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The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide

Samson and Delilah
Artist: Aaron Hicks
USA, Contemporary

Interpreter: Mona Bagasao Cave

Many people who may not know the biblical source of the story of Samson and Delilah still know the basic plot. It is a tale of betrayal, ruin, and redemption. Samson betrays his heritage; Delilah betrays him; Samson is ruined then redeemed and finally causes the ruin of those who sought to destroy him. It often happens that when I see an artist’s rendition of some element of a particular story, I gain a new perspective. So it is with Aaron Hicks’s beautifully realistic painting of Samson and Delilah. Here is Delilah — calmly, perhaps emotionlessly, cutting Samson’s hair — removing from him the strength which has plagued her people and protected his. But the focus I see in this piece is not Delilah’s hair trimming. It is Samson at rest. The man who had so much — so much strength, so much calling, so much work to do — chose to rest somewhere he knew he should not. I couldn’t help but think of so many of us who have so much to do for the betterment of the world, for the growth of God’s dominion — indeed for good! But we turn for rest to places we know we should not. These places may not be particularly evil; they’re just not the right place. We’ve been told exactly where we should go for the best, the perfect rest in these words of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, NIV). Whenever we are tired from all the good things we’re doing, Jesus reminds us that we can look for rest in his loving presence.
Come back each day to read the daily Upper Room: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Before you begin:  Sit quietly for 30 seconds or so to settle your spirit.  Take a few deep breaths and get comfortable.
Read:  Open your Bible and read the portion of scripture suggested beside the date.  After you read, pause to think about the passage.  What comes to mind?  What in it got your attention?
Quoted Verse:  The quoted verse relates to the central point of the day's meditation.  Read it slowly and think about its meaning for you.  Once or twice a week you might memorize a quoted verse.
"Story":  These meditations are written by people from around the world.  After you read the main part of the page, ask yourself, "How do this person's words connect with my life?"
Prayer:  To end your quiet time, pray the prayer at the bottom of the page.  You may want to add to it, mentioning people or situations that come to mind during your reflection.
Thought for the Day:  This element invites you to respond or sums up an idea from the day's reading.  Repeat the thought a few times and recall it through-
out the day to remind yourself of what you heard from God.
Link2Life:  This suggests ways to connect your life of prayer with your life in the world.  L2L may suggest Web sites to visit; however, we do not endorse any site.  Readers should use their own judgment about acting on information they may find.
Prayer Focus:  This suggests a subject for continuing prayer after your devotional time, joining with believers around the world in doing so.
To start a meeting:  Online is a list of current meditations by subject and dir-
ections for using them to begin meetings at:  devotional.upperroom.org/resources/