lost: cannot be recovered; beyond your reach
I think at one time or another we have either taught or believed that Samson lost, but when you study the story of his life, this man of God didn’t have a sad ending (as some might think).
Samson married a woman from Timnath. Then, he slept with a prostitute from Gaza. Neither one of their names is mentioned, but we will never forget the name of the third woman from the valley of Sorek whom he joined himself to – Delilah. He loved this woman (Judges 16:4). With the exception of his marriage (which according to Judges 14:4 was a part of God’s plan), Samson didn’t do a very good job of choosing the right women. Another area where he tripped up in was in his conversation. There was a time when the Pharisees got together and plotted how they might entangle Jesus in his talk (Matthew 22:15). Samson’s enemies, the Philistines, did the same thing. Unfortunately, Samson failed the test. He told Delilah all his heart (Judges 16:17). Sometimes, we talk too much and become ensnared by our own words.
The Philistines paid Delilah to find out where Samson’s great strength lied. He had no idea that the woman he loved made friends with his enemies. It was all fun and games at first. He lied and teased Delilah three times. Each time he broke free before his enemies could capture him, but the fourth time he got caught and it was going to be difficult to break free this time. Not only did they bind him, but they afflicted him also (put his eyes out).
Samson was at his lowest point. He couldn’t see and he was forced to grind grain in prison. He was working for his enemies when his enemies should have been working for him. He lost some things – his sight, his strength, and not to mention, the Lord departed from him (Judges 16:20). Now to me, that’s a great loss, but it wasn’t over for him. Just like the woman caught in the act of adultery, Samson was getting another chance. His hair was growing – again (Judges 16:22).
The consequences of his actions didn’t feel good, but it humbled him. No chastening seems joyous at the time. Instead, it seems sad, uncomfortable and painful, but in the end it produces fruit (Hebrews 12:11). I don’t know how many years Samson was in prison. I don’t know how many years it took for his hair to grow back, but what I do know is that his hair wasn’t the only thing that was growing. If you refuse to complain or despise the Lord’s correction – if you will endure what you must go through – you will grow from it. It will make you better.
Samson’s enemies thought they won. Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us (Judges 16:24). Samson was no longer a threat to them, but little did they know that God was restoring what Samson lost.
One day, the Philistines called for Samson out of the prison house. They celebrated this man’s fall. They tormented him. They laughed at him. They made fun of him. They humiliated him, but Samson won in the end. They called on their god, but Samson humbled himself and called upon his God. O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee (Judges 16:28). God had never forgotten Samson, but the moment Samson remembered God, God used Samson again – and even greater than before.
You may have lost some things, but you didn’t lose. Your enemies are not going to rejoice over you anymore (Judges 16:23). The only reason why Samson died was because he requested to die with his enemies (Judges 16:30), but he didn’t lose. He defeated more enemies in the end than he did in the twenty years he ruled Israel. He was even listed as one of the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).
You are going to rejoice again. You are going to laugh again. God is going to restore you and every year that was stolen. You may have failed in some area(s) of your life, but you are not a failure. For a just man falls seven times and rises up again (Proverbs 24:16).
You will rise again.
It is not the end for you. There is still hope for you. Your enemies are expecting you to fail, they are expecting you to give up, they are expecting you to lose, but their expectation shall be cut off. It may feel more like pain than joy right now, but it is making you stronger and mightier. And soon, you will no longer remember the pain because of the joy that shall come.
You haven’t lost.