The story of Samson the judge of Israel is one I feel really identified with. Samson was a child born with a promise, to be a man committed to God all the days of his life. He was a man who knew firsthand what it meant to have the Spirit of God come upon him to do many an exploit. Each time we remember Samson we generally tend to forget every good thing he had done, and our minds quickly bring to memory the famous story of Samson and Delilah.
Just like Samson, many of us (myself especially) started our Christian walk with promises of God (which by the way still stands if God gave them to you) and we made commitments to God, and kept Gods commandments faithfully. The observers who never shy away from voicing their opinions had the following prognosis: “this zeal won’t last longer than a few months it’s all first love syndrome, once it wears off reality will set in.” But you on the other hand knew that this was more than simply just zeal born out of your first love. You knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that this was heartfelt genuine love for God, which for once in your life meant the world to you.
Like Samson, we may have seen God work in and through us in ways we could only call ‘supernatural’ and after each experience, we would stand in awe of our mighty God. For some people it was dealing directly with the enemy of our souls and seeing God use your life as a means to bring deliverance to others by the power of God in Jesus name. We all enjoyed perfect fellowship with God which lasted beyond the timeframe the observers had prognosticated. They said, “It was a thing of a few months” but it lasted for many long years. Everything was going as it should until your wife or a beloved one was taken away, as the wife of Samson was, not by death, but by his Father-in-Law who gave Samson’s bride to his friend because he thought Samson hated her since he left on the day of their marriage out of anger. Like Samson you did not let anything get to you, or to destroy you. You kept on seeking God and letting the Spirit of God direct you into great victories. Somewhere along the road, the fact that you did not deal with the issue of losing your beloved one or that thing you held dear slowly but steadily in your subconscious began to cause you to weaken your resolve to be obedient to God fully. Samson went and stayed with a harlot in Gaza and though he had just made a mistake, God kept watching over him. Lying in wait for him outside the place where he had lain with the harlot were his enemies seeking to take his life, but God must have caused him to get up at midnight and take the gate posts of the city to Hebron on the mountain. Like us when we made mistakes, God still kept watching over us, because He loves us and because He is good, slow to anger and abounding in love. So even through the times I disobeyed God, when I made mistakes which cost the trust of my family, and of my friends, God was still watching over me for good, and the same applies to you, to your marriage, your friendships, your family, and your work. God was and is still watching over you for good!
As if the first error was not enough, Samson loved another Philistine woman called Delilah. Samson loved her, but she did not love him. She loved money; she was a deceiver and a killer of the great. She is a type of the deception the worldly system controlled by our enemy Satan has to offer. Samson fell into the trap of this seemingly beautiful woman. Beautiful on the outside but whose interior was really ugly and filthy. She is like sin, it looks enticing and good on the outside, but inside the way it is leading you on is the way of death and destruction. Many of us who all started off well could end up in the arms of Delilah (not necessarily a woman or man but a deceiving spirit trying to entice you and lead you into sin and destruction). Don’t give in, don’t entertain those thoughts they are not yours, your enemy the devil is very astute and he is seeking to destroy you by making you think it’s ok to have a little sin inside of you, or because everyone else around you fail to live holy lives so maybe God understands and it’s ok (but not for you).
Samson allowed his love for Delilah to blind him so that even though she immediately sought to destroy him, he did not realize it, just like the devil does with sin and we cannot see it if we are blinded. Samson did not give in easily, but the persistence of Delilah wore him out. The devil doesn’t give up easily; he always seeks out one place or the other to enter or an opportune time. We all have weaknesses and we need to make sure we don’t entertain sinful thoughts of any nature (not necessarily sexual in nature, could be thoughts of hate, of pride, of judgment, of jealousy, of envy and so on) because when you least expect, you will give in after playing with sin long enough. This is why the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Evil thoughts are not to be entertained, but to be taken captive to the obedience of Christ. Previously when Delilah had asked Samson the source of his strength, he lied to her, and when she would call out ‘behold your enemies’ he would snap out of the restraints Delilah had bound him with. As she persistently queried him, Samson finally became worn out and told her everything that was in his heart and the woman gave him up to his enemies to destroy him. Sin always leads to destruction, beware, and get out now, for tomorrow may be too late, don’t listen to those voices of the devil, just trust God, and leave the way of sin right now. James 1:15 says. “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
On previous occasions Samson was able to snap out of the restraints but when he shared his heart with Delilah and his hair was cut, the Spirit of God left him without him realizing it and he was unable to defend himself from his enemies. This generation needs to be a generation committed to God, a generation that lives for the Presence of God. We cannot continue to blow hot and cold, we cannot keep playing church because when we least expect it, we would have grieved the Spirit of God and He will just leave unannounced like He did with Samson. We cannot have enough of the world to feel cool and blend in with the system and enough of God to be saved. There is no middle ground, only one way to life (Jesus) and another way to death (the world = sin = death and destruction).
The good news is if you are like Samson, if you are like me, then salvation has come to you. You see if you will only repent like Samson did, God will not only forgive you, but your sins He shall remember no more. Jeremiah 31:34 says, “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” When Hebrews 11 speaks of Samson, it does not say, oh that disgraced judge of Israel, no it refers to him as a great man of faith, “who from weakness were made strong” see Hebrews 11:32-34. The good news friend is that when we repent, God forgives us, blots away all our wrong doings and remembers them no more. So if you are like Samson, if you are like me who has made so many mistakes, just repent and God will forgive you and forget your sins. He will call you to a walk of faith with Him. He will remember the good you have done and forget the evil so that in heaven you are remembered as a valiant warrior full of faith, not as one who fell into the arms of a deceiver, or as a looser.
Many of you feel as though you have failed enough, many of you feel as though you are in the enemies hands and that you have been blinded, weakened and left without any hope, but just like Samson, even in the midst of your worst days, which could be full of darkness and hopelessness, your hair (the source of your strength) is growing again. Meanwhile, you are praying to God and pleading for one last chance to destroy your enemies and die, for one last chance to make things right, but the Lord your God is saying to you today, “Samson I gave one last chance and he killed more Philistine enemies in his death than he had all his life, and his errors I remember no more, because he was (is) a man of faith. But for you I have reserved a more excellent way. You ask me for one last chance just like Samson did, but today I say to you arise son, arise daughter of mine, arise in My strength with which I am renewing you with even now. You asked Me for one last chance, but I say to you child I have reserved a more excellent way for you and today I give you a lifeline, I give you a lifeline with which to live and to triumph over your enemies all the days of your life, so arise mighty man of valor, arise mighty woman of valor!”