As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: Judges 16-18
Key verses: (16:28-30) Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back 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 Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life.
Reflection: The story of Samson and Delilah is just before this passage. The temptation to sin is too great for our tragic hero, and he succumbs to the wiles of Delilah, ultimately losing his strength and his sight. While that is the most prominent part of the story, I am struck by the part after that when he has lost everything, yet he asks God for one more chance to fulfill his destiny. Samson was born to liberate the Israelites who were oppressed by the Philistines. God did not forsake him. Samson regained his strength and character. At that moment, he took down the temple and many of the Philistines with him. It is a tragic end, as Samson had been strong in the body in his life but weak in character. Even after he had fallen to sin, God remembered him, and Samson was redeemed in God’s eyes. Similarly, our hope as Christians is that even when we make mistakes or are at our lowest point, when we turn from God, God is beside us, offering forgiveness and redemption through Christ. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Dear Lord, even in the most trying times, you do not forget us. When we feel broken, you do not see the broken parts. You knit us together and make us whole. We trust you, Lord, to mend our souls. You lift us and give us strength. We offer our flaws up to you and ask that you provide us with faith, hope, and love in return. Amen.
Author: Amber Lynch, Elder class of 2021
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].