Judges 15: The great comeback

Judges 16:1-31

Judges 16:28-31 – 28 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.” 29 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. 30 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. 31 Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years.

One of the great comebacks in the history of sports, if not the greatest comeback, happened in the year 1999. At the end of that season, Manchester United made it to the final of the Championship League. It was a game against a German club, Bayern Munich. And Manchester United was behind 1-0 for most of the game. And toward the end of the game, the coach made a big gamble. He brought on Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. Those names might not mean much to most of you, but they are sweet sounds to my ear and delight to my heart. The game hit the 90th minute and the score was still 1-0. And the referee showed three additional minutes. Three minutes. That’s all United had to turn the game around. And you would not believe what happened next. In the first additional minute, Teddy Sheringham scored an equalizing goal. I was on my feet. The score was now 1-1. And there were still another two additional minutes. And hope entered my heart. “Is it possible? Another goal in two minutes? Surely not. But maybe, just maybe.” And one minute later, David Beckham took a corner kick, Teddy Sheringham headed the ball, and Ole happened to stand in the direction of the ball and kicked the ball toward the net. And it was a goal. Manchester United scored two goals in three additional minutes to beat Bayern Munich in the final of the Championship League. It was an unforgettable moment. I ran around my living room and jumped around with excitement. I wanted to take my shirt off, but I did not because it was weird. And that is the greatest comeback in sports history for me. Why am I telling you all this? This part of Samson’s story is about a great comeback. We will see how Samson makes a big mess of his life. It seems like life is over for him. It seems like there is no hope for Samson. But the game is not over until the final whistle is blown. And at the very last minutes of his life, Samson makes a great comeback. It teaches us an important lesson. As long as we are still breathing, it is not too late. Our past doesn’t have to define our future. God is the God of comebacks.

So, Judges chapter 16 is the climax of the drama. This is the season finale. And so far, we have seen how Samson was chosen by God before his birth to save God’s people. There was a great expectation because of the account of his birth. But Samson turns out to be the most flawed judge in the whole book. Samson is a man driven by his own desires and impulses instead of the desire to save Israel or obey God. And yet, he is God’s chosen judge to save God’s people. The Spirit of God would rush upon Samson and give him supernatural strength to do mighty works. By this time, Samson has killed more than 1000 Philistine. But he killed them for selfish reasons, to get him out of trouble. Samson has not delivered one Israelite from the hands of the Philistines. He only acts to save himself. Samson has a virus. And the name of the virus is Samson. Samson is Samson’s greatest enemy.

And Samson’s story is the exact representation of Israel’s story. Think about it. Just like Samson, Israel was chosen by God. Just like Samson, Israel came into existence through a barren couple. Just like Samson, Israel was to be set apart for God and must follow God’s special law code. Just like Samson, Israel was weak, and God made them strong. And just like Samson was drawn to foreign women, Israel was drawn to foreign gods. So, Samson’s story is Israel’s story. And if we can be honest, it is our story as well. Christians are the people whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world to be His, but we continue to struggle with the idols of this world. Rather than living for God, oftentimes we use God to pursue power, acceptance, comfort, and control. So, as we look at the last part of Samson’s story, I want us to see that Samson’s struggle is our struggle. And Samson’s hope is our hope.

I have three points for this sermon: The premonition; The dangerous game; The comeback.

The premonition

Judges 16:1-3 – Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

So, here is a question. What is Samson doing in Gaza? Because Gaza is not an ordinary city. Gaza is the capital city of Philistine. Gaza is the last place Samson wants to be in. And not only that, but Samson also sees an unnamed prostitute in the enemy’s territory and has sex with her. This is not a case of Samson falling into sin. This is an intentional sin. You cannot have sex with a prostitute in the capital city of your enemy accidentally. It’s like you see me coming out of a brothel at Kings Cross on Friday night, and you say, “Pastor, fancy meeting you here at this time. What were you doing?” And I say, “Yeah, I just happened to be in the area, and the Spirit led me to share the gospel at this brothel.” You wouldn’t buy it. Samson is not there by accident. Samson is living in sin. And we are like, “God, are you sure you are choosing the right person to save Israel? This man is really messed up. He has no regard for God’s law at all. Is there some kind of mistake?” One commentator puts it nicely. He says that when Samson is not saving Israel, he is being Israel. He is being an adulterer that Israel is. And it also shows that Samson’s sin is deepening. His lustful desire is getting worse and worse, to the point that he thinks it is okay for him to sleep with a prostitute in the enemy’s territory. And because of it, Samson is now surrounded by enemies.

The men of Gaza heard that Samson is having fun at GCB (Gaza City Brothel), and they set an ambush for him. But then Samson walks out of the brothel at midnight, breaks the city gate, and carries them on his shoulders to the top of the hill. At first, I was puzzled as to why Samson needed to do that. Why not just run and hide? But then I get it. What Samson does is he is showing off his supernatural strength. He is saying, “I know you guys are hiding to ambush me, but are you sure you want to do that to a guy who carries the city gate on his shoulders? Are you sure you want to mess with me?” And when the men who are hiding to kill him see him carrying the city gate on his shoulders, they are like, “Okay. Maybe not tonight. Maybe next time.” And note what’s interesting. In all previous displays of Samson’s supernatural strength, it always said that the Spirit of God rushed upon Samson. But for the first time in the story, Samson can use his supernatural strength without the Spirit of God rushing upon him. In fact, there is no mention of the Spirit of God at all in this chapter. It tells us that Samson has become self-sufficient. And it is a very dangerous place for anyone to be in. Self-sufficiency is a dangerous premonition.


Judges 16:4-5 – After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”

It should be obvious by now that Samson has one big weakness. Does anyone notice what his weakness is? Women. This is the third woman that we know of. There could be many more. And for the first time, we know the woman’s name. She is none other than the world-famous Delilah. And she is most likely a Philistine as well. So apparently Samson has a thing for Philistine women. But this time it is different. For the first time, the word love is used to describe Samson’s affection. Samson is in love. And maybe like everyone who is in love, Samson is ready to settle down. He has found the one his soul is looking for. This is it. Delilah is the one for Samson. And when the lords of the Philistine heard that Samson is in love with Delilah, they come to her and offer her lots of money for the secret of Samson’s strength. They know they can’t defeat Samson on their own. But if they know the secret of his strength, then maybe they can do something about it. And each of them promises to give Delilah 1,100 pieces of silver. There are at least four or five lords. That’s a lot of money. Delilah won’t have to worry about money for the rest of her life. So, Delilah must make a choice: Samson or cash? And poor Samson. Samson is in love with Delilah, but Delilah is in love with money. She does not have to think twice about betraying Samson for cash.

What can learn from the story so far? It gives us a very strong warning. Here is the warning: Be careful of using God’s blessings as a reason to forget God. Because that’s what happened with Samson. The more Samson experienced God’s supernatural strength at work in his life, the more confident he is in his strength, and the more reckless he becomes. Samson uses God’s blessings to forget God. Doesn’t it also speak to all of us? The Bible is clear that everything we have is a gift from God. God is the source of all we have. Do we realize that we have no control over our lives at all? Who do we think gave us the talents we have? Why do we have that nationality? Who gave us our parents? Who provides the oxygen that we breathe 24/7? There is not a single thing in our lives in which we can rightly claim, “This is mine. I deserve it.” None. But we can easily forget that. We can easily think that we deserve it and that we are self-sufficient. I love the way Timothy Keller puts it. “In grace, God takes even our weaknesses and failures and uses them for us, but in sin, we take even his gifts and strengths and use them against him. Our sinful hearts will find ways to use even God’s blessing to ruin our lives.” Can you see this tendency in you? It is very easy for us to look at God’s blessing and say, “Look at how strong I am. Look at everything my hands have accomplished. I am great. I am awesome. I am capable.” So here is food for thought. How do you use God’s blessings today? Students, how do you use God’s blessing in your study? Do you prioritize God with your time, or do you prioritize studying and you put God aside? Businesspeople, how do you use God’s blessing in your work? Do you think about how to make as much money as possible, or how to use your work and the profit to point people to God? Parents, how do you use God’s blessing in your family? Are you using it to protect your family from harm and enjoy your best life now, or are you using it to let others know that God is at the centre of your family? Be careful of using God’s blessings as a reason to forget God.

The dangerous game

Judges 16:6-9 – So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.” Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

Samson is playing a very dangerous game with Delilah. The game is called “The Philistines are here”. The game goes like this: Delilah asks for the secret to Samson’s strength; Samson gives her an answer; and Delilah tests his answer. I have no idea why Samson would agree to play this dangerous game. Some people say it’s because love is blind. That might be true. But listen. Love might be blind, but it doesn’t have to be dumb. I think the better reason is Samson has become way too overconfident in his own strength. He doesn’t think anyone or anything could harm him. So, Samson tells her, “Seven fresh bowstrings are my weakness,” then Delilah binds Samson with seven fresh bowstrings and she says, “Samson, the Philistines are here”, and Samson snaps the bowstrings easily. If I were Samson, that’s the end of the game. That’s it. I am done. I am not playing anymore. But the game continues.


Judges 16:10-14 – 10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11 And he said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread. 13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web. And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

So, Delilah asks again, and Samson gives another answer. “New rope that has not been used is my weakness.” Delilah tries but Samson breaks free again. So, Delilah asks again, and Samson gives another answer. “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I will become weak.” Delilah tries but Samson breaks free again. Now, do you notice something about Samson’s answer? His answer is getting closer and closer to the truth. Samson is doing something that our grandma warned us not to do. He is playing with fire. Rather than fleeing from temptation, Samson is flirting with temptation. I mean, surely Samson is at least suspicious of Delilah’s actions. So, why continue? Why keep playing?


Judges 16:15-17 – 15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

Here we find Delilah using her trump card. She uses the “you don’t love me” card. She says, “I thought you say you love me. If you love me, how come you are not telling me the truth? If you really love me, there should be no secret between us. Babe, where is the trust? Our relationship means nothing without trust. If you want our relationship to grow, we must be vulnerable with each other.” Some of you are like, “That sounds like a conversation I had with my spouse recently.” So, Delilah continues to nag Samson day after day, to the point that Samson can’t take it anymore. Let’s be honest. I don’t think any man can handle it. Even the book of Proverbs says that it is better to live on the rooftop than in the same house as a nagging wife. Amen, husbands? And all the husbands are saying amen in their hearts. Otherwise, they might sleep on the rooftop tonight. So, Samson finally tells Delilah the truth about his long hair. He is a Nazirite from his mother’s womb, and he must not cut his hair. At this point, we are like, “Samson, what are you thinking? Why would you do that?” Maybe he thinks that he can trust Delilah with his real secret. Or maybe he thinks that it is no big deal. He has broken the Nazirite vow many times and he is still fine. Either way, he tells Delilah everything. And look at what happens next.


Judges 16:18-21 – 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.

This time Delilah does not need to test Samson’s answer. She knows he is telling the truth. So, she shaves his head and says the very familiar annoying phrase, “Samson, the Philistines are here.” And Samson thinks that he will shake himself free as before. He had broken God’s law before, but God had always given him the strength he needed to get out of trouble. Why not now? But then comes the most tragic line in the story. “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” It tells us that the secret of Samson’s strength is never about his hair. The reason Samson was strong was because the Spirit of God was upon him. And the reason he is weak now is because God had left Samson. And for the first time in the book of Judges, God’s judge is defeated. The Philistines seize Samson, gouge his eyes, and puts him in prison in Gaza.

Now, can you see what happened? Samson has come to believe that his strength is simply his. No matter what he does, no matter what happens, he won’t lose it. He thinks that he can continue to play the dangerous game and break God’s law without any consequences. This is the problem of self-deception. Samson is not able to see how dependent he is on God’s grace. He thinks of his strength as his right, not a gift of God’s mercy. And Samson’s fall is Israel’s fall. Israel thinks that just because they are God’s chosen people, they can do whatever they want, and God would be okay with it. Israel thinks that they can worship other gods and not face the consequences. But God says otherwise. God is a holy God and He will not be mocked. And the same warning applies to us. Listen. We must not deceive ourselves into thinking that what we have is ours and that we do not need God. We must not deceive ourselves into thinking that we can do whatever we want and God is still with us.

When I prepare for this sermon, I am reminded of a true story of a pastor who lived in the sin of adultery. What happened was this pastor felt extremely guilty for his sin. When Sunday was approaching, he felt terrible about his sin. He knew he had to preach God’s word to his church, but his conscience was torn. So, what he did was he asked God for forgiveness on Friday, and he promised he would cut off the relationship on Monday. And that did just enough for him to be able to preach on Sunday. And on Sunday he preached, and the church was blessed by his sermon. So, do you know what he did? When Monday came, he went back to his mistress and went on with the affair. This pattern continued until one day everything exploded. Can you see what happened? This pastor made the same mistake as Samson. He thought he could continue playing the dangerous game and break God’s law without any consequences. He was deceiving himself. And before we blame them too much, remember that’s what we oftentimes do as well. We know we are playing a dangerous game. We know that we should have quit a long time ago. So, why don’t we? Why continue? Why keep playing? Why keep replying to those texts? Why keep opening those websites? Why tempt yourself? Friends, listen carefully. Do not be deceived. God will not be mocked. He will hold us accountable for our sins. Do not mistake God’s slowness as God’s permission. The reason God has yet to act is He is still giving us the chance to repent of our sins. Do not test God’s patience. Stop playing the dangerous game and repent of our sins today. And this is a warning for us as a church as well. Watch out, lest we abandon God, relying on our own strength to do church, and forfeit God’s presence.

And yet amid this dire situation for Samson, there is still hope. Judges 16:22 – But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. Well, of course, it does. This is what hair does. This is why we spend $20 to get a haircut every month. A lot more if you are me. Thank you, Mr Obvious. But why record it? Or the other way to put it is, why does the Philistine let Samson’s hair grow? Why not shave it again? I love what Michael Wilcock writes. “They knew nothing of the God who does the unexpected, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, and who never breaks his word. That God had said years before that Samson would be a Nazirite ‘to the day of his death’. His abandonment of his servant at the time of his capture could not but be temporary. The promise was bound to hold, however Samson might despise it. There is grace abounding to the chief of sinners. ‘If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.’” The Philistines think that God is done with Samson the moment they shaved off his head. They think that Samson’s strength came from the promise to never let a razor touch his hair. Once that promise is broken, God is done with Samson. However, they have no idea that the God of the Bible is the God of grace who is faithful to His people even when His people are unfaithful to Him. The author intentionally tells us that Samson’s hair begins to grow again to make a point that even though Samson made a big mess of his life, God is not done with Samson. Where sin runs deep, grace is deeper still.

The comeback

Judges 16:23-27 – 23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.” 25 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. 26 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.” 27 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.

The Philistines have no idea what they are doing. They think that capturing Samson gives them the upper hand over the God of Israel. They wrongly assume that just because they have Samson in custody, their god is stronger than the God of Israel. The lords of the Philistines and their people gather to celebrate and give praises to Dagon. They cry out, “Praise Dagon. Dagon has won. Our god is stronger. Dagon, Dagon, Dagon…” So now, the stake is higher than before. It is no longer just a contest of strength between Samson and the Philistines. The true contest is now between Yahweh, the God of Israel, and Dagon the god of the Philistines. Who is stronger? Whom should Israel serve? And for a while, it seems as though Dagon has won. And then they call out Samson to entertain them. They have no idea that the reason they have Samson is not because Dagon is stronger, but because God had left Samson. But now, Samson’s shame has become God’s shame. The praise that belongs to God alone is given to Dagon. The humiliation of Samson has become the humiliation of God. It is the honour of God that is at stake in this story. And when Samson is brought before the crowd, he asks to be put where he can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that he may lean against them. And there are about 3000 men and women on the roof, plus the people who are inside the temple. Altogether, there could be more than 5000 Philistines. The stage is set for something incredible to happen.


Judges 16:28-31 – 28 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.” 29 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. 30 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. 31 Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years.

This is the second time it is recorded that Samson prays. He prays, “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.” This is a very different Samson than the one we saw earlier. Before this, Samson was always strong. And he always used his strength for himself. But for the first time in his life, Samson is blind and weak. He is desperate. And this time, rather than looking at himself, Samson looks to God. He asks God to remember him and strengthen him so that he may avenge the Philistines for his eyes. And note, Samson’s prayer is not perfect. He now acknowledges that God is the source of his strength. He understands that his strength is not his but God’s grace upon his life. But he also wants revenge. He wants vengeance for his two eyes. Samson has mixed motives. We can see both humility and a desire for personal vengeance in his prayer.

And this is what’s amazing. God answers Samson’s prayer. I mean, after all that Samson has done, God has every right to ignore and forget Samson. God does not have to remember Samson. But He does. And amid Samson’s miserable failure, God answers Samson’s prayer. I mean, this is the Samson who abused God’s gift in his life. This is the Samson who foolishly traded God’s strength for the love of a faithless woman. This is the Samson who lived for his own desire rather than God’s glory. It is this faithless, foolish, fallen Samson that God hears and answers. And this is meant to be an encouragement for Israel. Through Samson, God is saying to faithless Israel, “There is still hope for you if you cry out to me for grace.” What a gracious God. And let this be an encouragement to you. You might be in a very dark pit right now. You might make a very foolish decision and you are paying the heavy consequences right now. You might trade the love of God for the love of this world, and you are feeling hopeless because of it. You might be faithless, foolish, and fallen. But there is hope for you. Listen. When you humble yourself and cry out to God for His grace, God’s ears are open to your cry and His arms are ready to save you. So, call upon God in the day of trouble and He will deliver you, and you shall glorify Him.

So, God answers Samson’s prayer. His strength returned and with one final prayer, he says, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And he pushes the pillar of the temple and the temple falls crashing down. And with his death, Samson kills more Philistines than while he was alive. It is at his death that he finally performs his role as the judge of Israel. In other words, the most faithful moment of Samson’s life and the most triumphant moment of Samson’s life is his death. And here is what’s remarkable. Samson, the most flawed judge of all judges, the least faithful among all judges, made it to the hall of faith. Samson’s name is mentioned in Hebrews 11 as one of the heroes of faith. And the only time where it could be said that Samson exercised faith is in his death. What a great comeback. It happened because he chose to trust God and call out to God at the very last minute of his life. Friends, hear this. It doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter how big of a mess you made. It doesn’t matter how far you have fallen. The game is not over until the final whistle is blown. Your past does not have to define your future. You can’t undo your past but when you repent and trust God, God can use your sins to accomplish His purposes. Repentance does not change your past, but it brings hope to your future. Just like Samson did more with his death than his life, when you repent of your sins, you can become a greater instrument for God than you’ve been before. It is never too late to cry out to God.

But the question is, how can we be sure that God hears our cries? How do we know that it is not too late? Here is how. Samson is the most flawed of all judges. But his salvation is the one that resembles the ultimate salvation the most. Throughout the book of Judges, we have seen that God can save Israel with an army of willing volunteers. We have also seen that God can save with as few as three hundred men. But when the Spirit of God came upon Samson, God showed that He did not even need three hundred men. God can save by one man. And in Samson, we see the pattern of victorious defeat, where God delivered his people through the victorious defeat of one saviour. Samson’s story of salvation points us to the story of the gospel. In so many ways, Samson’s downfall is a shadow of Jesus’ death. Just like Samson, Jesus was betrayed by someone close to him. Just like Samson, Jesus was tortured and chained and put on public display to be mocked. Just like Samson, Jesus died with his arms outstretched. Just like Samson, it seemed like the enemy has won and Jesus was defeated. But through his death, Jesus crushed our ultimate enemies, sin and Satan. If Samson only began the work of salvation, Jesus completed the work of salvation.

But unlike Samson, Jesus was not in chains because of his sin; Jesus was put in chains for our sins. Samson’s downfall was caused by his own disobedience. But Jesus always obeyed God and lived for God’s glory. If Samson was a strong man who became weak because of sin, Jesus was the strong God who became weak to save us from sin. And there is one last crucial difference between Samson and Jesus. With Samson’s death, his rule was over. His story was done. But with Jesus’ death, the story had only just begun. Because on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave and He was given the name above every name. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. And he is right now sitting at the right hand of God interceding for you and me. This is how we know that God will not fail to hear our cries. This is how we know that it is not too late to cry out to God. Because Jesus has already completed the work of salvation on our behalf so that whoever put their faith in Jesus will be saved. It does not matter what we have done, because of Jesus’ work at the cross, the throne of God is always the throne of grace for those who cry out to Him in faith. So, call to God in the days of trouble and He will deliver us, and we shall glorify Him.

Discussion questions:

  1. What struck you the most from this sermon?
  2. Can you see the tendency in you to use God’s blessings to forget God? How?
  3. Explain the danger of self-deception. What are some practical ways you can battle it?
  4. God answered Samson’s prayer. What does it say about God’s character?
  5. How does Samson’s salvation point to the gospel?
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