Judges16:23-31 Restored

Samson’s cry to God led to his spiritual restoration, but also to his death. This is a clear picture of being heard by God, but still having to bear the consequences of sin.

The just, judicial chastisement and judgment of God are seen throughout the end of Samson’s life. The Philistines held a national, religious celebration in honor of their false god Dagon. Two significant events happened at the festival.

First, the Philistines gave praise to their false god for helping them capture Samson. Picture the praise and prayers being offered up to this false god, no doubt thousands of people praying and praising Dagon for the great victory they had been given over their arch-enemy Samson. What a tragedy, and what a terrible legacy Samson was leaving behind. Instead of bringing praise to God for his life, Samson’s life had given an opportunity for the enemy to praise their false god. The Philistines remembered how Samson had burned their fields and orchards to the ground and how he had killed so many of their people. They were ever so thankful for his capture, and they were praising their false god for delivering him into their hands.

Second, at some point the worship was replaced by partying and feasting, drunkenness and loose behavior, laughter and joking. And the people began to shout for Samson to be brought out to amuse them. Just what kind of entertainment they forced Samson to do is not stated. But the purpose of the Philistines was to mock and ridicule him. Imagine the scene! The strongest man who had ever lived standing in the midst of a huge temple, blind and helpless and being used as the object of mockery and ridicule. But keep in mind: it was Samson’s own fault. He was there because of his unbridled lust and passion, his compromising, permissive, and inconsistent lifestyle.

God now demonstrated His mercy and justice in hearing the prayer of His broken servant. Samson was saved through death, an early death that was due to the consequence of his sin. Being blinded, Samson was led about by the hand of a servant. At some point, he requested this servant to place him between the two major pillars that supported the temple. All the rulers were in the temple and about 3000 men and women were on the roof watching Samson’s amusing performance. As soon as the servant had placed Samson between the two support pillars, he prayed to the Lord, asking the Lord to remember and strengthen him. He requested God to execute justice and judgment on the Philistines. In answer to the prayer, Samson knew that he would die. Nevertheless, he placed his hands on the two support pillars and actually cried out for God to let him die with the Philistines. While crying out, he pushed with all his might, and the temple came crashing down upon all the rulers and all the people who were within the temple and sitting on the roof. More Philistines were killed in his dying than while he was living.

The fact that God heard his prayer is strong evidence that God restored him spiritually, that in his death, all was made right between him and the Lord.

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2 thoughts on “Judges16:23-31 Restored

  1. Yes, often God does forgive us and yet we must still pay a “worldly” cost for our sins. It is often hard for me to thank God for His earthly chastisement, but when I look back and ponder, it was always for my good and for His glory.

    Psalms 99:8, O LORD our God, You answered them; You were a forgiving God to them, And yet an avenger of their evil deeds.

    The main thing in the life of a believer is that once we are forgiven by God in Christ, God no longer holds our sins against us and we can simply rest in His forgiveness and thank Him. I’m sure Sampson did this even when the building was collapsing all around him. I think it is a safe bet that God viewed Sampson’s death differently than most of us would.

    Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.”

    Is 57:1 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, 2. He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.

    Paul suffered perhaps more than any of the Apostles, but he concluded that earthly suffering “couldn’t even be compared” to our eternal reward.

    Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

    I agree with Pastor LoSardo that Sampson was a child of God throughout his life and he was fully restored and brought into fellowship with Him in the end. Thank you for another great message and for bringing this issue before us!

  2. Today, we look back on these examples; just as those of the Old Testament looked forward to the “Promise,” which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We have all sinned and cried out to GOD for mercy and victory over our sinful desires or we are still dead in our trespasses, and sins, and there is not hope at all.We were once blind and living in blindness, to the freedom that we have in Jesus. We where once dead, and bound in our own destruction, while “grinding” in the ruin and misery of helpless slavery to sin. That is what we once were, but now Praise GOD, for His faithfulness in sending His Son. He who would take upon GOD’S wrath, and the punishment for the sin of Samson, has also taken away the sin, and the debt is canceled, for all who will and have come to Jesus, the Messiah, by faith through grace. We do not have to die for our own sin. The believer will “walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death.” Scriptures do not say that we, who are “in Christ,” hang out in death. Yes and Amen! Jesus the Messiah has conquered sin, death, hell, and He remains triumphant. He hold the keys! “Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave where is you victory? The sting of death is sin. The strength of sin is the law.” Praise be to Jesus He has brought captivity captive all in Himself, “once and for all.” “It is finished.” “Your sins are forgiven.” “Rejoice! Your names are written in the Lambs book of life.”
    “Fear Not, fear not.”

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