Of all the characters mentioned in the book of Judges, the most familiar is likely Samson. This may be because four of the book’s 21 chapters are devoted to him. Another reason may be his unwise, yet intriguing, dalliance with Delilah.

As a person, Samson did not have much in his favor. He was self-centered, demanding, impetuous, and undisciplined, especially regarding his sexual appetite. Nevertheless, God used Samson to accomplish his purposes and free Israel from foreign domination for 20 years.

However, Samson’s character flaws eventually resulted in his capture and imprisonment, setting the stage for his final act, a suicide mission in which he killed 3,000 of his enemies along with himself.

Despite Samson’s personal issues and bad decisions, God used him for 20 years. This is most encouraging, as we all have issues weighing us down and threatening to hold us back; yet God can use us and work through us anyway.

Still, had Samson made better decisions, his premature death could have been avoided, allowing him to serve God for much longer. This is most motivating, for in the pursuit of right living, we can position ourselves to be used by God even more.

[Judges 13-16, specifically 16:4-30]

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