Many Christians know the story of Samson (Judges 13-16) so well as to rationalize, "Yeah, yeah – that's a story about a man who was very strong and sold it out for the love of a prostitute and brought himself shame other than in his last moments." I challenge you to think a little differently about this story and what it has for us today. I was reading through these passages in my study this morning.
God wants to call out people for His own. Samson is born into a time where the Philistines ruled and oppressed the Israelites. His mother took a Nazirite vow (read: no wine or other fermented drink, and his hair was to grow out). Israelites took this vow to consecrate themselves to the LORD.
God wants to do what we think is impossible in our lives for His glory. His mother had never been able to have a child, but the LORD blessed her with a son – highly revered in that time especially.
God uses our faults to guide us and gives us opportunities to turn back to Him. Yes, Samson was disobedient. He married a Philistine (God told him not to), killed several of them, became involved with a prostitute and revealed much more by divulging the source of his strength – not just the hair, but his commitment to God.
God reminds us that He is still there for us, even when we turn away. I love 16:22, which says, "But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved." Samson's strength was coming back even though he had sinned. God gave him the opportunity to turn back to Him, and Samson does! His final obedience is to cry out to God about his desire to seek his final revenge on the Philistines.
Desire. Strength. Passion. Lust. Anger. Deceit.
Hope. Grace. Forgiveness. Peace.
I thank God that He is still working in our lives, and that we can daily make the choice to ensure we're in line with His will.