January 25, 2017

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Subject: Entertainment

Golden text: Psalms 56:12*

I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.

Judges 16:1-9

Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”

Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The demands of the affections will never be satisfied if you pursue a sexy, rich, or sanctimonious partner, so make sure to engage with wisdom, sincerity, and open-mindedness.

The beliefs we commonly entertain about happiness and life actually lack evidence of permanent joy and life. The unspoiled claims of harmonious and eternal being are discovered only in divine Science.

Fear, sin, and our neglect of spirituality is what brings on and feeds all sickness. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

The depraved appetite for alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, methamphetamines, promiscuity, pornography, is destroyed only by Mind’s control of the body.

Judges 16:10-17

 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11 And he said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web.[a] And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The power of suggestion has a long and capricious history. Research of the human mind and its functions became rather primitively active in the 18th century with Franz Anton Mesmer.[1] He recognized that human beings can be manipulated, but didn’t understand the process. Mesmer theorized this manipulation occurred by means of a physical magnetic fluid. Mesmer even concluded that this magnetic fluid could be transmitted from one breathing creature to another as a therapeutic influential agent. He termed his theory animal magnetism. Today, it is realized that he had actually hit upon the power of suggestion or collective mentality. Concerning Mesmer’s theory, the Encyclopedia Americana states, “Although it was later deemed a pseudoscience, the theory helped pioneer the study of the unconscious mind, hypnosis, and the development of medical psychiatry.”[2] Mesmer and his therapeutic animal magnetic fluid were eventually discredited. The Encyclopedia Americana continues, “Two separate commissions composed mainly of leading French scientists concluded that no such physical substance as animal magnetism exists.”[3] Ironically however, Mesmer’s name is preserved in the term, “mesmerize”. When people are being influenced by mortal’s persuasion or peer pressure, or when they are getting caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some event, they are “mesmerized.”

In the 19th century, the term “hypnotism” came into vogue, describing the process that characteristically induces the mental state of suggestibility. Today, hypnotism is studied, used as a form of entertainment, and sometimes utilized in the treatment of mental and physical disorders, but the scattered experimentation and observations are still not completely understood. Human beings can feel hypnotized for no apparent reason doing things they wouldn’t normally do, while on the other hand there are some persons who just can’t be hypnotized.

The effort to unlearn false perceptions includes forfeiting those views completely. Then error will be submissive to Truth. The divine method of becoming responsible for every thought and action, involves unwinding our snarls and learning from experience how to divide between the human and the spiritual.

 Judges 16:18-30

When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. 22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.” 25 And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained. 28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Evil is not power, but a mockery of strength, which ultimately betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.

The mental development that has brought infidelity to the surface will need to keep improving so as to bring about faithfulness. Infidelity weakens marriage whereas faithfulness strengthens marriage.

Sensationalized education is deplorable. The mere dogma, the frightening speculations, and the nauseous fiction can be filtered out. Novels and movies remarkable only for their exaggerated pictures, unrealistic ideals, and models of rudeness, fill the viewer and reader with wrong tastes and attitudes. Commercialism is lowering the intellectual standard to accommodate the bank account and to meet a foolish demand for entertainment instead of for improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of truth.

In vain, mortals try to kill Truth with neglect, slander, and bullet. However, the sword of Spirit topples error. Martyrs are the human links that connect one stage with another in the history of religion. They are earth’s luminaries, serving to enlighten and refine the materialist atmosphere. They permeate humanity with godly ideals. Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward; but merit is not seen and appreciated by onlookers.

Advance in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made you capable of this, and nothing can stop the ability and power divinely bestowed on your spirituality.

[1] Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734–1815) German physician

[2] The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition, Volume 18. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 2003.

[3] Ibid

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.