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
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
It’s an awesome thing, being used by God to further His work in this world. I am sure you would agree that the empowerment by God to accomplish things bigger and greater than anything we could do on our own is a true blessing. That is true for individuals and it is true for churches as well. The problem, of course, with being gifted and blessed is that it can start to go to our heads and we can lose site of any sense of humility. We can grow so accustomed to the giftedness and blessing, we can forget where it comes from and whose bidding it is for. That, it seems to me, was Samson’s problem.
By pretty much anyone’s standards, Samson “had it going on”. Having taken the Nazarite vows and having committed himself to God’s service, he was empowered with almost super-hero-like abilities. He became a powerful leader among God’s people and actually served as one of Israel’s more famous leaders (one of the “judges”) for some twenty years. What was his “super power”? Uncommon strength. That giftedness propelled him to great acclaim among the people.
But Samson had a lifelong struggle with self-control and instant gratification. He had, it seems, a virtually unquenchable appetite for pleasing himself, even if it meant being disobedient to God or to his Nazarite vows. He worshiped God. He loved God. He had great faith in God. He was remembered by the writer of Hebrews as one of the heroes of the faith in God’s story (Hebrews 11). …