Samson is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. There have been innumerable lessons on Samson’s failures, and there were many. But have you appreciated that when God looked at Samson, He included him in the Hall of Faith of Heroes in Hebrews 11? When God includes Samson, He does not say, “Oh, wait, Samson also had these particular flaws.” No, God includes Samson with Abel, Abraham, Moses, and Jacob.
So, shouldn’t we appreciate Samson because of his faith, not denigrate him because of his flaws? Samson’s faith stands as an example for us today. Also, Samson ought to give us great confidence today. God includes him as an example of faith despite his flaws. If God does that with Samson, will He not do that for me and you?
See, it’s not how we start, but where we end. It is not about the journey, but the destination. Think about Abraham for just a minute. Abraham also did some despicable things, but we don’t treat him like we treat Samson. It was not a single point in Abraham’s life that matters. It was his complete life. When we look at the totality of his life, we see him as the father of the faithful. Even so with Samson. If we isolate a particular incident in his life, he does not look so good. But when we take the totality of his life, God includes him among those of great faith.
We are a lot like Samson. We stumble, bumble, and fall. We sin, sometimes grievously. But it is not a particular moment in our life that we isolate. It is the totality of our lives of faith. We may fall, but because of our faith we keep pressing toward the mark.
Two things come to my mind.
First, when we look at ourselves, we need to see not just the moment, but our lifetime of faith. It is easy to get down on ourselves because of sins and mistakes we make. It is easy to trash ourselves, but it is a lifetime of faith that makes the difference.
Second, God includes Samson as a man of great faith. So why do we berate those who do fall, yet get back up and continue to walk by faith? If a person has been contrite and demonstrated that contrition, shouldn’t we view them as God does Samson?
We can bash Samson, but that is not why God includes him among the greats of faith. God tells it plain about Samson, but He also tells us Samson’s faith was such that he ought to be emulated. God includes Samson to show us we, too, can be people of great faith, even with our flaws.