirit of the "Lord came upon Samson, — moving himat times, rousing him to activity, — stirring up his
 
whole nature to great and heroic deeds, and givinghim strength to do them. You realise the Divinepresence. You can say, " I have set the Lordalways before me ; because he is at my right hand Ishall not be moved." God is with you in all eventsand circumstances, — in all conflicts and victories, — in life and in death.II. This relation to God may be weakened and broken^and then the strength of the man departs.This may be the result of an unhallowed alliance. Thiswas the first wrong step on the part of Samson.What had he, a azarite, a man specially in cove-nant with God, to do with the Philistines? Whyshould he enter into an alliance with them, and takefor his wife the daughter of the uncircumsised, theenemies of God and of his own nation ? Marriage isthe oldest human institute, and the one that has beenmost perverted and abused. In many instances thetwo never become one — and never can become one — ^butmust remain in awful separateness and loneliness.Strength Lost and Restored. 213Their souls never touch each other at any point. Inmany instances this relation is not the earthly shadowand symbol of a great and solemn mystery. In manyinstances there are no true affinities — no real, abidinglove. Marriage is sometimes created by mere excite-ment or passion, — it is based on prudential or merce-nary motives. Where there are no mental or moralfitnesses, these ill-assorted matches become the preg-nant source of the miseries and wretchedness thatabound in the world. Let us read the words of aninspired man on this subject : " Be ye not unequallyyoked together with unbelievers ; for what fellowshiphath righteousness with unrighteousness ? And what

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