(This is Part 4 of our devotional series “Press – The Musical”.)
Good morning, peeps!
“And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.” – Judges 14:9 KJV
“All things are working for my good ~ ‘Cause He’s intentional ~ Never Failing” – from “Intentional” by Travis Greene
Read Judges 14. Don’t really have the time this morning? Okay. I’ll give you the CliffNotes version. This chapter is about Samson and his wife-gettin’. He saw a woman in Timnath and thought, “Yeah, now THAT’S what I’m talking about!” He tells his parents this and they are not one bit pleased because this woman is a Philistine. If you’ve read Scripture, you know that was a big no-no: they steered clear of those folks. They were like, “You mean, you can’t even find any of your kind good enough for you that you had to go and get you a Philistine?” What they didn’t know is that God was using this as a way to get into the Philistine camp so that HE could destroy them and guess what? Samson didn’t know what God was trying to do, either. So, Samson tells them this is his boo and on his way to see her, a lion runs up on him and Samson kills it.
Man. This feels like a bible study.
I looked at the lion and at Samson and thought, “Hmm. They did what was natural and it ended badly for both of them.” So, whatever plain Samson was walking in had to be the lion’s territory – his domain. On any given day, the lion was killing and chomping down on somethin’ there – either out of his need for food or his duty of protecting his territory. Look at Samson: both the fetchin’ of this woman and killing the lion were also instinct for him. They responded to life and life wasn’t exactly kind to either of them. You may look at the story and think, “Well, Samson seemed to come out on top. It was the lion who died.” But who wants to be attacked, especially by a lion? Samson just wanted his woman.
“And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion…”
Yesterday, I left y’all with “I joined church when I was 4 and have been jacked up ever since: my living water got polluted”. Probably didn’t give you the boost you were looking for to start your day. Last night, I told God, “This doesn’t really feel like a devotional series and it really ain’t all that encouraging. I thought that was the whole point of devotionals: to encourage somebody. This ain’t. I feel like You’ve got me telling my life story.” What was impressed upon my heart was that sometimes you have to give people the ugly past in order for them to appreciate the beautiful present. When Samson ran up on the lion’s carcass, he met his past head-on. I’m sure there was an alternate route he could’ve taken, but there he was. Can you imagine what went through Samson’s mind as he approached it? I’m sure being a guy he was probably filled with some macho pride, but have you ever thought of the possibility that seeing the carcass also brought back memories of how horrific it was to be attacked? That he relived what had happened to him? Who wants to tell someone that?
“…and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.”
There’s a song that says “You don’t know my story, so you don’t understand my praise”. I told y’all before I started this devotional series that I was going to be at my most transparent. I kinda meant it. Well, I meant it, but I was still going to try and hold some things back. We do that don’t we? We tell God that we want to be used by Him, but hold up a minute…can we not use that? No, honey (ha). God uses it all – to free others. Even the stuff that people try to hold against you for life, the very things that those others try to imprison you with, is there to free them. I write devotionals five days a week and every single drop of them is gleaned from my past. That’s what God uses and I truly believe that I went through all of it for someone else. Nothing in my life has been happenstance. It’s intentional and God set it in place so that it could help someone.
“Say it again ~ say all things are working for my good ~ yeah ~ ‘cause He’s intentional ~ never failing”
I was told one time that there is someone out there who is waiting for me to tell my story. My story is ugly, y’all. There is a lot of pollution and death in it. So much so, that I shudder ever time it is presented to me. There was something God told me this morning, though: honey can still come out of it. God taps into my testimony – into those areas of pollution and death – and brings forth sweet things that even I on my most creative day couldn’t come up with. You would not believe how many times I have looked over the day’s post and said, “Wait a minute. I typed that??”
I did type it, but it didn’t come from me. Only God can bring honey out of a carcass.