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Connect the Testaments

May 9: Success Deceives
Judges 15:1–17:13; Philippians 4:2–9; Psalm 69:18–70:5
When leaders come to power, there are always people who become insistent on stopping them. It’s incredible how easy it is for people to justify envy or hatred for authority figures. Most of us have made the offhand remark, “I hate that guy.” And in those words, even when they’re meant in jest, we reveal the motives of the human heart. But this doesn’t represent who we’re meant to be—people who live for others.
Samson, an Israelite judge, endured that fate. A young warrior, he had enemies who wanted him dead and would do nearly anything to bring him down—spiritually or physically. The Philistines who opposed him went so far as to burn his wife and her father alive (Judg 15:6). Samson brought these trials on himself by disobeying God and marrying a foreign wife who would ultimately lead him to worship foreign gods. Even so, the acts of violence against him were not just his own doing.
The Philistines, like many people today, didn’t like to see an enemy succeed. They were envious and frustrated, and they weren’t used to being second to anyone.
There are lessons here for all of us no matter where we’re at in life. If we succeed, we should be thrilled when others do the same. We should try to help them succeed in the work God has called them to, designated specifically for them. If you have yet to come into that realm of success, you should be excited when others do, for the same reasons. Whatever your position in life, set aside the obstacles of envy or hatred. Set your sight on the work God has called you to and encourage those around you who are working toward theirs.
How can you help others succeed in God’s work? How can you set your sight on your own work without becoming envious?
John D. Barry


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

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