God uses us, his sinful people, for his purposes.


Kim Riddlebarger concludes a sermon on the life of Samson, from Judges 15-16

As for application for us today, there is much to learn from the life of Samson. No question, his allegiance is to YHWH. No question, his sin–especially his dalliances with Philistine women–was his undoing. Like Israel during the time of the Judges, when God’s people possessed the land but were constantly being pulled away from YHWH to pagan gods and pagan practices, we too live in a situation of relative peace and safety. Yet, like Israel dwelling in Canaan in the midst of pagans, we too live in a pagan land. Along with our children, we are constantly being pulled away from Jesus Christ toward every sort of pagan temptation. Like Samson, we all have our favorite sins and weaknesses.

It is important to notice that God didn’t reject Samson and then cast him away because he sinned, or because he struggled with the lusts of the flesh. In the life of Samson, we witness how Samson’s sin and weakness ruined his life and brought about terrible humiliation at hands of his enemies. This tells us that if we are Christ’s, then God will surely save us from our sins–he has promised this to all who trust in Christ, rather than in their own righteousness. But if we are Christ’s and continue to live like pagans, God will intervene. He will often allow the consequences of our sins to come crashing down upon us as the means to draw us to repentance. We may even find ourselves in the same place Samson was–humiliated, and hated by those who have tried to lead us away from Christ, and who have turned upon us the very second they figure out that Christ will never let us escape from his grace. That is a very bad place for a Christian to be–having to cry out “Lord, please remember me,” because we’ve gotten ourselves into a mess. And even then, God is so gracious, he will hear our prayer and come to our aid.
God may even chose to do to us what he did to Israel. If we ignore him and seek to go our own way, he will come and disrupt our relationships with those around us who deny the gospel and the Savior and who may be pulling us away from Christ. God does this because he loves us. He will make us absolutely miserable in our sin. The lesson then “is why even go there . . .” thinking we can do what is right in our own eyes without any reference to God or his word.

In all of this, Samson is an illustration to us of how God uses us, his sinful people, for his purposes. In spite of ourselves, God always remembers us, because he has chosen us in Christ and sent his blessed son, the true Savior of the human race to redeem us from our sins. Since he always remembers us, let us remember him, not only with our words, but also with our lives.

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