walk in the word
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.” . . . Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell. . . . So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life (Judges 16:28, 30, esv).
Most people know only fragments about the Old Testament judge Samson—long hair, superhuman strength, seduced by Delilah—but there is so much more worth knowing.
Samson’s parents were barren but given a miracle child. An angel essentially announced to them, “You’re going to have a boy, and he will belong to God from the day he is born.” Samson was raised as a Nazarite, a person who took a strict vow to belong totally to the Lord.
Sadly, pathetically, his life did not belong to God; it belonged to Samson. He was a sensual person. Though he grew up under God’s blessing, his attention was drawn to pleasure like a moth to a sizzling bulb. It was only a matter of time before he wandered.
“Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines” (Judges 14:1).
Samson allowed himself to be controlled by his appetites. Like all sensual wanderers, his life was out of control. Judges 14–16 detail the drama and violence—from his wedding, to his fits of rage and slaughters, to his entrapment by the seductress Delilah.
In His mercy, God the Father sometimes lets us wander so we discover the futility of life without Him. How sad that Samson lived so far from the One who would have fully satisfied him. Eventually God released him to his desires, and Samson lost everything before he realized what really mattered.
Perhaps it seems that way in your life right now. Has the boulder of reality fallen on you? If you’re still breathing, there’s hope. It wasn’t too late for Samson, and it isn’t too late for you. Though his eyes had been gouged out and his life reduced to grinding in darkness at the prison mill, “the hair of his head began to grow again” (Judges 16:22). The symbol of his calling began to return.
Do you recall how Samson’s story ends? God strengthened him once more, and he toppled the pillars of the Philistine house, killing thousands (Judges 16:30). But that’s not all. There is a jaw-dropping footnote about Samson’s life. Hebrews 11:32 lists him as a man of faith. Samson’s failures didn’t disqualify him from God’s family.
It wasn’t too late for Samson, and it’s not too late for you. You don’t have to resign yourself to the way you are today, fearing you’ll never change. You can be different—not by your own power but by the power of the Holy Spirit when you surrender fully to Him.
Lord, give me courage, strength, and purity—not legalism, but a surrendered life. Not just doing right things, but desiring right things and finding in Jesus Christ all my heart longs for. Never have I followed You and regretted that decision. Often I have wandered and felt the pain of living apart from You. Thank You for welcoming me home, Lord. Please write the final chapters of my life like Samson’s: a broken but redeemed, powerful life of faith. Thank You that it’s never too late. Your Son paid the full price for my sin, and it’s in His holy name I pray with humility and gratitude, amen.
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