Hero to Zero and Back!

28 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Judges 16:28-30

The story of Samson in Judges 13-16 is one of the interesting and colorful stories in the Bible. Chosen by God before birth to begin Israel’s deliverance from Philistine control. Born to parents well past the child bearing age (that seems to be a pattern of God in the Old Testament), he was to be a Nazirite all of his life, abstaining from wine and grape. He was also never to cut his hair.

Samson had a physical strength that no one could match. He tore a lion in two with his bare hands. He slew 1,000 Philistines with the jaw bone of a donkey. He judged Israel for 20 years in the days of the Philistines.

But Sampson had a weakness for a pretty face. Just like Moses, Abraham, David, and everyone else in the Bible, except One, Sampson was not perfect. Yet during his faltering, God continued to use him in His Plan. Samson was still being used to free Israel from Philistine domination.

Samson’s impressive strength and his weakness for the ladies caused him to eventually rely on his own strength instead of God’s. He became prideful. There was a spiritual blindness that came over him. He forgot from where his strength really came.

Finally, things caught up with him. Delilah seduced him into telling her that his strength came from his long hair. So while Samson was asleep, they shaved his hair. No longer the strong one, the Philistines subdued him, gouged out his eyes, and made sport of him.

Samson finally realized the truth. His strength was not in his hair. That was just a sign of his obedience to God. Yet, despite his stumbling, he returns to God’s Plan for Israel’s deliverance. Weak, unable to see, being mocked by his captures, he calls out to God. God is still with him, answers the prayer, and, with the strength he knew before his fall, Samson takes out more Philistines at that moment than all other times put together.

Samson was chosen by God to be His leader of His people. Yet he didn’t do everything right. But God didn’t abandon him. When Samson understood where his real strength came from, and his focus returned to God, his strength was restored and he continued in his calling. Once a hero, he had, in his eyes, become nothing. Then in one final moment, he was once again the “hero” God meant for him to be.

God has a call for you, since before you were born. And just like everyone else, you haven’t done everything God has called you to do, and you’ve done some things you weren’t supposed to do. You may think you have completely failed God, yourself, and others. But God is still with you. He is still calling you to return to where He has always planned for you to be. He still has work for you to do for Him. He still believes in you, even when you don’t.

But the point to remember is – your strength is not in your hair, or your wit, or your intelligence, or what you can do. Who you are, and what you can do, comes from God. Your strength comes from God. It’s what we do to bring Him the glory and honor that makes us who we are; who we were meant to be.

Don’t let a spiritual blindness keep you from seeing the truth about who you are in God’s eyes. Your strength comes from God, and Him alone.

 

© 2016 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 21, 2016