“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about . . . Samson who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised . . . whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies” (Hebrews 11:32-34).
Samson is the next character to come up in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. I have to admit I have been struggling with this as Samson has never been one of my favorite Bible characters. In fact, I have been praying to understand why the Lord would include such a man in this amazing list of spiritual men and women. Read Judges 13 through 16 to understand more about Samson. Through my research, I have realized an important perspective to add to this study of faith. Throughout the Bible the Lord includes many stories of His children’s journey of faith; yet He always wants us to keep God as the central focus of our study. The reason anyone demonstrates acts of faith is because of the grace, power, and love of God. Paul reminds us that anything good displayed in the apostles is because of the power of God.
For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:4-7).
This is the perspective we are to have of ourselves and others. When we see great things happen for the Kingdom of God, we are to give Him all the glory. This will protect us from pride or from elevating others to a position reserved only for God. Too often we put people on pedestals, especially leaders. When they fall into sin or hurt us, in our disappointment we turn away from God and/or the church. When we accept that we are all sinners and susceptible to falling, we will be more diligent and careful to keep ourselves from sin. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). When others fail, we will not be so devastated and we will not give up on fellowshipping in the church. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to continue to meet together to learn the Word, worship, and serve God using our spiritual gifts with one another. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Though Samson is certainly not a man you might choose as your role model, we see that he always gave God the credit for his physical acts of strength. “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more” (Judges 16:28). Take time today to humbly praise God for all the good things He has done in and through your life and the lives of those in your church. If you have been disappointed by a spiritual leader, take a few moments to forgive this person, and pray for God to heal and restore him or her to a place of godliness and faith. Remember, it is God and God alone who deserves the glory!
Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 13 - 16