Just one more time
Samson destroys the temple of Dagon, 1890 Bible illustration
Have you ever been defeated after many battles? How do you turn things around?
Have you been betrayed at the end of it all, by someone you love, to the enemy?
Or did you start out ok, but in the end, just fail to do what you were supposed to do?
Sometimes, we can pray for that one last chance to make it right.
There is a story of Sampson in the bible. He starts out his life in great victory. No one can defeat him.
Then he makes a tragic choice. One that will take his life.
Love for the wrong woman, who belonged to the enemy.
But he repents, and God gives him once last chance to make it right.
The inherent weakness that produced his downfall – love of women
Jdg 14:1 ¶ And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, [Is there] never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it [was] of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Jdg 16:1 ¶ Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.
Jdg 16:4 ¶ And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name [was] Delilah.
*** Deliah was a Philistine woman. She was the enemy.
Jdg 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her [Deliah], and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength [lieth], and by what [means] we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred [pieces] of silver.
Jdg 16:6 ¶ And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength [lieth], and wherewith thou might be bound to afflict thee.
Jdg 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, [so] that his soul was vexed unto death;
Indiscretion – giving was is precious to the
Jdg 16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I [have been] a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any [other] man.
The result – bondage and slavery
Jdg 16:21 ¶ But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
Jdg 16:22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
The enemy celebrates their conquest over him
Jdg 16:23 ¶ Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
The final humiliation, and imminent defeat
Jdg 16:25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.
The prayer- one last request for strength
Jdg 16:28 ¶ And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Defeating the enemy
Jdg 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with [all his] might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that [were] therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than [they] which he slew in his life.
Sampson’s final end
Even though he died – he did not die defeated, he died in – victory!
This is a lesson for all of us.
We all have weaknesses that will bring us down into defeat.
Our lives start out well.
And then the enemy takes a hold and defeats us, attacking us where we are the weakest.
We have given him a stronghold somehow.
We should also not get friendly with the enemy, because it will always betray us in the end.
If we play with fire, we will get burned, and the defeat is our fault.
And now, our life is ruined.
Or, we make bad choices.
There is no way out, and our life is now over.
We did this to ourselves.
We suffer, and see we are coming to the end.
There seems to be no deliverance.
Slowly, we are being restored, but not to the same way we were before.
Now, the choice is ours.
The end is coming.
But we need to think this through. As long as we are alive, we still have a choice.
Do we just die in defeat, or do we try for victory?
If we pray, and ask God to give us strength, just one last time, He will give us what we need to complete our lives in strength and victory.
Marianne’s Personal application
I sit at the end of my life too.
I look back, and wish it had not taken the direction that it did.
I made bad personal choices at times.
I was in the wrong profession.
I worked hard.
Just stayed alive.
The constant presence of the enemy crippled me countless times.
I bear those scars forever.
I cannot go back, and live my life over again.
So, now what?
I am wounded, and disabled from life.
But I still have breath in me.
I pray to YHVH God that he let me take the chains that hold me…..
And give me one more chance to make it right.
With that last chance, I will work to bring down the pillars of the enemy upon itself.
But it might take me with it.
But that is my choice…finally a right choice.
I pray that I die in victory, as Sampson did.