Not Forgotten (Judges 16:22)

However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.

Judges 16:22

The story of Samson is a familiar one. Heroic feats of strength that outstrip what a normal man could do. He eventually loves a woman named Delilah who pesters him until he tells her where his strength comes from. The psalmist will later say that his strength (the psalmist’s) comes from the LORD, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. But Samson was under the misapprehension that his strength came from his hair.

Samson’s parents had been told that he would be a Nazirite. Nothing that comes from grapes, no unclean foods, and no haircuts. The uncut hair was a symbol of dedication to God; a reminder to others and to the one under the Nazirite vow that the person was different. Samson’s strength came from God, Samson just hadn’t figured that out. He thinks his strength comes from his hair, so that’s what he tells Delilah.

And his hair is shaved off.

But the hair started to grow back.

No matter how badly we’ve messed up, no matter how much we seem to have given God’s enemies opportunity to mock Him, The Bible gives encouragement that we can be restored. Samson’s hair started to grow back. What he thought had been the source of his strength was returning. But, more important than the supposed source of his strength, his hair was a symbol of being different, set apart for God’s particular use. In the end, Samson prays to God for his strength back one last time, demonstrating that he had learned where his strength came from. The hair was a reminder that God had not given up on Samson. God was still ready and willing to restore him and use him again.

There are times when I mess up; times when I feel that I have given God’s enemies occasion to malign Him because of me. But God has not given up on me. If I recognize my wrong-doing, God is ready to restore. I may have gotten myself into a pickle—Samson was shaved, blinded, and chained to a grain-grinding wheel in the middle of his enemies—but God is able to make my deliverance more glorious than anything that has gone before in my life. While my mistakes will remove me from God’s work for a time, it does not need to be permanent. If I recognize my wrong, admit it, and return to God then I will find that God has never been further from me than a whisper would call to. I may have been gone, but I was not forgotten.

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