You ever have a sin you want to give up so bad but couldn't? Something, or someone you kept running back to?
I was listening to a message by Sarah Jakes-Roberts called “The Hollow Place”. It was based on the story of Samson in Judges 15.
Whether you’ve spent almost a decade yawning in sunday school, or not, most people know of Samson and his strength. Here just before this text, Samson managed to kill over 1,000 men with a jawbone from a donkey. I mean, wildddddd, who else could do such a thing?
"Samson was very thirsty. So he called out to the LORD and said, “You have given me this great victory. But now I’ll die from thirst and fall into the power of godless men.”
So God split open the hollow place at Lehi, and water gushed out. Samson drank some water. Then he was refreshed and revived. So he called the place En Hakkore [Spring of the One Who Calls Out]. It is still there at Lehi today.” Judges 15:18-19 GW.
First of all you learn so much from this text alone. That's what Sarah focused on. How irrespective of his anointing and irrespective of his God-given talents and abilities, Samson had a thirst that needed to be quenched by the Lord.
He still had vulnerabilities that needed to be covered and conquered by God - or he was at risk of dying.
Could it be that this illustration of thirst and water could signify deeper things such as frustration, depression, anxiety, fornication, self-harm, addiction irrespective of the anointing you carry - the list goes on - you get it - God can quench ya thirst if you surrender it to him bla bla bla.
Let’s read the beginning of Judges 16.
“Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a prostitute and slept with her. Judges 16:1 GW
😂 So. After Samson spent time in God’s presence, after he gave God his most vulnerable place and received revival and refreshing, he slept with a prostitute. He fell. And boy was I glad to read it! I mean he’s only human n this is precisely what I would do when I was fornicating and repenting. You tend to go through a cycle of sinning and feeling bad, repenting, surrendering, vowing to stop and falling again.
"But Samson was in bed ⌊with the prostitute⌋ only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors, door posts, and bar of the city gate and pulled them out. He carried them on his shoulders to the top of the hill facing Hebron.” Judges 16:3 GW
And to top it all of, he still had that anointing and grace! God was still with him, phew! How many of us have a similar story?
But as we all know, Samson was about to meet his end. He saw Delilah the bible says and he fell in love with her.
“She said, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!” Samson woke up. He thought, “I’ll get out of this as usual and shake myself free.” (He didn’t realize that the LORD had left him.)
The Philistines grabbed him. They poked out his eyes and took him to the prison in Gaza. They tied him up with double chains and made him grind grain in the mill there.” Judges 16:20-21 GW
Welp. In the moment he needed God the most, God had left him. Could it be that Samson mistreated Gods grace one too many times? Could it be that his cycle of surrendering and repeating the same sin knowingly wouldn’t work anymore?
Samson was captured. He was then placed in prison where he called on God to give back his anointing and his strength so he could win just one more time!
“Then Samson called to the LORD, “Almighty LORD, please remember me! God, give me strength just one more time! Let me get even with the Philistines for at least one of my two eyes.”
Samson felt the two middle columns on which the building stood. With his right hand on one column and his left on the other, he pushed hard against them. “Let me die with the Philistines,” he said.
With that, he pushed with all his might, and the building fell on the rulers and everyone in it. So he killed more Philistines when he died than he had when he was alive. Then his relatives and his father’s whole family went to Gaza.
They took Samson and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. Samson had judged Israel for 20 years.” Judges 16:28-31 GW.
God refused to answer Samson’s prayers until he ultimately begged to die.
Scary huh? Reading these two chapters shook me.
Because God uses Samson to teach us two lessons.
In Judges 15, Samson teaches us the beauty in surrendering your most broken and vulnerable places to God, irrespective of your anointing, or position, he teaches us how merciful God can be when you are humble enough to acknowledge you have a weakness. He shows us that God can use what was about to break you to make you stronger. He shows us that when truly surrendering, God can cover your weakness - as if it never existed in the first place.
What a graceful God!
But in Judges 16, Samson teaches us something fundamental.
He teaches us that God’s mercy is not to be used recklessly.
That God will not strive with man forever. Surrendering your weaknesses to God isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an everyday choice and an everyday battle and you have to choose God.
I firmly believe once you master surrendering to God everyday. I mean truly surrendering and letting God quench whatever thirst and weakness you have everyday.
I mean being intentional with time spent in his presence everyday…you can only receive strength and grace to keep on going.
You can only receive more power from His precious spirit to eventually win the war within you.