Downloading Samson

In Hebrews 11, we have a list that we call the Hall of Fame of Faith. In Hebrews 12, these heroes of faith are referred to as a great cloud of witnesses. If these people are considered to be “Hall of Famers”, “Heroes of the Faith”, let’s take a minute and drill down on one of these witnesses. Let’s find out what he has to say to us. I want to look at what Samson would say to us. Samson… How did he even get in the Hall of Fame of Faith? He got it wrong most of the time. Dishonest. Deceitful. Associated with the wrong people. Samson was anointed and did some feats of strength. But he was a mess. If you know his story, you know he was a Nazarite, required to not touch anything dead, not to drink and not to cut his hair. But he violated all of the Nazarite vows. In the end, God gave him up to his own way and he was captured by his enemies, his eyes were gouged out, forced to labor and live in the midst of his enemies. So, why is this guy in the Hall of Fame of Faith and what can we learn from him? If Samson was talking to us, I think he would say, “I was blind long before I lost my eyesight. I did not see how the devil was trying to destroy me.” We don't have to lose our eyes to be blind. We can be blind to God's purpose for our life. God’s word is a light to our path and lamp to our feet. He makes His purpose for us known as we learn of Him and as we build relationship with Him through His word and our time in study, prayer, and listening to teachings. We make better choices when we know God’s call on our life. Understanding expectations and our purpose, we are motivated to do what is best for us to do. Where there is not a clear revelation, vision, then people cast off restraint. Nothing matters. We are in danger when we don't see God's purpose. Samson was blind to God's purpose for his life.

He was also blind to the power of relationships. Samson went after a Philistine wife and that placed him in progressively worsening risk. He didn't want to follow God's law, going after what he wanted to do and missing the fact that God’s law is protective, not restrictive. Samson insisted his father get the Philistine wife for him, disregarding God’s law and requirement for him. Bad company corrupts good character. Relationships can take you up or take you down. Lean into God’s wisdom. He sees things you can't see.

Samson was also blind to the nature of God. God was there for him - faithful time and again. But there is consequence to sin. Samson was blinded in his eyes, shackled and forced to labor by his enemies. God is good, faithful, and full of grace. But He is also to be honored. revered, respected, feared. Genesis 6:3 warns us, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh.” If you step outside of His covering, He will let you. But you're going to feel it. Romans 6:1 poses the question, “Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?” If we are in relationship with God, we don’t want to sin. The grace of God empowers us not to sin. But if we insist on doing what we want to do outside of God’s will and way, He will let us see what it's like to be without His favor, without His covering. Samson was blind to aspect of the nature of God and I believe he would tell us to pay attention.

So, why is Samson in the list in Hebrews 11? This list contains people who messed up along the way but they are in this list because of HOW THEY FINISHED. Samson is on this list because of how he finished. Failure is never final. In Judges 16:28 we find his prayer, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” He cried out. He humbled himself and God strengthened him once again. In that one blow, Samson won a great victory over his enemies and defeated more in his death than he had during his entire lifetime.

Have you had a failure? You can still finish well. We serve a God of one more time, a God of another shot. Cry out to God. Turn back to Him. Get up again. It's not over until He says it's over. You can't get the best of what God has for you unless you go all in. Go all in today. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. Life is better when you put God first.
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