March 16

Judges 16-18, Psalm 75

As we read of the tragic failures in the life of Samson in Judges 14-16, we shouldn’t neglect that he is mentioned in the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11:32. In Judges 15:20 it states that “he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines”.

The tragedy is we will never know how much more Samson could have been used by God, since he repeatedly was tempted and failed. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”. Jim Elliot (Christian missionary who was martyred) said, “Unwillingness to accept God’s “way of escape” from temptation frightens me, what a rebel yet resides within”.

It’s easy to look at the mistakes of Samson and shake our heads in disbelief, especially in the encounter with Delilah in Judges 16:6-20 when it seems obvious to the reader that her motives were evil. But any of us who choose to fight our temptations in our own strength can fall like Samson. In fact, despite his failings, God kept coming through for him. Samson’s strength was not in his hair, but in his commitment to the Lord, of which his hair was a symbol. When his hair was cut, his Nazarite vow was broken. A very scary verse is Judges 16:20, “…But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”

May we learn from the lesson of Samson. We who are born again are filled with the Holy Spirit. There is so much that he wants to do through each and every one of us. But we often prevent His best plans by giving into sin. Samson thought he could get away with his sin. Though we are forgiven our sins, as with Samson, there are earthly consequences for our sin. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato