I don’t know about you, but when I learned about the story of Samson as a kid, I didn’t really know what to make of it. The whole thing was just confusing. He was born with incredible potential but fell prisoner to violence, lust & revenge. And as a kid, you just don’t expect heroes in the bible to show any flaws; you expect them to be perfect. So I decided to revisit the story as an adult and try to find a more positive message from the rather tragic story of Samson.
Even though he was born a Nazirite—devoted to God—he makes many wrong decisions in his life which were not in keeping with this way of life & ultimately lead to his downfall. And very often, all it can take is one weak spot to ruin everything. Samson may have been physically strong, but he was seriously lacking in strength when it came to making good and wise decisions. He was blinded by lust long before he was blinded by the Philistines and fell for a woman who was willing to trade him in for the promise of money.
What really stands out when you read the whole story, is that God keeps giving Samson the opportunity to repent, and endless opportunities to learn how to control his desires. But Samson doesn’t get it. He doesn’t turn to God when making important decisions. The only times he cries out to God and offers any form of prayer is when he has a physical need, such as thirst. "Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the Lord" (Judges 15:18) And what does God do? He stays patient and loving, he shows mercy and gives him water.
Samson doesn’t use his strengths to their full potential. He shows great weakness and is led by lust & physical needs. Time & time again he fails to learn his lesson and continues to follow those desires. But God never leaves him.
There’s a big lesson for us to learn here as parents. And that is to never give up on our children, even when they fail to listen & keep messing up over & over again. Our job is to guide, to love and to forgive, not to judge.
And to never give up…
And in the end, Samson prayed his final, heartfelt prayer to God: "O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!" (Judges 16:28).