Judges 16:28, NIV
Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
Why did God want us to know this story about Samson’s tragic life, and about the weaknesses that he never dealt with? Obviously not so that we might gloat or point a finger, but because his life demonstrates spiritual principles that are important for us to understand.
If there are areas in our life where we resist the Lordship of Jesus Christ, then in this area where we submit to our sinful nature, we give rights to the enemy. When we allow these areas of weakness to continue, refusing to acknowledge and deal with them, other areas of our life – such as our gifting and calling – will be affected.
Samson did not appreciate or value the gifting and calling that God had given him, and as a result he did not protect it from those who wanted to destroy it (the very people he was supposed to defeat). Samson had everything he needed to be the greatest leader in history. He had charisma, charm, supernatural strength and popularity, but his story is a tragic tale of wasted potential. He slept with the enemy!
However, Samson never stopped believing in God, even after… his hair was shaved off; his strength gone; his eyes gouged out; and his freedom stolen. In the end he called on God one more time. From this we can learn no matter how far we have fallen God will listen to our prayer and can still use us. It is never too late!
Samson’s life was compromised all the way through. Compromise always weakens us and brings us into destruction, as no man can serve two masters. Ultimately, compromise will lead us to death. Like Samson, if we sow to please our sinful nature from that nature we will reap destruction (Gal. 6:8).
In the end Samson realised his utter dependence on God and in spite of his sins and weaknesses he did accomplish his God given purpose. All five Philistine kings were crushed by the temple of Dagon, when God gave Samson the power to bring it down, killing himself at the same time.
As we look today at Samson’s life, we learn that if we willingly and repeatedly walk into temptations which lead us to sin, we will suffer the consequences of our disobedience, even though God may still use us to accomplish his will in the end. Samson understood the true source of his strength was God, but we see that he never understood the true purpose of this strength.
He called out to God to strengthen him just one more time, God heard and answered his prayer. It is never too late! It is extraordinary to see that despite his failure, he is mentioned as one of the heroes of faith, in Hebrews 11. When we fail let us run to God, not from God.
Prayer: We thank You Father that Samson is just like us in so many ways. And his story proves that You are a faithful God who can and does use people of faith no matter how imperfectly we lead our lives. Would You help us today to value the gifts and calling You have given to us and to follow You without compromise, to recognise our carnal nature and to deal with the weaknesses and sins that so easily beset us. Remind us that it is never too late to turn to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.