Samson – Stuart Segall
As many of us could attest, my life, all the way into my 60’s, has been a struggle. In times of trouble and despair it is always comforting to find David in the Psalms. Somehow, when we read of his despair and struggles, many of us can relate to those kinds of feelings.
How gracious of God to put illustrations of David and his story in the two books of Samuel, the Kings, and the substantial book and writings that David contributed in the Psalms. David, like me, showed a roller coaster of emotions–highs and lows. Yet, in the end his is a story of the depth of God’s grace toward us.
There are people like me, who considered themselves at one time irredeemable sinners and yet they can look to the David story for serious encouragement. David was a man who could look in the mirror when confronted by his sins and was in ownership of his own flaws, it seems most every time. When the prophet Nathan delivered the goods, he repented.
However, there is another interesting figure in the Bible who also reminds me of myself. That man is Samson. It was made clear to Samson that he had a mission and was given the power to destroy the Philistines. Odd as it may seem, because he took a Nazarite vow, he was not supposed to cut his hair, but if he did, he would lose his strength.
There are times in my life when I had a mission, but looking back it seems I had given myself some self-inflicted “haircuts.” If you know the Samson story you know he took the bait. The chink in his armor seemed to be a weak spot for a beautiful woman. The enemy used this vulnerability to gain information from Samson, and he went from a mighty action-figure or super-hero, to someone without strength.
Towards the end, the Philistines captured Samson and they did it with the old “haircut” trick performed by Delilah which made him vulnerable, and he was captured and bound.
There was a point in my life I felt I was in a dungeon in chains, and I could look in the spiritual mirror and see a man with no hair, but like Samson in time the hair grows back. Samson realized as the days and weeks passed that perhaps his hair was getting longer, even though he may not have been able to see it.
As my hair grew back, I could feel it, but I could not see any opportunity that it would have been of any use again.
In Judges 16:28-30, we see Samson appeal to God in prayer. He asked God to remember him and give him just one last chance for an opportunity to serve and complete his mission. In his sincerity he requested that he die with the Philistines. Like many of us without God, he did not feel that his life was worth living, especially after losing his eyesight, like at one time when I felt I had lost my spiritual eyesight.
So, in the end, Samson, with the intervention of God did quite a number on the Philistines, if you have read the account.
As we travel forward in time, Samson’s name is found in the faith chapter, Hebrews 11. Amazingly he is called and included as one of the “cloud of witnesses.” Even though his last deed was to wreak revenge on his enemies in the act of destruction/suicide, still the story of Samson is woven into my understanding of God’s view of us struggling humans.
My story of being shipwrecked and salvaged feels like Samson’s, and it shows how low God is willing to go and yet have a place for us in his wonderful eternal plan and future.
If you have ever been a wretch like me, you might see how Samson’s story helped me to see the depths of God’s grace towards us more fully than I would have thought without it.
This is just a tiny spoke in a big wheel of grace, and I hope you can find comfort in it, just as I did. Grace is simply amazing. Today, thanks to grace, I can use his help to contribute to tearing down pillars of darkness and despair.