Discernment – The Lack of It

Our theme for the month at school is discernment.  I defined it as making choices guided by God.  To receive this guidance we need to read and study God’s Word.  Having discernment will keep us out of a lot of trouble.  Samson and Moses are two Bible examples who show the results of having or not having discernment.

Samson was specially chosen by God before he was born (Judges 13).  An angel spoke to Samson’s parents and told them that they would have a son.  This son was consecrated for the Lord’s work from birth.  Samson was the strongest man, so it would seem like he had it made.  He had a special work to do for God and the strength to do it.  It looks like that should be a life of blessedness, but Samson’s lack of discernment destroyed that blessing.

The first thing we see Samson doing shows a lack of discernment.  He looked at Philistine women for a wife.  He found one and got married.  At the wedding he gave a riddle.  His wife told the answer to the other men.  Samson exhibited another lack of discernment – he got angry and went to his parents.  The result of this lack of discernment is that his wife was given to another man – he lost his wife (Judges 14).

He didn’t learn from that experience and got involved with another Philistine woman.  The result of this relationship was that she betrayed him to other men who bound him in chains.  They took out his eyes and made him work like an animal.  Because he had no discernment, he did not realize that God’s Spirit had left him.  His lack of discernment spoiled his relationship with God.  It also brought a lot of trouble and heartache.  In the last moments of his life he had enough discernment to call to the Lord for help.  With the strength God gave him, he destroyed a building and 3000 people (Judges 16).

Samson’s life did not produce much for God.  His lack of discernment led him away from God repeatedly.  Because his name is listed in Hebrews 11, we know he was man of God; yet, he did very little for God.

My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;
From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
Who delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil
Proverbs 2:1-14

Next time “The Blessings of Discernment”

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