September 17
Judges 13-16

KEY VERSE: O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once. --Judges 16:28

What helpful principles for living may we learn from the story of Samson? Jot down one or two before you read my answer. Now compare your ideas with mine. Here they are:

  1. Arrogance is utterly foolish and often fatal. Professional wrestlers may use it to attract a crowd, but no one truly admires the person who is always boasting about his superiority over others. Samson learned the hard way that his overconfidence was tragically foolish.

  2. It is a great mistake to get so full of yourself that you take God for granted. The greatest tragedy in Samson's life is that he was so enamored with his own strength that he was not even aware that the Spirit of God had departed from him! Why had God left Samson? Because he had broken his vow of devotion to the Lord. It can happen to us; it does happen to us. We can avoid such failure by being willing to be accountable to another Christian on a regular basis.

  3. Failure need not cause us to give up on God. God never gives up on us. God did not turn his back on Samson but answered his prayer by restoring his strength for one last effort to defeat the Philistines. Underline it in your heart: God uses people who have failed him! There are no perfect Christians. We are all flawed. But by the grace of God flawed disciples may rise up from the dust of defeat and engage in more noble service of the Master.

Because Samson did not give up on God, his name is included in the Bible's Hall of Fame, Hebrews, chapter 11. Perhaps he is considered an Old Testament hero because he had the faith to believe that God would give him a second chance. Given that chance he used once more the gift God had given him to serve the Lord. We shall be wise to go and do likewise.