Judges 16:28-31

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 24, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Then Samson prayed to the Lord, ‘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.’ Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.” (Judges 16:28-31)

In our passage from last week, Samson set the stage for what God is about to do. The Philistines were having a big party to worship their god Dagon with more than 3000 Philistines in attendance, and Samson was put on display as their great prize. Samson got in place by the main pillars of the building, and that’s where we pick up today’s passage.

As he had previously, Samson once again called on the Lord for strength. He wanted to be obedient to God’s plan, and at this point in his humiliation, he likely realized (finally) that following God’s plan was the only way to get out of this. Delilah had cut Samson’s hair so that he had lost his strength, but his hair had begun to grow back. Samson likely would not have regained his full strength on his own, without God’s power back on him.

So what does Samson do? He brings the roof down - literally! He pushes on the pillars with all of his strength (and help from God), and the whole place comes crashing down, killing all of the dignitaries inside and the 3000 Philistines up on the roof. While Samson had killed many Philistines a few times before, this was his largest slaughter yet. It also came at the greatest price - Samson too lost his life that day. Samson would gladly die with the Philistines according to God’s plan rather than continue to live a humiliated life among them.

Because of this final act of faith, Samson was considered by the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews to be a “hero of the faith,” in Hebrews 11:32. He is only mentioned very briefly, but he is there. Throughout his life Samson failed to live up to the standards of the Nazirite vow that was placed on him, but God still used him. Samson was ruined by his own lusts, but God still used him. Samson was an example of great potential of working for God, but he did not have true obedience to God or good character, but God still used him.

Samson did get revenge on the Philistines, but only in God’s timing and using God’s methods. I’m sure he would have preferred to kill thousands more of them in some spectacular way where he could live to receive at least part of the glory, but that’s not what God had planned. Samson had revealed the secret of his strength to the wrong person (Delilah), so he had to pay the consequences. God used Samson to be victorious over the Philistines.

Do you feel unworthy of God using you and your life for His Kingdom? Just look at all the ways Samson messed up, and I bet you won’t feel quite so bad. God can and will use anyone for His purposes, and all we need to do is be obedient to Him. Although, like Samson, we will likely still mess up and need God’s forgiveness. But if we are willing to be used by God in the method and the timing that He sees fit, He will do miraculous things through us.

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