by K Neill Foster
for July 04, 2020
|When God Leaves|
Text: "Then she called, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' He awoke from his sleep and thought, 'I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had left him.'" Judges 16:20
The story of Sampson and Delilah is well-known. Sampson was a dissolute young Hebrew with massive strength. He had been set apart unto the Lord. His exploits included the killing of one thousand Philistines with a donkey's jawbone!
But alas, Sampson had a moral weakness. His affinity for prostitutes compromised his separateness. When Delilah came along, she was able to coax out of him the secret of his immense strength. It turned out to be his long hair!
If you know the story, you know that a shaven Samson was powerless. The Philistines eventually gouged out his eyes and imprisoned him. But his hair grew back, his strength returned, and in the end he found his way into the pagan temple. The whole national leadership of the Philistines was present-- about 3,000 men on the roof alone! (Must have been some roof!) Placing himself between the two supporting pillars he pushed with all his might. And guess what? "Down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than when he lived" (Judges 16:30).
The bigger point, apart from the drama, is that there is a way back for all of us when sin has penetrated and when we no longer sense the presence of God. Sampson found his way back.