The life of Samson is a tragic picture of how our carnal desires can lay to ruin the opportunities that God desires for us. Unlike his predecessor in the Book of Judges who through his weakness God made strong, Samson’s story is one of great power and strength who fell into weakness.
Samson’s parents were told he would be special. A pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God announced to them his destiny. His life would be constrained to openly demonstrate that he belonged to God for a special purpose. This Nazarite lifestyle would generally affect followers in three ways. Samson was forbidden drinking wine or strong alcoholic drink of any kind. He was also forbidden to handle a deceased person. While these first two seem to have been challenged by Samson’s choices during his life, it did not seem to have any restraining effects upon his divinely enabled ability. The third condition he was to permanently live with was hair that could never be cut.
The reason God had sent this particular man into the world was to deliver the Israelites from the evil and oppressive Philistines. Samson was not given the great gift of diplomacy or negotiation. He was not very innovative or ambitious. Instead, he was a simple man who had simple dreams. Sadly, his upbringing was not as disciplined as needed. For whatever good things he was taught, Samson struggled his entire life restraining his own passions. Were his superior strength and physical abilities stumbling blocks on his road to developing humility?
However Samson’s personality developed into manhood, we see the outcome as a hot-tempered, brash fighter who embraced the arrogance of supposed invincibility. One of the key elements of his behavior was self-will. It could be a possibility that because of his special status as a future deliverer for the nation that his parents never taught him self-control and humility. As Samson developed it is clear that he was not following the example of a godly leader.
While his life and exploits were shaped by lust and moral failure, what is of interest here are the reflections of Samson’s heart on the night he was betrayed. Imagine the night as he thought about what had happened while he was with Delilah that final day. As the frustration and pain began to settle from his awful experience, what would have been the theme of his thoughts?
We know that he eventually called out to God for one last moment of strength. So maybe his mind began to see how his lust for the wrong women had led him into the path of failure. We can never really know the thoughts of his heart, but we can see the fruit. Samson had been brought low because of his sin. His reaction to this could have been the hardness of heart, but instead, he humbled himself before God. He finally understood that God’s way is the best way.
So on that terrible night, Samson took inventory of his life and choices. He recognized that he alone had brought the suffering upon his head. His personal choices paved the way into the grindhouse. When this was done he embraced the loving forgiveness of God. He confessed his sin and shame to a loving Heavenly Father. He did not deny his guilt. He did not argue for his choices. He did not blame his parents or his friends. Instead, he claimed what belonged to him.
The biblical principle is still then same. If we will confess and forsake our sins we will find mercy from God. Samson received this forgiveness and mercy. Sadly, his life should have been filled with so much more. It should have been strong and righteous. Yet through his restoration, Samson was given one last opportunity to strike out at the pagan enemies of God’s people.
The great truth from this man must be a cautioning of unrestrained passions. When we abandon God’s way we must always expect the consequences to mirror our decisions.