June 25 – God of Second Chances – Samson

Read Judges 16:28-30

I hate to be the one to break the news to you but you are not perfect.  No one is! The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  The unfortunate thing is that many of us tend to think that, because of our sin or because of our baggage, we cannot be used by God.  We feel that our past and our shortcomings exclude us from being a servant of the Lord.  But these are lies!  God is never finished with us.  Like the song we sing on Sunday mornings during worship, “If I’m not dead then You’re not done” (My Testimony). 

One of the great examples of God giving someone a second chance is the story of Samson.  He was a Nazarite and had vows to keep until his death, one of which was to never cut his hair.  Samson’s strength came from his hair.  But what happened?  He told the secret of his strength and, while he was sleeping, his hair was cut and he became powerless. 

Samson was seized by the Philistines who went so far as to gouge out his eyes and bind him in bronze shackles in prison where he was forced into grinding grain. 

Sounds like game over for Samson!  The once mighty man was nothing but a shell of a man.  In prison and forced in to hard labor with no sight and in a place where he faced abuse from the Philistines. 

But God was not done with Samson. 

In Judges 16:22, it says, “But his hair began to grow back after it had been shaved.”  His hair was where he received his power.  It was sheared off.  Removed.  But it started to grow back. 

Things in our past are just that; the past.  It is behind us.  In a sense, our past and our sins or our circumstances leave us feeling powerless.  But the LORD is not done with us! He is never done with us as long as there is breath in our lungs. 

Samson was in chains, the prized prisoner of the Philistines. As they brought him out during a sacrifice to one of their gods, the ONE AND ONLY LIVING GOD ALMIGHTY did a mighty thing! 

Judges 16:28-30 says Samson called out to the Lord:

“Lord God, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left.  Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.”

God had given Samson the task of delivering Israel and he blew it; because of that, he was unable to finish the job.  But God gave him a second chance and Samson delivered on his prayer request to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters, your past is behind you!  The Lord is not finished with you.  He used a man like Samson who had broken his vow and sinned against Him, was imprisoned and blind, and He can and will use each one us to accomplish His will.

What is in your past that is holding you back? What could God do in and through you if you unshackled yourself and followed hard after Him?

Nate Mills

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