And Samson called to the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray you, and strengthen me, I pray you…
The death of Samson was more honourable to the man and more useful to his nation than any event in his previous career. The heroism of his death followed the return of God's strength.
I. THE RETURN OF STRENGTH.
1. It followed a great fall. We may learn lessons from our own failures. Through our very weakness we may discern the secret of strength. The humility which should accompany failure is one of the first steps towards wiser conduct.
2. It came in a season of distress. Samson was a prisoner, defeated, insulted, mutilated. Sorrow is one road to God's grace,
(1) as it teaches us the folly of the evil conduct that produced it,
(2) as it leads us into a mood of serious and heart-searching reflection in which true wisdom is found, and
(3) as it teaches us our helplessness, and compels us to turn to God for deliverance.
3. The return of strength followed a return to obedience. This was suggested by the growing of Samson's hair and the return to fidelity to his vow. It was gradual. We are received into God's favour immediately we return in penitent faith; but we only conquer evil consequences of sin and regain lost powers and position by degrees.
4. The return of strength was realised through prayer. Samson now knows his weakness. In his own soul he is weak. Strength must come from above. There is no prayer which God will more certainly hear than that which invokes his aid in our performance of some great self-sacrificing duty.
II. THE HEROIC DEATH.
1. Samson uses his new strength for the deliverance of his nation. It is not given him merely for the amusement of the Philistines. If God gives us any special powers, he does so for some high purpose. We must not waste these in idle amusements, but put them to practical service.
2. Samson can only accomplish the greatest feat of his life by means that bring death to himself
(1) This was partly a result of his sinful weakness, which had betrayed him into the bands of his enemies, and brought him to such a position of bondage that his own death must be involved in that of the Philistines. Thus sin leaves consequences which produce suffering even after repentance and a return to a better life.
(2) It was also an instance of that strange law which makes the greatest good to men depend on the sacrifice of the benefactor. It has thus something in common with the death of Christ, though with many points of difference, Samson's death involving the destruction of his enemies, while Christ's death is expressly designed to give salvation to his enemies. - A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, 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.