“What Makes a Hero?” – Wednesday – Judges 16:25-30

Judges 16:25-30

“And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained.

Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.”

As a kid, I remember thinking that Sampson was about as close as you could get in the Bible to a traditional superhero. But as I got older and re-read the biblical account, I realized I had gotten the condensed and sanitized version of his story in children’s church. Sampson was a hero but only in regards to his strength. In every other area of his life, he was a complete mess. He strayed from the path of his calling, used his talents out of anger and arrogance, and squandered his opportunities with poor choices. 

It wasn’t until the end of his life, after suffering from the consequences of his sin (pain, humiliation, and captivity) that Sampson acknowledged where his strength and ability came from and begged for an opportunity to make his final chapter one that made a difference. 
None of us want to look back in regret at a wasted life or missed opportunities. We might have talents and abilities that separate us from the pack, but if we don’t use them in the manner that God intended, we’ll never make the impact or have the fulfillment that we would have had otherwise. History is littered with people of potential, but history is made by those who rely on the strength and wisdom of the Lord. 
God delivered His people through an imperfect vessel, just as He can do with us. He can use our talents and abilities but He is not reliant on them. In fact, He doesn’t need us at all to accomplish His agenda. But in His love and mercy, He allows us to play a part. As we think of the life of Sampson, let’s consider three things: 
  1. God has gifted us for His glory, not ours.
  2. God can use the broken and flawed, but He would rather bless us for obedience. 
  3. It’s not too late to acknowledge Him as Lord and the source of our strength and see Him shine through our remaining days. 
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 
  • What are some gifts and abilities that God has given you? 
  • Have you used them for your glory or His? 
  • Take some time to pray that God would work through you (not around you). 
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 
Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor

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