Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 1, 2015
Based Upon Judges 16:20
Been selfish? Doing the wrong thing? Samson made up for lost time; you can too.
“And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.”
This is a very sad story. The man whom God called from the womb to be a peculiar treasure, a Nazarite, found himself in a dire situation. Many times in spite of his vow to the Lord to be a special soldier for truth, Samson indulged his selfish passions, and misused the power God had given him to do well. He allowed the lust of the flesh and a daring thirst for power to rule him in the same way a ventriloquist controls a dummy.
One day, after having betrayed his mission and the trust of the living God, which gave him his extraordinary strength, he thought to shake himself awake and go on to presume upon the gift God had given to him. He did not realize that the Lord had departed from him. How did he move from being a chosen vessel, called specifically to bring Godly order, to anathema? How is it that the Spirit of God left him?
We can learn valuable lessons from the life of Samson. He decided many times to ignore the promptings of God to do right, and took for granted that God would always strengthen him no matter what he did. We see that God will not allow such presumption but for so long. Yes, the Lord is longsuffering, but He is not mocked (Galatians 6:7, 8). God allowed Samson the option of separating himself from Him to the point that the Spirit left him. It is a terrible thing to choose disobedience as a lifestyle.
Another lesson that can be learned is that although we sink to our lowest point spiritually, the Lord is able to raise us up. You see, Samson did not go to his grave having forsaken the Lord. In the closing scenes of his life, he allowed the chastening of the Lord to mold his character in such a way that his dedication was demonstrated even to the point of death. “And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men, and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” (Judges 16:25-30).
In the closing scenes of his life, he allowed the chastening of the Lord to mold his character in such a way that his dedication was demonstrated even to the point of death.
It is a blessing that the Lord is so merciful, but let us not take His kindness for granted. The story of Samson is a lesson about the grace of God and His forgiveness, but it is also a lesson about the benefits of obedience to God’s will. Be faithful in all of your endeavors and receive the promise to God’s people that He will never leave, nor forsake us.