July 26 I Monday
“Then Samson prayed to the Lord, ‘Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more…’” —Judges 16:28
The story of Samson in the Old Testament is tragic; a man full of the Spirit did not even realize when the Lord left him. After his hair was cut, Samson’s strength left him. He was locked in prison, blind and humiliated. Yet, there was hope as Judges 16:22 tells us, “...the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.” In other words, the Spirit of God began to stir within Samson again.
While Samson was in captivity, the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon, their god, to celebrate how he delivered Samson into their hands. As the people were in high spirits, they called Samson out of prison to perform for them. There were about three thousand men and women watching Samson in the temple. As Samson could not see, he said to the servant, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Afterwards, Samson prayed, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” God heard Samson’s prayer and strengthened him. With the last words, “Let me die with the Philistines!”, Samson pushed against the pillars and the roof caved in. On that day, Samson killed more Philistines in his death than he did in his life as the temple collapsed on the whole crowd who were gathered there (Judges 16:23-30).
In the end, God restored His power to Samson and in the New Testament, Samson is listed among men and women who lived by faith. The author of Hebrews writes, “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson…who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised” (Hebrews 11:32-33). But all this happened after a wasted life.
Years ago, I knew a man who used to say, “You can have a saved soul, but a wasted life.” What a true statement, especially of Samson! At the beginning, Samson was set apart by God; in the middle, Samson wasted his life, but in the end, he called on God.
Where are we in our relationship with God? Maybe we find ourselves wandering away from God, discouraged and beaten down by the struggles of our lives; it is never too late to turn back to God. He is never hesitant to respond to the cry of a human heart. With the remainder of the life that God has granted us, may we pursue God with a sincere heart as Samson did.
Prayer: Lord God, I come to You in confession, admitting that I have wandered away from You and wasted my life by pursuing things other than You. Thank You for hearing the cry of my heart and giving me this life to live fully for You.