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. (Judges 16:28-30)
The book of Judges is a catalogue of leadership failures. God had done everything for His people, rescuing them from Egypt and leading them into a good country. They were settled and had everything they needed. However, the judges who were supposed to lead the people, followed the people away from the Lord. Samson was horrible. A classic case of toxic masculinity. He thought his brute strength, which was a gift from God, was to be used for his own advantage. Through his strength he got the women he wanted, the fame he wanted and the victory over his enemies that he wanted. He must have been very proud of his long hair and huge biceps. In the end, pride goes before a fall and his love of unbelieving women led to his catastrophic downfall. He had his eyes put out, was put into forced labour, and was the punch line of every Philistine joke. In our passage God does something amazing. God listens to Samson’s prayer, and as he stands there, blind, hopeless, held up to scorn and derision, he stretches out his arms and destroys his enemies. The Judge who was the scorn and laughing stock of all who saw him saved Israel from her enemies in his death. Meet Jesus in the Old Testament. Every little deliverance, every little salvation of God’s people in the Old Testament has looming large behind it the great salvation that God will achieve for His people in the gospel. Like Samson Jesus’ birth was miraculous. Like Samson, Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. Like Samson, Jesus was set apart to God from birth. Like Samson, Jesus was delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. Like Samson, Jesus was held up to mocking and derision. Like Samson, Jesus died with His arms spread out to His sides. And like Samson, Jesus’ death was His greatest victory over His enemies. At the cross, Jesus defeated sin, Satan and death itself. But praise God, Jesus was also unlike Samson. Samson died calling for revenge. Jesus’ blood speaks a much better word than this. Jesus died calling out for forgiveness. PRAY and praise God for raising up the Strong Man Jesus. Thank your Father that He died defeating all your enemies.