This is part 4 of a four part series on Samson.
Part 1 - Samson (September 2016)
Part 2 - Samson: A Man of Misplaced Confidence (October 2016)
Part 3 - Samson: A Man who was Vulnerable (October 2016)
My fellow disciplemakers:
God created Samson for the special purpose of delivering Israel from the Philistines. The entirety of his tragic yet triumphant life is found in the book of Judges. After years of frustration, the rulers of the Philistines approached Delilah and offered her money to lure him into revealing the secret of his strength (Judges 16). Delilah was a trap from which Samson would not escape. She got him to reveal the secret of his God-given strength and got paid for her deceit. She then turned him over to his enemies.
Fulfilling God's Destiny
The Philistines seized Samson, gouged out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they made him grind grain like a common animal. Just because Samson stopped thinking about God didn't mean God stopped thinking about him. At the lowest moment of his life the unfailing love of God appeared: "the hair on his head began to grow again" (Judges 16:22).
Despite his unfaithfulness, the Lord rescued, redeemed and re-wrote the story of Samson's life. His failure was not final. His sin did not derail him from fulfilling his destiny. God's undeserved mercy and unlimited patience gave him time to reflect and repent. As his hair grew back Samson undoubtedly remembered his miraculous birth, the source of his supernatural strength, and the special purpose for which he was made.
The rulers of the Philistines were celebrating that their god had delivered Samson into their hands. They requested that Samson be brought out of prison so they could make fun of him. God's loving kindness inspired him to honor the Lord regardless of the cost. Samson told the servant to guide him so he could feel the pillars which supported the temple.
photo courtesy of Steve Evans
Sensing God's presence, Samson called on the name of the Lord. With three thousand Philistines waiting for him to perform like a court jester, Samson prayed: "O Sovereign lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me once more...let me die with the Philistines" (Judges 16:28-30). The Lord answered this prayer and infused him with supernatural power once again. Samson pushed the pillars of the temple with the power God supplied and the building came down on everyone present. The Bible records, "Samson killed many more when he died than while he lived" (Judges 16:30).
What happened to Samson has no possible explanation apart from the sheer grace of God. Blind, bound and helpless, he asked the Lord to remember him. Figuratively, he was the Old Testament "thief on the cross." Samson cried out for one more chance and this time God would be the hero of the story. In effect Samson prayed, "Lord, glorify yourself and send me the bill." God's undeserved grace and sovereign plan was fulfilled on the very last day of Samson's life.
It's Never too Late
God was not done with Samson and he's not done with you! We can confidently believe that remembering the Lord has restorative power. The cure for regret and self-reliance is to remember who God is and what he has done for you. Remember that your entire life and every gift has come from God. What special purpose does God have for you? Let the promises of God's word and the outcome of Samson's life offer you hope. It's never too late to look to heaven and remember your Creator. He remembers you!
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet none of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6-7).
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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