October 07, 2011

How Do You Judge a Hero?

Judges 16:23-31

Samson prayed … “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more …”
Judges 16:28


Samson is listed as a person of faith in Hebrews 11:32. And yet his lifestyle may cause us to wonder.

Samson had amazing strength from God, but he seemed often to abuse it for his own sport. From birth he had been dedicated to serve God, but Samson showed disrespect for all kinds of God’s laws for his people. Eventually he was betrayed into the hands of his enemies by Delilah, a woman he was living with. His great strength left him, and they made him a prisoner. They gouged out his eyes and put him to work grinding grain. (See Judges 13-16.)

Do we feel much sympathy for someone like that? Isn’t it tempting to say he deserved what he got?

Though Samson couldn’t see anymore, we might say that at the end of his life his real sight was restored.

Samson’s life was marked not by prayer but by physical, brute strength. Yet in the last moment of his life, he turned to God in prayer and asked God to remember him. God answered his prayer by giving him great strength again. And Samson’s last act as a leader of Israel was marked by a victory that cost him his life. Samson sacrificed his life for God’s people. Maybe that’s why he is remembered in Hebrews 11.

Dear God, may Samson’s life remind me that in spite of what I have done, you can still redeem me. May I be willing to sacrifice for you as you have done for me through Jesus, your Son. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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