Don't Forget Who You Belong To
You have been given many gifts, but it’s up to you to use them correctly.
She said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes, and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.
When I was in grade school, my homeroom teacher nominated me to be a ‘super kid.’ This recognition was for all the kids who received good grades, had exemplary behavior and showed great leadership skills. As a reward, we would get prizes and even a t-shirt with the Superman logo on it to show that we were ‘special.’
In the Bible, there are many examples of people who were special, too. Today, I want to talk about Samson. Maybe you know him as the strong guy with super long hair who defeated the Philistines (Judges 15:16), but there is so much more to his story, his character, and his supernatural strength. Let’s dig a little deeper into his life.
Samson was chosen and set apart
Even before he was born, Samson was blessed and set apart (Judges 13: 4-6). He dedicated himself to God as a Nazarite, a person entirely set apart for God. As a sign of obedience, a Nazarite drank no wine, would not go near a corpse or make himself unclean and would let his hair grow as a sign to his commitment to the Lord (Numbers 6:1-8).
Samson looked the perfect example of a Nazarite. With his long hair and mighty strength, he had everything that identified him as a follower of God at first glance. He was also known as an Israelite warrior and a judge who led Israel for 20 years (Judges 16:31). Even his name, which means ‘little light’ or ‘little sun,’ served as a symbol in a time when the people of Israel were walking in so much sin and darkness. (Judges 13:1)
Samson was a leader Israel deserved
With all the titles and his outside appearance, one would think Samson lived a life according to his vow, but the truth is, he was far from obedient. Whatever he set his eyes upon, he wanted. For example, he first broke his vow as a Nazarite when he chose his wife. “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife,” he told his parents. The Philistines didn’t serve God and were mortal enemies of the people of Israel. But his disobedience didn’t end there. Later on, “Samson went to Gaza... saw a prostitute and went to bed with her” (Judges 16:1).
Samson is defeated
Ultimately, Samson’s fall began when fell in love with Delilah, a woman who betrayed him for silver and turned him in to the Philistines. “My hair has never been cut because I am a Nazarite to God from birth,” he revealed to Delilah, “If I am shaved, my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any other man” (Judges 16:17).
Delilah betrayed him by cutting his hair while he slept, and the Philistines took him as a prisoner. Gouging his eyes out, they forced him to grind grain in prison.
In his brokenness and humiliation, Samson pleaded to God, and the Lord listened. “Lord God, please remember me,” Samson implored. “Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” The Lord gave Samson his strength back, and he used it to kill the Philistines by pushing the pillars of the temple. (Judges 16: 28-30).
So, What can you learn from Samson?
Samson’s story serves as a warning to every believer. He used supernatural strength to kill a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:6), but couldn’t break the chains of sin. Instead of becoming a great leader to turn his people back to God, he lived, married, coexisted and died with the Philistines.
As believers, we have a ‘spirit of power’ (2 Timothy 1:7), but we must not use it for our benefit. We must compliment it with love and self-control so that we guard what the Lord has given us, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit living within us, His name will be glorified.
Pray this week:
“Lord, forgive me if I’ve ever acted upon my own will and not yours. Give me the opportunity to show those around me that I belong to you. Amen.”
Where has the Lord called you to be obedient to Him in your life? Have you listened?
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