The Price for Restoration - Judges 16:26-31
September 29, 2022, 8:00 AM

“When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.”

Samson paid for his sin. He acknowledged his failure; He finally turns to God. “Oh Lord, help me. Oh Lord, strengthen me.” For the first time Samson admits to himself that his strength came from the Lord. When he admitted his weakness he took an important step.

In asking for strength, Samson recognizes his need and confesses his weaknesses. You may notice this is the first time he prays to God concerning the use of his powers. The other times he does so for his own purposes. Now he acknowledges his rightful place before the Lord and turns from his pride and his sin. It is in repentance that he realize his blindness spiritually and that he sees truly again and returns to the Lord. In his slavery he becomes free again and beyond the confines of the prison or his self-imposed prison of narcissism. The price of restoration begins with confession and repentance out of a humble sincere helpless heart that is ready to return in obedient faith and prayer.

The time from his haircut until the time of the banquet is a very long time. Forgiveness is immediate; restoration is gradual. It may take time to be restored. Often sin and the accumulation of disobedient habits will result in ways that take a very long time to overcome. New habits must be learned to replace them. I think of the many people taken by the vice of drinks or drugs. Forgiveness is immediate but the restoration to health may be long and hard and full of many struggles. The effects of the hurt and abuse on families may never fully be back to normal again. The price of sin is very great and the road to recovery is long but it is possible.

When Sampson prayed to let him die with the Philistines, he was willing to pay the price of repentance including his own life. He was placed before the wooden pillars standing there on slabs of concrete or marble and they were 3000 people up on the roof. In the Spirit and the strength of God, Samson pushed those pillars down. Thousands of people were killed and under the pile of bodies lies the body of Samson.

Samson had a greater victory in his death than he ever had in his life. The sudden death of all the leading Philistine rulers was the turning point that gave Israel its first hope for victory. God used the situation for the rescue of the Jewish people.

Application: today think about where you are relying on your own strength rather than gods. Talk to Him about it

Prayer: I look to you Lord for my strength. Strengthen me today to do what you’ve called me to do.