If you asked me to name the heroes in the bible, Samson won’t come to my mind. However the writer of Hebrews includes his name as a hero (Hebrews 11:32). He definitely had his flaws. To be able to understand this blog better, i think it will be wise we reflect on the season he was living in.
The Israelites were going in and out of sin. Quite often the chapters in the book of Judges starts by saying “And the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines”. Sin was rampant in the land of Israel. They would sin, God would give them to their enemies, then they would cry to God for mercy and He then raises someone to rescue them. This was the manner in which they lived. In the midst of this, an angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah and his barren wife promising to bless them with a child. He gave specific instructions to the woman to observe during her pregnancy and also for her son.
The child was born and named Samson. The parents obeyed the instruction of the angel by not allowing any razor to touch his hair.
Samson grew up to be a very powerful person. The spirit of God was in him (Judges 13:25). Despite this, his flesh got the best of him sometimes. His “fall” began when he married a pagan Philistine (verse 3). In chapter 14, he is seen revealing the answer of a riddle he gave to his wife who ended up revealing the answer to Philistines. He got angry and left the house. In his absence his wife was given to his best man. What a life!
The scene of him revealing a secret to a woman is repeated again in chapter 16:13. This time it led to his ultimate fall. His hair was shaved by Delilah who he claimed he loved. The hair wasn’t the source of his strength. God was the source of his strength. The hair was a covenant he was met to keep with God. This goes to show that when a covenant is broken, weakness comes in.
Despite his flaws, we can’t take his acts of faith away from him. This was shown firstly in the way he accepted the call that was placed on his life. Unlike Gideon, an angel didn’t appear to Samson. He didn’t receive this call from God directly through a visitation. He was told this by his parents and his ability to embrace it without questioning is commendable. Considering the way the children of Israel were at the time. It must have been difficult to be their judge in that era.
His obedience to God meant he had total confidence and faith in the God who gave him the assignment. He believed that God was behind him. He was willing to be used by God. I must confess as i study his account, sometimes it looked as though he was trying to defend himself than him trying to show the power of God willingly. But what i admire is his remorseful heart. God does not ignore a remorseful heart.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17
His courage never to quit his role is commendable. Unlike Gideon who had men willing to follow him, Samson had no one following him. He seemed like a lone man. This didn’t discourage him either. I personally find this trait attractive. We live in a world where everyone wants to be accepted. Success is almost determined by the number of crowd following you. The number of congregation you pull, the number of engagements you have in a year and the number of people who know your name. When this isn’t the case, people’s call are often questioned. I would like to use this moment to encourage anyone who may be feeling a little discouraged because of lack of acceptance. Continue to do what you are doing. God called you. Men didn’t call you. Samson could have made the excuse of “no one is even helping me.” But he didn’t. So stay on your post. God sees you and He sees your work. He will reward you in due time.
The later days of Samson breaks my heart everytime i read it. The part that gets me always is in chapter 16:28
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”
In his lowest moment, he still didn’t give up. He had the courage to cry out to God. I don’t know what you are going through right now. You might be in a dark place. Like Samson it might be that you have not lived up to expectation. If Samson could cry out for a second chance and he was granted, then you can too. Don’t keep wallowing in darkness. Cry out to God for mercy. He is full of mercy. Let Him know you have sinned and you want Him to help you start again. He will hear and answer you.
As you can already tell from the above paragraph, God heard and answered Samson’s request. I wish he prayed for God to forgive him instead of praying to die with his enemies. Who knows, his story could have ended differently. This is another great lesson to be learnt here. Words are powerful. Never utter words of doom for yourself. They do come to pass. Mind your words.
I feel God proved His strength to the children of Israel through Samson. They had a record of quickly and easily forgotten the miracles of God. God used Samson to make them remember that He does supernatural things. Every miracle He did through Samson is something that is humanly impossible.
As always i won’t end this without making decision based on this topic. Mine for today are;
- To stay courageous
- To watch what i say. Speaking the right words always
- Rise after every fall
- Keep my vows to God
Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know in the comment section if this has ministered to you in any way. Feel free to leave your decisions too 🙂
I have created a separate category for this series. Please click on it to read about Barak, Gideon, Rahab, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Enoch and Abel.
See you next time as we look at another hero of faith – Jephthah.
God bless you!