Skunks and Samson

I stepped outside, early the other morning, with my cup of coffee in hand to take stock of the world. It was then that I smelled a smell–a skunk! Was he in the yard? Wherever he was it stank so I went back inside.

A bit later I was going somewhere in my car and I saw the dead skunk, nearly half a mile away from my house! The wind must have been blowing our direction, but still! That fellow really went out with a bang! Stinked up everything for .4 of a mile in our direction! I guess if you gotta go you may as well make a splash.

Samson was kind of like that.

He kept sinning and shaking himself, sinning and shaking himself. One day he shook himself and God’s Spirit was no longer there. He lost his hair, his freedom and his eyes to his grinning foes. But, he did a whole lot of repenting and his hair sprouted again. “Just one more time, Lord,” he prayed and brought the house down on God’s enemies. A great victory. Good publicity for repentance. Like my skunk friend, he went out in a blast of power.

I can’t help but be sad, though. It didn’t have to be that way for Samson. He had a lot of muscles but not many brains. What if, instead of a blaze of glory at the end, he had had twenty more years of wisely and powerfully leading God’s people? What if they hadn’t had the negative example of his unfaithfulness to God’s word and subsequent defeat?

Grace after repentance is a heart-warming story. Grace that enables us to be faithful is an even better story.

Are you dallying with Delilah today? Involved in something you know displeases God? Why don’t you quit it? “But, I want it. I like it. It’s so good. I love him/her. It’s to hard; I can’t quit.”

I wish we could listen in as Samson muttered to himself as he ground away in the prison. It might have sounded like this, “If only I had obeyed the voice of God’s Spirit instead of the lure of my hormones. How could I have been so stupid? I knew it, but I just didn’t stop. I thought I was invincible. I’d never been defeated before. A thousand men fell before me and then I fell before a seductive woman. I can’t believe it. Why was I so stupid?”

Your Delilah might not be female but you know it has you in a state of disobedience to God. Go to God. Repent before you get your hair cut, because a hair cut you will get, sooner or later. Count on it.

You can still go out in a blaze of glory if you repent but that’s not the best way to go. In the case of skunks it’s awful stinky. In the case of men and women, it’s painful.

“Then she said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He woke up, thinking, “I’ll go out, like always, and shake free.” He didn’t realize that God had abandoned him…The Philistines grabbed him, gouged out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. They shackled him in irons and put him to the work of grinding in the prison. But his hair, though cut off, began to grow again… 28 And Samson cried out to God: Master, God! Oh, please, look on me again, Oh, please, give strength yet onceĀ  Then Samson reached out to the two central pillars that held up the building and pushed against them, one with his right arm, the other with his left. Saying, “Let me die with the Philistines,” Samson pushed hard with all his might. The building crashed on the tyrants and all the people in it. He killed more people in his death than he had killed in his life. (Judges 18:20-22, 28-30, The Message)

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