In today’s chapter, we see Samson’s weakness for Philistine women show up for the final time. The first one was labeled as a prostitute. The Philistine men learned that Samson was with her and decided when he came out, they would ambush and kill him. However, Samson outsmarted them all and snuck out in the middle of the night. The second woman is far more well-known, Delilah. She was the woman Samson fell in love with. She asked him three separate times what made him strong, and on each one of those occasions she sold him out to the Philistine leaders. The fourth and final time, he actually told her what made him so strong. She again sold him out, but this time the Philistines overpowered him and gouged out his eyes. During a time of feast, the Philistine leaders brought Samson out to “entertain” them. Then Samson, realizing who he was in front of prayed, “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.” (16:28, NLT).
I think that there are a couple powerful messages in this text. The first is that God can use a man, so covered in sin, to do great things. Of all the things that Samson was good at, he was really good at committing adultery. We all have a sin that we must fight all the time, and Samson’s was obviously lust and the lure to adultery. But God saw him, and used him to bring Israel out from the oppression of the Philistines. We know that we are all right there with Samson, just as guilty. Paul writes, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, NASB). Since “all have sinned”, that puts us right in there, just as guilty, just as sinful. But God has another promise for us, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NLT). This says to me that, no matter our sinfulness, no matter how bad we’ve been, when we trust in the Lord, He will come to us and help us. “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV).
The second point I wanted to make comes from a psalm for today. “Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who work wonder; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:13-14, NASB). Our God is mightier than anything else. He is even more powerful than all the gods of this world. In our story of Samson, he was brought into a place where the Philistines were worshiping their god, Dagon. But what happen when Samson prays in v. 28? God brings the entire temple down upon them. I’m reminded of a message I heard about how great God is. The speaker was using the majesty of outer space to convey his point. He also used this passage from David that conveys the absolute wonder anyone has when they look at the night sky, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day the pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2, NIV). There is no way that a deity, that created all of that, could be overcome by our own imaginings of what a god is. Our God is powerful, and He will bring down our temples to false gods.
This chapter really urges me to realize that, despite me sin and guiltiness, God still wants me. He will even still use me to accomplish His goals! The other thing is to take a moment to sit back and marvel at the glory of God. He truly is glorious, and all our praise should go to Him. I’m going to put a song up here. Take a moment to listen and think about the Creation that God has made. Both around us, and including us. And if you have time, take a listen at night and look at the stars (hopefully its a clear night). Even include reading Psalm 19 if you’d like.
Also in this series
- Just a Bit of History (Judges 1)
- The Testing of Israel (Judges 2)
- We Need God to Succeed (Judges 3)
- Make Your Enemy Flee (Judges 4)
- Being Thankful (Judges 5)
- Staring Down the Mob (Judges 6)
- We Don’t Need More (Judges 7)
- Are You Obeying (Judges 8)
- Are You Ambitions? (Judges 9)
- Remaining Faithful (Judges 10)
- It Takes Sacrifice (Judges 11)
- Need Some Help (Judges 12)
- God’s Plan (Judges 13)
- Getting What You Want (Judges 14)
- You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry (Judges 15)
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 74-77