The man who could have been, should have been, but never was
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well today and thanking the Lord Jesus Christ for all of His goodness to you. In todayís article I would like to look at a tragedy that is common in many a peoples life. It is the tragedy of a person, any person not becoming all that God had intended for them to be because of the wrong choices that they made in life. It is the person that could have been, should have been, but never was.
There are many characters in the Bible that this could be said of, people like King Saul, Judas, Demas, Ananias, Sapphira, and a score of others. This is also true of many people throughout the history of man.
There is one person in the Bible that fits this tragedy all too well, his name is Samson. You no doubt have heard of him at some point in your life, probably from a Bible story when you were a child or teenager. Though many know the story, or parts of it, few are aware of the events in his life and the choices that he made that brought his life to its tragic end.
The story of Samson can be found in the seventh book of the Old Testament known as the Book of Judges. The Book of Judges covers a period of approximately 400 years after the death of Joshua. The people of Israel fell into the cycle that many of us can relate to. They would serve the Lord for a time, then temptation came their way and they gave into it, which brought forth sin. Then they became entangled to sin and enslaved to it. After a period of time, they felt bad about their sin and cried out to God for deliverance, which God would hear and deliver them. Then they would turn back to the Lord and serve Him and begin the cycle all over again.
For the times of deliverance, God would raise up a person who would be known as a judge. One person was a man by the name of Samson. The events of his miraculous birth are recorded for us in Judges 13:1-5, "Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." And in verses 24-25 we read, "So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol."
As you can see, the people of Israel were in trouble once again and were in need of Godís help. There are a few interesting facts you may not know about this man Samson. He was an answer to his motherís prayer, he was Godís answer to the people of Israelís cry; he would become the Philistines (enemies of Israel) worst nightmare; he was Godís man for the hour. The Spirit of God came upon Samson in mighty ways to accomplish great works.
God had a specific purpose and plan for Samsonís life. I believe that God has a specific purpose and plan for your life also. God did not create any mistakes and people do not come into existence without purpose.The question for Samson is the same question for you and I. Will we submit ourselves to God and allow Him to work out His good plan and purpose for our life, or will we make the wrong choices like Samson and become the man or woman that could have been, should have been, but never was. The choice is yours, the choice is mine. There is no limit to what God can do through a man or woman that is totally surrendered to God.
There was a particular area in Samsonís life that he would not submit to the Lord. This would prove to be the downfall of Samson. For Samson, it was his lust for women, the wrong kind of women. Now it should be understood that God has placed within the heart of man the desire for woman and in the heart of woman the desire for man. He has also made it clear in His Word, the Bible, the way that man and woman are to satisfy those desires.
For Samson, his uncontrollable lust for women was his downfall. This is not what causes everyone to fall. For some like Judas, it was money, for others like King Saul it was the desire for power, and for still others like Demas it was the draw of the world and all of itís trappings. What might it be for you? Is it jealousy, anger, envy, bitterness, power, position, recognition, comfort?
For Samson, like the rest of us, it comes down to will I insist on having MY way, what I want, how I want it, when I want it, having it MY way rather than submitting myself to God and seeking His way.
There is a great deal that we can learn from the character and choices of Samson and the tragic consequences of his wrong choices. If you are familiar with the story of Samson, you know that he was finally captured by his enemies and rendered helpless. His eyes were gouged out, he was placed on display for all the Philistines to mock and laugh at, and he became a slave to his enemies, and ultimately met his death along with his enemies. Thus Samson became the man that could have been, should have been, but never was.
The good news for you and I is that our life doesnít have to end so tragically. The Bible tells us in James 4:6-10, "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." And in Romans 12:1-2, " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Insisting on having my life my way will only lead to my demise, but if I will humble myself before the mighty hand of God, then He will take my life and make it into what He designed it to be in the first place, something good and wonderful. We read this in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Dear precious one, donít continue to make the same mistake that Samson and countless others have made with their lives. Surrender your life, your entire life to Jesus Christ today, right now. Allow Him to make your life into something beautiful. Only He can give beauty for ashes. He loves you, trust Him.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine