Read: Judges 16:1-31
“When he woke up, he thought, ‘I will do as before and shake myself free.’ But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.” Judges 16:20
Before I get started here I want to ensure you that there will be no reference or comparison to my beard and Samson’s hair. That’s for an entirely different post. 🙂
The focus point of today’s reading, to me at least, is very simple: disobedience to God has direct earthly consequences.
I think we can all come to that conclusion without even taking the record of Samson into account. We see this principle time and time again throughout the Bible.
- Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden, were cast out, forced to work the land and bear children in pain (Genesis 3). Hopefully I don’t have to explain which punishment was for whom.
- Jonah literally ran from Nineveh to keep from giving the prophecy the Lord gave to him and was (eventually) swallowed by a big fish (Jonah 1).
- Saul disobeyed God by sparing the lives of the King (Agag) and keeping the livestock even though God told him to destroy everything (1 Samuel 15).
- Moses hit the rock with his stick instead of speaking to it and was forbidden to enter the promised land (Numbers 20). The list goes on.
We see the same principle here with Samson. Samson was dedicated to God as a Nazarite. You can go here (http://biblehub.com/topical/n/nazarite.htm) for more info on what being a Nazarite entails. One of the requirements of a Nazarite was to never cut your hair. There are 4 parts of chapter 16 that I want to go over to really help us see this principle. The first part is verse 17:
“Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. ‘My hair has never been cut,’ he confessed, ‘for I was dedicated to God as a Nazarite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.’”
Here we see something that I think is really important. Samson doesn’t necessarily attribute his strength to his hair (based on what we will read next), but he also doesn’t realize that this small act of disobedience will cost him greatly. So…after Samson falls asleep and gets a clean shave, we read in verse 20b:
“When he woke up, he thought, ‘I will do as before and shake myself free.’ But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.”
“…I will do as before…” How often we think that exact phrase. We think, “this won’t change anything.” But it changes EVERYTHING. Because of his disobedience to the Lord, not only did he lose his gift but he was also captured by the Philistines, had his eyes gouged out, and was imprisoned. That’s a bad day. And it all could’ve been avoided by simple obedience.
I’m sure God is calling you to do something right now. It might be something specific or it might be just a call to a righteous lifestyle. Either way it’s important for us to understand that there is blessing in obedience and consequence in disobedience. That doesn’t mean that we are exempt from grace later (read verse 28), but it does mean that in our disobedience we will face the holiness and righteousness of a just God.
His desire is for your blessing. Obey and be blessed.
Lord, help me with my pride. I pray for Your blessing over my life and the strength and humility to be obedient to Your Word. May I never walk away from what You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.