Shaven and Shorn, But not Beyond Hope
Judges 16:1-31
Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in to her.…

I. WHAT THIS GROWING OF THE HAIR PICTURES. I think that this pictures the gradual restoration of certain among us who have backslidden from God.

II. WHAT IT SPECIFICALLY SYMBOLISES. Samson's strength lay in his consecration. His hair was the token of his dedication to God. I know Christian people who used to spend an hour a day in prayer. The hour has dwindled into five minutes. They used to be constant at week-night services. They very seldom gladden us with their presence now; and they are not as happy as they once were. I can read this riddle. If a man were to reduce his meals to eating once a week, we could not warrant his health. So I do not think that people who neglect the means of grace, and give up their consecration, can expect to be lively, happy, or vigorous.

III. WHAT IT PROPHESIED when Samson's hair began to grow again. I wonder why these Philistines did not care to keep his hair from growing to any length. But wicked men are not in all matters wise men; indeed, they so conspicuously fail in one point or another that Scripture calls them fools. The devil himself is a fool after all. He thinks that he is wonderfully cunning, but there is always a place where he breaks down. Satan is very cunning in getting hold of backsliders, but he generally manages to let them slip by his over-confidence in their wilfulness. When Samson's hair began to grow, what did it prophesy?

1. Well, it prophesied hope for Samson. Now, if any of you have signs of restoring grace in your hearts, and you are coming back to your God and Saviour, be glad, be thankful. Do not hesitate to let your renewed devotion to God be seen by those round about you. If the grace of God is moving you at all, be hopeful and quicken your steps, and come to Jesus.

2. Joy for Samson, but also hope for Israel. Oh, if any of the Israelites did get in to see him in prison, how they must have been cheered by the sight of his returning hair! Oh, you do not know the joy that you backsliders will give to the hearts of God's people if you do but return! There is joy not only with the Great Shepherd, but with His friends and His neighbours when the lost sheep is restored to the fold.

3. Well, it prophesied mischief for the Philistines. They did not know it, but if they could have read the writing in Samson's heart, they would have understood that he meant to shave their nation quite as closely as they had shaven him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

WEB: Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went in to her.

Samson, the Jewish Hercules
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