Samson failed hero

Samson failed hero

O Lord God, remember me! Strengthen me just one more time. – Judges 16:28

Judges 16:28-30

 28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow, let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”

 29 Then, Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,

 30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

On November 4, 1979, outraged Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran. For the next 14 months, 52 Americans were held captive by the Ayatollah. It was horrific for the captives and humiliating for Pres. Jimmy Carter and the United States of America.

Unable to resolve the crisis diplomatically, President Carter authorized operation Eagle Claw, a top-secret attempt to rescue the 52 hostages. Seemingly, the mission had everything required for success. However, rather than bringing the hostages back alive and well, the entire effort turned out to be a special operations disaster.

Eight helicopters were sent to the staging area in Iran called Desert One. Three of them never arrived. The mission was scrubbed. Attempting to return to base, one of the remaining helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft. Both aircraft were destroyed, and eight servicemen were killed.

Because of Israel’s disobedience, the Father handed them over to the Philistines. They lived under Philistine oppression for 40 years (Judges 13:1). Samson, one of the last Judges of Israel, was born to be a hero. Samson was given a mission and empowered to triumph over Israel’s dreaded enemy: the Philistines.

At the outset, things started well for Samson. He was graciously given the opportunity for success. He had godly parents who pointed him in the right direction. The spirit of the Lord began to stir him when he was a young man (Judges 13:24).

But Samson was a flawed hero. And began to make one wrong decision after another. He was a man of his times when everyone did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). He acted more like a spoiled man-child than a spiritual leader. Rather than being directed by his spiritual relationship with the Father, living God, he was ruled by his lusts, emotions, and eye for beautiful women (Judges 14:1-4, 16:4). Samson’s undisciplined folly and sensuality would be his downfall.

Although tragically flawed, the Father repeatedly empowered him to defeat his attackers and foes (Judges 14:5-6, 19-4,8, 14-17, etc.). Samson is an example of human frailty and supernatural enablement in one person. Could it be that many of us children of the King can easily identify with him? His life serves as a warning to us all. But his death provides hope and assurance that “it is never too late to call upon the name of the Lord” (Simon J. Robinson).

REFLECT & PRAY

“Samson had fallen so low spiritually that he could not tell the difference between the Lord’s presence and His absence” (Stanley).

Father I have learned the lesson of Samson. Keep me focused on You rather than the passing pleasures of sin that so easily entangle me. Strengthen me just one more time.

INSIGHT

As a result of Samson’s folly, the Lord departed from him. Tragically, Samson did not even know it (Judges 16:20). Samson became spiritually insensitive and ultimately spiritually blind. As a result of his spiritual blindness, he became physically blind.

Judges 16:21 So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in prison.

In rapid succession, Samson was betrayed by Delilah, his “lover.” She cut off his hair. He lost his strength and was captured. He was blinded by the Philistines and became their slave and play toy to ridicule, mock, and torment.

The Philistines were quite religious and attributed Samson’s loss of strength and capture to their God, Dagon. Samson was summoned to the temple of Dagon to be humiliated and entertain them. Mocking a prophet of the living God is never a good idea. The Father takes it quite personally and frequently acts in defense of His servants, the prophets (2 Kings 9:7).

Judges 16:22 But before long, his hair began to grow back.

These words are a veiled promise! With the regrowth of his hair, his strength began to return. The Philistines had no idea that this was so. However, they were about to find out. They were in for the surprise of their life and, ultimately, their death. Samson is summoned to the temple of Dagon.

Judges 16:23-30

 23 The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, “Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!”

 24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy to us! The one who killed so many of us is now in our power!”

 25 Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!” So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.

 26 Samson said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.”

 27 Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.

 28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”

 29 Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,

 30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

This is only the second time that Samson prays in the book of Judges (Judges 15:18).

Samson prays that just once, the Father would strengthen him, and so He did. This is a model for every child of the King. We can echo Samson’s prayer when we get into difficult circumstances that are apparently hopeless or seemingly impossible.

But there is a little-known secret. It is pretty simple. The Father never counts how many times we pray this prayer. Thus, we can pray it repeatedly as though we have never prayed it at all. The Father has been known to answer over and over again.

When the Father calls children of the King to serve, they have only to recall and recite Samson’s prayer.

O God, please strengthen me just one more time.

¯\_()_/¯

© Dr. H 2022

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