If we were to take Arnold schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Sylvester Stallone, and roll them all together into one guy we just might get a glimpse of who Samson was.  The boy was just big.  In reading the history of Samson in Judges 13:1-5 it’s clear that he had a great future ahead of him. He was chosen by God to lead His people and was uniquely gifted for the task.  One thing that we all have in common with Samson is that we're all actually gifted in different ways and created for divine purposes. I love the way King David talks about our uniqueness in Ps 139:13-16.  Samson was strong and his future was bright, but somewhere along the way he fell.

Picking the historical narrative back up in chapter 14, the text tells us that he saw some eye candy in a lady who was not of God’s people and wanted her.  Despite the pleas of his family, Samson took confidence in his own strength and judgement and insisted on getting his own way. In so doing; his falling led to his failing.  If you’ve not read the whole story, it’s really one of simple rebellion against God, inflated self-confidence, and ultimately forgetting who he was.  Thus he wound up in prison as a slave for the enemies of God. He had a future, but he fell and failed miserably.

As I read over those chapters I can’t help but wonder how things could have been different.   What if Samson wasn’t alone?  It’s clear that he was somewhat of a one man show.  He was stronger than any other man. In fact he was stronger than many men put together. He lived with the knowledge of an anointing of God. Maybe it all just went to his head.  But he was alone without a brother to keep him focused.  That’s one of the beautiful things about MMFC; we know that we’re not alone in the battle. For whatever reason though, Samson set his own agenda by himself and he fell and failed in profound ways.

But yet; that’s not where his life ended.  In chapter 16 of Judges we see that over his time of total brokenness he humbled himself and pressed into God instead of stewing in his destruction.  Though his eyes had been taken out by his tormentors and he was made their captive, he used his last ounce of strength and breath to praise God and bring about a final victory.  In fact the text tells us that he put to death more of Israel’s enemies in his death than in his life.  Maybe it was in those final moments of his life that he realized that his real strength came from faith and not the flesh. What we do know is that Samson is listed among the great men of faith in Hebrews chapter 11:32 which is no small deal. His faith overcame his failure.

Sure, I wonder how Samson’s life could have been different. But I also wonder how ours can be different today.  The truth is that no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, Jesus still has plans for us. The more we press into Him and rely on our brothers, the more God can use us.  We don’t need to have the body mass of Samson or the different gifts of others. We just have to know in our hearts that real strength comes through faith and not our flesh. No matter who we are or what we have, God has a plan for us to use our mission to co-create with Him a better world now and future fulfilled Kingdom in Heaven.

What would you add and how can you encourage others today to live out their mission?

 

Steve Hinton