Samson And The God Of Second Chances.

Judges 16:23-30
23 “So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may perform for us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars. 26 Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them.” 27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there—about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.”
Samson’s story always seemed like such a strange one to me.  I used to wonder why the Holy Spirit even put it in the Bible.  Think about it:  His is personal life was a total mess, he was quite childish for a man his age, and had many character flaws.  Isn’t it just like God, however, to use the weak, flawed things and people of this world to confound the wise. His strength is made PERFECT in weakness!
Holy Spirit Pictures.
The Holy Spirit is using the story of Samson to teach us more wonderful things about our Lord Jesus!  Before he was born, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother–yet another barren woman in the Bible giving glory to our God.  
The Angel said to her in Judges 13, verses 3 and following, 3 Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 
4 Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. 5 For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Sad Childhood.
As wonderful and amazing as all that sounds, imagine what life was like from Samson’s point of view:
#1.  He could never cut his hair so it was long, like a woman’s.
#2.  He could never drink wine or any strong drink, which means he was also excluded from things like the annual festival of crushing grapes.  Every kid looked forward to that.  But not Samson.  He was not allowed.
Kids can be VERY cruel you know.  Picture this:  Samson, who grew up up looking like a girl with his long hair, was probably a very skinny kid, like a nerdy bag of bones.  You see, God would never anoint someone who was naturally physically strong; you know, like an Arnold Schwarzenegger/ body builder type.  He would anoint someone exactly opposite so that when the glory of the Lord came upon him, the glory would go to God.
As a result of his Nazarite status, he was almost certainly an object of ridicule by the other children and the butt of many jokes.  His name in Hebrew is “Shimshon,” the feminine form of his name being very similar: “Shimshona.”  You can just about hear the kids taunting him, can’t you?  “Shimshona!  Shimshona!”  How terrible life must have been for him growing up.  So sad. 😓

In our day, they would no doubt send poison emails or published derogatory blogs about him.
Pictures Of Jesus.
Shimshon comes from the word, “Shemesh,” which is the center lamp of the menorah.  It actually means, “center or servant lamp.”  It is lighted first, then removed and used to light all the other lamps which are turned inward toward it.  It’s a picture of our Lord Jesus!
Our Jesus was the butt of taunting and persecution His whole life.  The Pharisees, His own personal “Philistines,” were out to get Him at every opportunity; and on the day He died, He suffered things we may never comprehend, even when we get to heaven.

I am certain I’m not the only one eternally grateful for what He endured in our stead!
Samson destroyed more Philistines by his death than he ever did in his entire life.
Jesus destroyed more by His death, too:  HE TRIUMPHED OVER ALL THE FORCES OF EVIL CRUSHING THE devil’s HEAD!!!
After Delilah, whose name, by the way, means “wearisome,” in Hebrew, (you know, a “nag?”) betrayed him and cut his hair, the Philistines bound him, put out his eyes, and led him away…..but they left him alone and let his hair grow.  BIG MISTAKE!
God Of Second Chances.
Why on earth would they let his hair grow again and leave him alone when they knew his great strength came from his long locks?  These people didn’t know our God, that’s why!!
They figured it this way; he betrayed his secret so, basically, he betrayed his God.  He knew full well that Delilah would hand him over to the Philistines and when she did, they figured, “Well, that’s it; he’s toast.”  They were certain his God would be very angry at him and leave him to his fate, one he richly deserved.
NOPE!
“…Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left…..” and he brought down the house, killing everyone!

One hand against one pillar and one hand against the other; that looks just like Jesus with His  arms stretched out on the cross.
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They didn’t know that our God is a God of GREAT GRACE AND ABOUNDING MERCY!!! 
As for you, if you think you’ve really blown it and done something so horrible that there is no hope of reprieve, I hope you remember the story of Samson.
I hope you remember that our God is a GOOD GOD!
HE’S THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES….and third…and fourth…..and fifth…..

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