S21P14 – Portraits of faith: Samson

Judges 15:15
Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

Samson made many mistakes in his life from broken vows to God to lack of self-control to misguided use of his God-given gifts. He is by no means a symbol of perfection. In fact, he may resemble many of us today. However, he is listed in the Hebrews “Hall of Faith” for a reason. The short verse above gives us a clue to what that reason is.

Before Samson was born, God made a promise about him. The angel of the Lord told Samson’s barren mother that she would give birth to a son who would “begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” [Judges 13:5] That is what Samson did when he, by faith, fought of 1,000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. He fulfilled God’s promise and plan that he would begin Israel’s deliverance from this enemy. And when the victory was his, he recognized before men that it was God who had given it to him. Even in death, despite his life’s twists and turns away from God at times, he sacrificed himself to fulfill God’s plan for him. [Judges 17: 25-30]

By faith, Samson gained what was promised of him. [Heb. 11:33] Imperfect, proud at times, and prone to bad decisions, Samson still completed God’s plan for him and gave God the glory for that. At the end of his life, he recognized his utter dependence on God as he asked for that one last show of strength to defeat his enemies. He knew that he could do none of this himself, and he trusted God to power him through it. Father, keep us vigilant of our faithfulness as we walk out the plans You have ordained for us, and keep us always turning to You for our strength and support even though we may stumble along the way.