PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Acts 20:17-34; Judges 14; Judges 15; Job 42

Acts 20:17-34

Farewell Address to the Ephesian Elders

17 Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time- 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews- 20 and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house. 21 I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. 24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace. 25 "And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of everyone's blood, 27 for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears. 32 "And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs, and for those who were with me.

Judges 14

Samson's Riddle

1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw a young Philistine woman there. 2 He went back and told his father and his mother: "I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife." 3 But his father and mother said to him, "Can't you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?" But Samson told his father, "Get her for me, because I want her." 4 Now his father and mother did not know this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines were ruling over Israel. 5 Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Suddenly a young lion came roaring at him, 6 the Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. 7 Then he went and spoke to the woman, because Samson wanted her. 8 After some time, when he returned to get her, he left [the road] to see the lion's carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass. 9 He scooped [some honey] into his hands and ate [it] as he went along. When he returned to his father and mother, he gave [some] to them and they ate [it]. But he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion's carcass. 10 His father went [to visit] the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do. 11 When the Philistines saw him, they brought 30 men to accompany him. 12 "Let me tell you a riddle," Samson said to them. "If you can explain it to me during the seven days of the feast and figure it out, I will give you 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes. 13 But if you can't explain it to me, you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes." "Tell us your riddle," they replied. "Let's hear it." 14 So he said to them: Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle. 15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father's household to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?" 16 So Samson's wife came to him, weeping, and said, "You hate me and don't love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven't explained it to me." "Look," he said, "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother, so [why] should I explain it to you?" 17 She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people. 18 On the seventh day before sunset, the men of the city said to him: What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion? So he said to them: If you hadn't plowed with my young cow, you wouldn't know my riddle now! 19 The Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father's house, 20 and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him.

Judges 15

Samson's Revenge

1 Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson [took] a young goat [as a gift] and visited his wife. "I want to go to my wife in her room," he said. But her father would not let him enter. 2 "I was sure you hated her," her father said, "so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?" 3 Samson said to them, "This time I won't be responsible when I harm the Philistines." 4 So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves. 6 Then the Philistines asked, "Who did this?" They were told, "[It was] Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because he has taken Samson's wife and given her to another man." So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned [them] to death. 7 Then Samson told them, "Because you did this, I swear that I won't rest until I have taken vengeance on you." 8 He tore them limb from limb with a great slaughter, and he went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam. 9 The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi. 10 So the men of Judah said, "Why have you attacked us?" They replied, "We have come to arrest Samson and pay him back for what he did to us." 11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?" "I have done to them what they did to me," he answered. 12 They said to him, "We've come to arrest you and hand you over to the Philistines." Then Samson told them, "Swear to me that you yourselves won't kill me." 13 "No," they said, "we won't kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them." So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the rock. 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like burnt flax and his bonds fell off his wrists. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed 1,000 men with it. 16 Then Samson said: With the jawbone of a donkey I have piled them in a heap. With the jawbone of a donkey I have killed 1,000 men. 17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Ramath-lehi. 18 He became very thirsty and called out to the Lord: "You have accomplished this great victory through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" 19 So God split a hollow place [in the ground] at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel 20 years in the days of the Philistines.

Job 42

Job Replies to the Lord

1 Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 I know that You can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted. 3 [You asked,] "Who is this who conceals [My] counsel with ignorance?" Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 [You said,] "Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform Me." 5 I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You. 6 Therefore I take back [my words] and repent in dust and ashes. 7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken the truth about Me, as My servant Job has. 8 Now take seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. Then My servant Job will pray for you. I will surely accept his [prayer] and not deal with you as your folly deserves. For you have not spoken the truth about Me, as My servant Job has." 9 Then Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job's [prayer].

God Restores Job

10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions. 11 All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. They offered him sympathy and comfort concerning all the adversity the Lord had brought on him. Each one gave him a qesitah, and a gold earring. 12 So the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the earlier. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named his first [daughter] Jemimah, his second Keziah, and his third Keren-happuch. 15 No women as beautiful as Job's daughters could be found in all the land, and their father granted them an inheritance with their brothers. 16 Job lived 140 years after this and saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 Then Job died, old and full of days.
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