Why, of all people, was Samson mentioned as an example of faith in Hebrews 11:32? The book of Judges records his lying and self-indulgence. As a Nazirite, he was supposed to be completely consecrated to God, yet he had no qualms about breaking the law and eating from an unclean carcass. He even pursued a pagan bride, and that against his parents’ will! Yet in the book of Hebrews, he’s included among the greats in the chapter on faith!
Though he hardly acted like a saint, Samson did show faith. He must have understood that his hair was more than the key to his strength. It was also a reminder of his Nazirite vow, of his belonging to the Lord. No matter what blunder he committed, he kept believing that the Lord was for him. In spite of his sin, he expected the Lord’s strength every time “the Philistines came upon him.”
Then the haircut! Bewitched by the seduction of that temptress, Delilah, his identification with the Lord was literally cut off. The Philistines then took him and cut out his eyes. He became their slave, and suffered shame and misery. Such are the consequences of sin. But his hair started to grow back. Even after the worst haircut in history, there’s the consolation that it won’t stay that way forever!
Then the Philistines made fun of Samson in a ceremony for their false god, Dagon. It was a miserable scene, with the idolatrous people triumphing over the Israelite. Yet Samson prayed, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28).
Here’s remarkable faith! Samson had the nerve to believe that God should hear him after all he had done. On top of that, he expected an answer! He didn’t even pray for “the glory of God,” but “for my two eyes”! What bold faith this was, after all the shame he had brought on himself.
The apparent triumph of the Philistines, and even his sin, could not stop Samson from calling upon the Lord. And the Lord honored his prayer. Now in the gospel dispensation, how much more will God hear us through Jesus Christ?
Because Jesus died and rose again, blinded sinners may come boldly to a throne of grace. Shamed and backslidden Christians can also come and be received, as if they never sinned. That’s what grace is all about.
Don’t misunderstand- this doesn’t mean it’s okay to sin. Learn from Samson: sin does not produce good results! Sin is the reason our world is in the state that it’s in. But Jesus came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).
You don’t have to settle for a bad haircut. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God is ready to help you if you will turn to Him in faith.