Thanks be to God?
The life of Samson!
Samson is a miracle baby much like Moses, Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, John, the Baptist, and Jesus complete with a barren mother, angelic visitation, and a unique covenant calling upon his life. He is also born to lead the Hebrews out from under the oppression of a foreign nation. Samuel, John the Baptist and perhaps even Paul shared the same Nazirite vow as Samson. It is a dark time for Israel in that it is a mostly faithless generation of people who are all doing whatever they want and ignoring the Lord. Samson is no exception. He breaks all the restrictions of his vow in these chapters. He touches and eats from an unclean animal and causes his parents to sin as well by sharing the honey with them and not telling where it is from. He also demands a pagan Philistine woman out of his lust for her. Samson gets himself into trouble with the honey in the lion, the most likely drunken riddle at his wedding feast, and with Delilah. However, God mercifully uses all of Samson's foolishness and sin to destroy the Philistines each time for the sake of his covenant people. The Hebrews are so faithless that they hand Samson over to their enemies instead of fighting alongside him. After his greatest victory of slaying 1,000 men, Samson only acknowledges God's help when he complains that God will let him die of thirst. God gives him water to drink from a dry place just as he did for the whiny Hebrews in the desert. Samson then pursues a relationship with yet another ungodly woman who nags and manipulates him into throwing away God's miraculous gift. He knows full well that Delilah will cut his hair once he tells her and he either doesn't care or thinks he is invincible with no need of God. A priest is supposed to cut his hair at the temple of the Lord when his vow is complete, but Samson let's an adulteress do it out of desire for peace and quiet and fear of losing her. She betrays him for silver and he is both physically and spiritually blinded by sin. As a consequence, he is a Hebrew returned to the state of slavery and forced to grind grain to replace what he burned in the fields of the Philistines. Satan always tempts us so that he cannot see God's presence in our lives or walk free from the dominion of sin and condemnation. Even in the end, Samson does not truly obey, worship, or repent. He only asks for revenge. Even though Samson is lustful, foolish, and rebellious, God is always good. His love for us has no limits and his covenant is everlasting. God uses Samson to destroy more Philistines with Samson's death than he did in his life thus bringing more freedom to Israel. Do not look at your sins, failures, or weakness even when you commit them again and again and again. Look to God's mercy, sovereignty, and faithfulness. Samson is a victim of his own sins and dies a sacrificial death because of stupidity. Jesus is a willing sacrifice who is victorious in his righteousness. The perfect savior. Samson is a failure just like we are, but God is so good that he is still glorified even in our failures.