Second Chances: Samson

Samson may seem an illogical choice for a second chance, but we will see that God did indeed permit him to have a second chance.

So who was Samson?

Samson was strong because the Lord was with him

Samson was strong because the Lord was with him

His story begins with his parents in the book of Judges.  He lived during the time the Israelites were being punished by God and given “into the hand of the Philistines.”

An angel appeared to his mother and later his father, Manoah, a childless couple.  The angel promises them a son, but there are a few conditions.  Both mother and child are to abstain from all alcoholic beverages and the child’s hair and beard are to never be cut or shaved.

Samson was born and raised as a Nazarite.

Samson enjoyed the life of the Philistines and made terrible mistakes, especially when it came to women.  Ignoring the objections of his parents, he married Timnah.  His feats of strength in overpowering a lion, but when he offers a riddle to his groomsmen, they convince his wife to uncover the meaning.  Samson is easily tricked by her.  In a rage, he kills the groomsmen and discover his bride has been given to another.  Revenge leads to the death of his father-in-law and wife, as well as numerous other Philistines.

Samson “judges” Israel for twenty years according to Judges 15.

He killed a lion with his bear hands

He killed a lion with his bear hands

Then he meets a woman named Delilah.  Delilah entices him to reveal the source of his strength, but he refuses at first.  Each time she test him, but he still has his strength.  Until she finally reveals the truth, his strength is in his hair.  While he is sleeping, she shaved his head.  Samson is captured by the Philistines, who gouge his eyes out.  He is then worked as a slave.

One day the Philistines bring him to the temple as they sacrifice to one of their gods.  Samson’s hair has grown back in the time he has been enslaved.

He ask the servant leading him to place him between the central pillars of the temple so he may “lean against them”.  He then calls out to God, to “remember me and strengthen me just this time…Let me die with the Philistines!”

He was weak when it came to pretty women

He was weak when it came to pretty women

He leans against the pillars and dies with the Philistines.  “So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.”  {Judges 16:30}

So what can we learn from Samson’s life:

  1. Living the way of the world can lead us astray. We are surrounded by worldly living and want to please ourselves, but Samson proved it did not bring peace.
  2. There are plenty of people that want to trap and ensnare us—we have to be watchful at all times and seek God’s help to not fall into their trap
  3. Even those raised in godly homes can go astray. Samson was raised in a good and godly home. We are told that he had experiences with the Holy Spirit {Judges 14 & 15}, but he still wanted to live a worldly life.
  4. We have to learn from our mistakes and weaknesses and grow from them so that we do not repeat these mistakes—Samson did not learn his lesson from Timnah and was willingly duped by Delilah. He proved that our greatest strength can be the source of our greatest weakness.
  5. There are always consequences for our actions, mistakes and disobedience.
  6. Appearances can be deceiving because that does not measure the true measure of a person. Samson had all the physical strength imaginable, but he was also very weak in areas of his life. samson2
  7. God uses even the sins in our life to His will and glory.
  8. Our greatest strength comes from God’s power, not our own. Samson was told to never cut his hair.  As long as he didn’t God was with him, but when it was shaved off God left him until it grew back. He proved that he was strong physically, but not spiritually.
  9. God will leave us when we disobey his command and word—especially if we do not repent and seek Him
  10. God will give us strength when we need it most—although with Samson this meant physical strength, it could mean mental or emotional strength depending on our needs
  11. Samson cried out to God in humility and honor and God heard him. Sometimes we have to be broken to cry out to God with humility and honor for Him to hear us.  God can restore after we’ve fallen if we cry out to Him with genuine repentance.
  12. Sometimes our destiny comes at the end of our lives. At the end of his life, he realized his mistakes, cried out to God and killed more Philistines than in all of his life.  God used him to His glory.

What lessons have you had to learn over and over the way Samson did?  What is your greatest weakness?

 

For others in the Second Chances series: JonahJobRahabDavid and BathshebaMoses, Joseph and Jacob

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