Daily Devotional Overview:
This 14-day reading plan explores the stories of men and women of the Bible who messed up big time, but people that God still chose to use for His purposes. Learn from some of the Bible’s heaviest hitters while being encouraged in your own walk with God.Daily Devotional: Epic Fails – Day 3
- Judges 16:4-31
Samson was born to a woman who for many years was barren. But then an angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her she had conceived, and provided some guidelines for her and her son. The key rule she had to follow concerned her son, who was to save Israel from the Philistines. She was told to not let a razor touch his head, for he was to be a Nazarite.
Samson was born and did keep this one law for much of his life, although many of the unspoken Nazarite laws he did not. He married a Philistine woman and had sexual relations with women he was not married to. He ate honey from a dead animal, which would have been unclean. I also can’t help but pick up a hint of pride and disrespect for his parents. Perhaps his greatest weakness was women; he struggled with lust more than once.
However, God had divinely chosen Samson, and His favor was on the man for many years and indeed used him in many ways. From what we read in the Bible, Samson killed 1,030 Philistines before being captured by them. He made such a huge dent that he caught the attention of the Philistine leaders and was pursued by them on multiple occasions.
It’s not until he gives into his lust for Delilah that he is captured. Three times Delilah asks Samson what his weakness is, and three times he lies. Three times the Philistines rush in to capture Samson and each time he prevails. You’d think at this point Samson would dump her, or at least not tell Delilah his true source of strength. But he doesn’t, and the fourth time he is asked he does tell her where his strength comes from. At that, she cuts his hair when he’s sleeping and the Philistines capture him. The great Samson is blinded, mocked, and left to the status of a prisoner, all because of his lust for women and lack of obedience.
His hair begins to grow back, and at a party with thousands of the most powerful Philistines he prays to God for strength one final time to bring the building down in a final blow to Israel’s enemies. I’m so moved by his prayer because it’s the most humble and God-focused prayer he utters. Having been stripped from it all–physical strength, freedom, sight, pleasure, pride–Samson finally finds a spiritual strength he always lacked.
Samson’s epic fail was a thirst for the things of this world, fulfilling lust, and not learning from his past mistakes. His story shows us that pursuing these things will only bring us down and hurt us. That refusing to learn from our past will be our fall. Take cues from your pitfalls and draw boundaries that will protect you from repeating the past.
I’m thankful to see that Samson finished strong; he connected with God and went out victoriously. Even though he didn’t steward his gift well, God still graciously blessed him for His purposes and, in the end, used him greater than ever before. With his final breath, Samson killed more Philistines than he had in his whole life up to that moment.
[Content Provided By Bible.com]