There are many tragic tales found in Scripture, none more so than the story of Samson. Samson was God’s chosen weapon against his enemies, and yet his pride and sinful ways had led to his betrayal and humiliation.
Bereft of his eyes, Samson was made a spectacle of humiliation in the midst of those who celebrated victory over Yahweh and his champion. Samson was down, but he was not defeated. He did not see his situation in the same way that those around him did. He may have been blinded to the things of this world, but perceived truth through the eyes of faith. The revelation he had seen was that God defends the weak, and those who call on his name shall be saved.
The Philistine Lords instructed that Samson be placed in the best position for him to be mocked by all those gathered. Samson asks for his hands to be put on the supporting pillars of the house. Prior to his hair being cut, Samson could have taken his vengeance without God’s intervention. His disobedience had made him incapable. It also made him see that dependency on God is the real source of strength.
Samson places himself in the right place for God to complete the miracle, a location of vulnerability, a site of exposure to ridicule, a area of weakness, a house full of pain, and it is now time to pray. Can you imagine the reaction of the Philistines as he calls out to God? Initially, they probably found this funny, but the horror must have gradually dawned on them. Those who thought they had defeated God, were themselves defeated. They were humiliated by that which they chose to humiliate.
The lesson we learn from Samson’s death is that God is the avenger, not us. He discerns between those who depend on him and those who seek his destruction. God despises the proud and uplifts the humble. All the works of Samson’s life of pride were nothing to his achievement in his humiliating sacrificial death.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:6-10)