Strength from the Lord
“And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. And he told her everything; he said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Judges 16:16-17
Samson, the strongest man, judged Israel during the darkest age in Hebrew history. He was set aside to deliver Israel from the Philistines. As strong as he was physically, he had a weakness that distracted him from his spiritual life. He struggled with his lust for women. His last wife Delilah was promised a reward for discovering the secret of Samson’s strength. After pressuring him, he told her. He said his strength came from his hair, so Delilah cut it off, and his strength was gone. The Lord departed from him, and Samson was thrown into prison. He prayed to God that his strength would be restored. God gave him his desire, and Samson used his strength one last time to knock over the pillars that held the temple. He killed more Philistines that day than before, and in the process he surrendered his life and died too.
Where did Samson’s strength come from? His long hair? No, his strength came from the Lord. We might not have muscles to knock over temples, but we too have strength from the Lord. It is important to remember that. Samson seems to have forgotten that somewhere along the way. He began relying on his own abilities and strength rather than on God. “When you are weak, the Lord is strong.” This is what Evander Holyfield kept in mind as he fought during his boxing career. He is the second heavy weight to win the Championship title three times alongside Muhammad Ali. Holyfield used prayer as part of his strategy. For him, boxing was 10% physical and 90% spiritual. While fighting Mike Tyson he prayed before, during, and after the match. The Lord gave him strength, and the extra boost of energy to continue fighting when he was tired. When we need strength, God is who we can turn to because that is where strength comes from. But we need to be aware of our weaknesses, and not allow them to hinder us from relying on God instead of our own abilities.
Lord God, thank You for the strength You give us. Help us to not allow our weaknesses to distract us from our spiritual life. Amen