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The God of the 2nd Chance: Samson is a powerful reminder of God’s grace. Though he descended into the depths of a lust-filled life, wandering far from his calling and consecration – the Lord never let go of him. His soiled life is recorded. His defeats are unvarnished and clear for all to see. But against the backdrop of sin is the beauty of grace. God forgives, God restores, and God uses Samson one final time.
The life of Samson is recorded in God’s Word as a picture of the destructive power of sin, and the restoring power of grace. Samson often lived in the lust of the flesh; Samson often walked by the lust of the eyes; Samson often responded with the pride of life. Yet Samson in the final analysis, as God sees His life – is a man of faith. One moment of godly sorrow, leading to a repentant prayer of faith — at his darkest hour, brought him back to the place of blessing. Marvelous grace of our loving God, grace that exceeds our sin and our shame. If Samson made it – anyone may.
Samson was one of the most amazing Old Testament personages. So many details God captured about his life are unique and profound in their meaning. Here are just a few truths about Samson’s life:
o GOD’S ANGELS ANNOUNCE HIS BIRTH: He was one of only three people whose births were announced by angels. Jesus and Isaac are the other two. So he is in the top 1/10 of 1% of all the 3,000 people named in the Bible. o HIS PARENTS SEEK GOD’S HELP RAISING HIM: His parents rank up there again with the fewest of the few. Only Joseph & Mary, Job, Abraham, Hannah, and Samson’s dad Manoah seek for and receive wisdom recorded in God’s Word in how to raise their children.
o HE IS CONSECRATED TO GOD FROM BIRTH: Now we are in special territory again. God picked from birth Jeremiah, Samuel, John the Baptist, and Paul. The calling that God placed upon Samson was to be a Nazarite – a person completely given to God for life. To everyone who saw him, a clear message was to be heard – This is God’s Man. He was to uphold a life long outward sign of his calling by total abstinence from wine, total avoidance of dead bodies, and uncut hair. The inward response to this calling of obedience was to be a chosen life of pointing to the Lord by obedience. God gave Samson special supernatural strength.
To have grown up with Samson must have been amazing. His neighborhood pals must have stood in wonder at his immense strength. His enemies must have fled quickly. It was like having a one-man army.
As a young man probably in his teens, we get the first indicator that Samson was not going the direction the Lord had pointed him. He begins to live by his desires and not God’s. He begins to serve his own lusts and not God’s Words. A string of women begins to parade through his life. In fact, seven times Samson is guided by the lust of his eyes when he “saw a woman that pleased him”. That was a dangerous choice each time.
The final, and deadliest woman is Delilah. Her name has become synonymous with lust, deceit, betrayal, and ruin. She tries to find the secret of his strength for an enormous bribe. Samson knows it is his hair and in a series of three lies, he slowly gives clues.