Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Look into the Life of Samson

Whenever the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, he was furnished with supernatural strength.  The first time we witness this is when he is met by a roaring lion, while he was strolling outside.  The Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he literally ripped the beast to pieces.  On another occasion, he killed a thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone. 

Samson was uniquely gifted by God.  Before he was born, the angel of the Lord prophesied to his mother that her son would begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the hostile Philistines.  The angel also gave specific instructions for the mother and the child to follow.  One of these instructions forbade the boy from cutting his hair throughout his entire life.  His long hair was a sign of his covenant with God.
Although Samson had a great calling on his life, and though he was endowed with great power and had enormous potential, he proved to be a carnal man.  He did not honor his relationship with God above his desires.  On one occasion, we find that he slept with a prostitute.  Later, he fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah.  The Philistines promised her money if she could find out the secret of Samson’s strength.  They wanted to capture him.  At first, Samson tried to deceive Delilah.  He did not tell her the truth about his mystery.  But eventually her nagging persuaded him, and he told her that if his hair was shaven, his strength would diminish to that of a normal man.

When Samson fell asleep on Delilah’s lap, a man shaved his hair.  Then the Philistines subdued him and, soon after, gouged out his eyes. 
This is tragic.  Samson first gave in to the desires of his flesh, and then he compromised his unique covenant with God.  He lost his spiritual vision before he lost his physical sight.

The Scripture says that while he was in captivity, his hair started to grow back.  When we fall, God makes a way for us to rise again.  Though Samson never regained his physical sight, he did come to a renewed sense of spiritual vision.  One day, the Philistines celebrated and sacrificed to Dagon their god.  They called for Samson to be brought out of the prison to entertain them.  Samson asked to be placed between the pillars that support the temple.
Samson cried out to God for one last display of strength.  He asked to die with the Philistines.  He exerted great force on the two pillars and they collapsed causing the temple to be crushed to the ground and with it Samson and the Philistines that were gathered there.  In doing so, Samson killed more Philistines at his death than he did all throughout his lifetime.

What can we learn from this uncommon story?  I think a good take away would be that we value the calling the Lord has placed on each of our lives.  No matter who you are, if you belong to Christ, you have God-given gifts and abilities.  You also have a mission.  We have been chosen to build up the body of Christ and to win the world to Him.  We all have a part to play.  But our focus can become muddied by worldly living, if we allow it.  Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and esteem the calling on our lives.  If we do, we will not only start well, we will live for God in a steady and consistent manner, and we will finish well with the strength that the Lord provides.

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