Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
“Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 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.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”
Samson is undoubtedly one of the most iconic stars of the Old Testament. As a kid, hearing these stories in Sunday school gave them a superhero story-like appearance–straight from the comic books. But to know now that these stories aren’t just stories, but real… is mind boggling.
As I read through the story of Samson as an adult, I am none the less captivated by his mighty strength and stories of triumph. However, there is another story, one that is even more captivating. More so now than ever I understand Gods incredible grace and compassion as I read through the chapters of Samson’s story.
Samson, in my eyes, was the epitome of pride and giving in to temptation. Samson was often captivated by beautiful women, he was defiant, and he showed little regard for the commands of the Lord. From birth he was set apart for the Lord and consecrated, he was to be the peoples deliverance.
However, after giving in one to many times to his fleshly desires, he eventually met his downfall–Delilah. It never mentions whether or not Samson and Delilah were married, but we can only assume they may have been friends with benefits. Finally, she nagged the secret to his strength out of him. A quick note here, the enemy knows the secret to our strength is our consecration to the Lord, that we are set apart, forgiven, and covered by the blood. Because of this, he’s going to come at us until we give in to what makes us weak–because then we can be bound.
Unfortunately, Samson was careless, and it cost him his life. The soldiers came, bound him, gouged out his eyes, and brought him to the temple to be ridiculed (as entertainment). But this is where I am forever memorized by the story; Samson knew he had done wrong, he also knew he was well deserving of what had happened to him, but with all that on the table, it never kept him from asking the Lord, “Strengthen me just once more” JUST. ONCE. MORE!
Foretelling of what is to come, Samson’s story shows us the great mercy of God the father. Even in our most weak and undeserving moments, when we choose wrong, or get careless in our faith, God will give to us once more a 100x over! No matter the circumstance, when we turn our hearts toward God and humble ourselves, He WILL hear us, and He WILL respond–though, we may still have to embrace the consequences of our actions. He always brings about salvation for all his people, and he will never turn away when his children cry out for help.
He will be your strength in your weakest moments and lead you into victory! This week, be mindful of your weaknesses and allow God to remain in control of your life. Allow his strength to become your own and know that God will strengthen you when you call out to him.
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“God freely give his gifts
to the poor,
and always does right.”
2 Cor. 9:9-11
“Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.”