After many times disregarding YHWH’s instruction, Samson was ultimately done in when he told a prostitute about his hair and it was cut. The Philistines finally had the upper hand with Samson. We could probably say that Samson “got what he deserved” for his poor judgment and arrogance. However, there is more to ponder here.
I can’t help but wonder why YHWH did not leave Samson earlier with all his indiscretions and sin, his disregard for YHWH’s instructions. But none the less, the LORD left Samson after he allowed his hair to be cut.
It would be easy to assume YHWH was through with Samson. However, Samson’s hair grows back (clumsy on the part of his captors) and he humbles himself before YHWH and asks for help once more. YHWH shows grace and mercy to him. What an encouragement to us when we make mistakes. We can also humble ourselves and ask the LORD to forgive us and work through us again, though we should be truly repentant and change our sinful behavior.
21Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison. 22However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.
23Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said,
“Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands.”
24When the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said,
“Our god has given our enemy into our hands,
Even the destroyer of our country,
Who has slain many of us.”
25It so happened when they were in high spirits, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may amuse us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars. 26Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them.
Samson Is Avenged
28Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life. 31Then his brothers and all his father’s household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years.
One more thought I find interesting… I do not see a lot of reference to Samson actually being a leader in Israel, though verse 31 says he judged Israel for twenty years. Most of the history we read of Samson is all about his personal life and poor judgment and revenge. Even in death, there is no recording of Samson repenting or regretting his choices, but rather simply another desire for revenge one more time against the Philistines. Always something interesting to ponder in the scriptures.
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