Have any of you done something REALLY bad with your hair? When I was in 7th grade, I was touching up my bowl cut with my dad’s beard trimmer and decided to see what would happen if got close to my eyebrows. A few moments later, I had shaved a thin, vertical line in each eyebrow. I tried to tell everyone that my sister was to blame, but no one believed me and I was stuck with four eyebrows for a LONG time.
We’ve all had bad hair days, but I think we would all agree; Samson had the worst. In Judges 16, Samson has become an arrogant and prideful man and made big mistakes in his choice of women. The story of how he is betrayed and lands in the jail of the Philistine’s, who are the Israelites’ bitter enemies, is well known to us.
A question still lingers, however; how did a guy with so many things going for him end up like this? Samson was the guy to judge the nation of Israel; before he was even born, he was hand picked to be Israel’s rescuer. I believe his journey down the wrong path began when he believed he could save himself.
In verse 20, Samson wakes up to fight the Philistines, not knowing his hair was cut, and thought, “I will just go out like before and beat them up.” We see no dependence on God, who was the reason he had his incredible strength. The verse says, “He did not know the Lord had left him.” He was so caught up in himself that he couldn’t see how far he had fallen.
Samson is a scary picture of what can happen to us. If we start to think we don’t need God’s help, that our faith is something WE deserve or is our right, we lost sight of our need for God. There is only so much room in our heart and life, and we like to think we can handle things on our own. There is good news, though. God, in his rich grace and mercy, will humble us to get our attention. He lovingly did it to Samson, and he will lovingly do it to us.
As we begin this Advent season, we can look at Samson’s life and see the reason Christ came to this earth. We understand why Jesus is the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. There is a Samson in all of us; our sin has caused us to fail the Lord miserably. In fact, we may be so lost we never see the fall coming. But, God’s grace and his mercy do not leave us in the jail of our sin. He offers us the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ, knowing we are never beyond His redemptive work. This incredible truth gives us the strength to brush off even the worst hair day.