Never Too Late
Samson was purposed by God to do something phenomenal for God’s people, and he had two big things going for him: (1) a huge calling on his life, and (2) an incredible power on his life. Within that potential, Samson did some amazing things. He killed a lion with his bare hands. He killed thirty men by himself. How many people do you know who can face thirty-to-one odds and come out the winner?
But there was something about Samson that would take him down time after time. In addition to his unusual power and calling from God, a huge internal battle raged within the man—a struggle with women. Outwardly, God’s favor is on Samson and God still uses him. But internally, a hurricane is brewing.
This internal hurricane ultimately led him into the arms of Delilah, who betrayed him to Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. Samson crashed big-time. He had been called by God and set aside by God from birth to lead his people during a time of great need, but at the end of his life, Samson was blind, imprisoned, and powering the Philistines’ grain mill. The internal engine that drove him into illicit relationships with women time after time finally broke him.
The consequences of sin were very real for Samson. He was blinded and condemned to be a slave. But God is always greater than any consequences. The story of God’s redemption is for everyone who puts their trust in Jesus for life and for salvation. Satan can knock us down, but we will rise. The real story is that Satan’s going down, ultimately and eternally.
Samson’s story finishes in Dagon’s temple. There the former judge of Israel said, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them” (Judges 16:26).
The temple was packed, and there were an extra three thousand spectators on the roof for this major event. Yes, the situation had gone off the rails for Samson. Yes, he had abandoned God’s calling on his life and faced the consequences, but he acknowledged that God was still sovereign and still able to make something amazing of his life.
In Dagon’s temple, Samson prayed. And what a prayer it was! “Sovereign Lord, remember me. (Judges 16:28). Isn’t that exactly what the thief on the cross prayed in his comeback story? “Remember me.”
In Samson’s last gasp, God’s power came back to him. The deliverance of all Israel started the day of Samson’s swansong comeback. What he had not done in his lifetime, he did in his death, because our God is the God of the comeback.
That’s the lesson for us. It’s never too late. We’re never too far gone. We haven’t strayed too far. God is always good, and he always remembers us. Our prayer isn’t to get revenge on a group of people, but it’s to be strengthened once more so we might live for God’s glory. We push with all our might on whatever stone pillars are keeping us bound. With God’s strength renewed in us, the walls of our prisons come toppling down.
What got in the way of Samson fulfilling all the things God had in store for him? How did Samson gradually allow temptation to take him down and out?
In what ways does the enemy use temptation to take us farther and farther down the wrong path? Why is this such an effective tactic?
What was Samson’s smashing comeback? What does his story reveal about God’s mercy and grace in spite of our faults?