Samson thought he could do what he always did which was rely on his strength - but this time he was on his own; the Spirit of the Lord was no longer with him; he had the dawning realization that without God, he was a mere weak man. The enemy could torture and humiliate him. In our lives, it could be likened to our diminishing time in God's presence daily. If our habit of spending time with God changes, we won't have the same resources available to us; our weapons won't be sharp. It would be like going into battle with a dull knife - we are not prepared. We delude ourselves until we realize we are in the heat of battle.
How humiliating and painful - a man who was known to be so strong is brought so low. He was bound with brass chains and his eyes were gouged out - adding insult to injury! Our bad decisions can lead to painful humiliation. When you decided not to punish a child for being disobedient and then they turn around and speak to you as if you were equals; when you took a shortcut with a process at work and now the client account is at stake; when you didn't think before you spoke. Opportunities abound for Team Bad Decisions - but you don't have to be on this team.
As a stone grinder for the Philistines, all Samson has is time. It is in this state of brokenness and desperation that he can reflect and realize that the Lord's hand was on his life. It's often in our desperate moments that we gain clarity on the hand of God. It is also in this state that growth happens. For Samson, his hair began to grow again. Hope lives even in desperate situations. Samson received an outward physical reminder that coincided with his change of heart.
His enemies were rejoicing in their "victory". They paid Samson's hair no mind or forgot the importance of his hair. Have you ever had a feeling in a desperate time, where you knew that you were going to overcome but no one else around you could believe it or see it but only you knew? At this point is doesn't matter if you're overlooked because you recognize that your desperate state is not your final state. Being overlooked in your desperation because God is working on you is all right!
They decided to bring Samson out as Exhibit A in celebration to their false god. He's bound and seems harmless, so when he makes a request to stand between two stone pillars, he's able to do so.
I love Samson's last desperate pray - “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”
This pray says, Lord, I know you and you know me. I know You are and were my Source. Just one more time Lord, one More Time - GIVE ME STRENGTH. This pray is an acknowledgment of the Greatness of God. Desperation makes us recognize the greatness of God.
At the end of Samson's life, we see his desperation and devotion to God. Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
If you are in a state of desperation, may it bring you full circle back to God.
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! Psalms 42:1,2,5
Are you desperate for God?
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