Major Miscalculations

by Apr 20, 20240 comments



Sampson destroys Philistines’ Temple 

Samson was the main attraction at the party to end all parties. The Philistines amused themselves as their former enemy became the source of their derision. Once feared because of his cunning and strength, Samson was now a tragic-comic display. They called out what was now a blind hulk of a man and forced him to do tricks in front of the drunken crowd. Samson—how the mighty had fallen.

As the night of festivities went on, Samson did something he had done little of most of his life: He prayed. In that simple prayer, he asked God to let him have the last laugh on his enemies.

What had brought Samson to this terrible, desperate place? He had made a series of huge miscalculations.

As we explore the many miscalculations in this story we see the hand of God. Samson had more potential than anyone in the Old Testament except for Moses, yet he failed miserably. He became the most worthless of the Judges. The excitement of all his adventures does not overshadow the tragedy of his wasted life. A life wasted best describes this powerful and yet tragic person. How many of us today will travel this same path?

Some events preceded the above story. Some are astounding and others are simply pathetic. But, that is the life of Samson. It is filled with both monumental highs and shattering lows. Samson came from a family whose heritage was prayer and in being yielded to the Lord. His family offered him up to the Lord, as was the custom in those days. Samson took the oath of a Nazarite but never lived it. His promise to God seemed to have little value when compared to his personal passions. How many of us do the same? How many start out with pure ideals and promises of doing well but end up distracted by the lures of the world. Weakened by uncontrollable appetites they fail to maintain. We promise God obedience yet live in rebellion.

Samson could serve as the prototype of today’s high profile politicians, entertainers and public personalities that boldly claim to represent family values.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Wiener, John Edwards just to name a few are tragic cases in point. How often the mighty fall for the fragrance of a temptress. Consider the wisdom of Solomon from the Proverbs.

She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.

  • Proverbs 7:12-23

What powerful words these are. Too many men have fallen victim to ungodly thoughts and inordinate feelings. I am fascinated by the contemporaneous value of advice given thousands of years ago and even more so by the fact that it is still ignored. The Proverb admonishes us is that it is such ill-advised action that will cost one their life.

Samson also had anger issues and often allowed himself to lose control in outbursts of sheer havoc. The anger did not seem to bother Samson and it often led him into sin. Can we conclude from his life that one cannot afford to break promises to God and live as though there are no consequences? The bible calls people who break their promises to God – Truce Breakers.

On the surface, all of these men had potential. But in order to understand what went wrong, we must look at the inner state of these men. With so much to gain by adhering to the rules why then would they risk so much for so little. I humbly offer the notion that these men have very low self-esteem. Generally you don’t think of the famous personalities and powerful politicians as being insecure or of having low self esteem, but in my experience, the insecure need validation more than others.

Some feed off the applause of the crowd; others need the attention of pretty women. Still there are those who need to be worshiped as heroes and the accompanying adoration. These are issues stemming from their childhood. These unresolved internal conflicts go on to create all kinds of havoc in their adult life. People with addictive personalities are sired from unmet inner needs.

We now understand that there may be issues that drive the negative behavior. Are individuals wise or irresponsible who ignore their compulsive tendencies? Can we indulge our passions and not look over our shoulder with trepidation?

Samson followed his passion and married poorly. His unbridled sexuality did not further the plan of God. Many like Samson have experienced the devastation caused by this addictive behavior. A life of major miscalculations best describes the character of Samson’s existence. Samson miscalculated thinking that he could live life recklessly and that his strength would not leave him. He did not weigh the consequences of walking outside of the path of righteousness. Many make the same mistake and still expect to be effective? The Philistines too miscalculated. They assumed the power and strength of Samson was of human design.

While Samson failed to uphold his end of his Nazarite vow, God never failed. Now blind and seemingly defeated, Samson finally “saw” the true purpose of his life.

In the end he prayed a sincere prayer and God answered. He used Samson to defeat the enemy. How much more of a powerful life he could have enjoyed if only he chose to obey.

What is the morale of this story? We can realize our true potential is we trust God and take Him at his word. He is able to do what He promises through His word. To disobey is a miscalculation with often dire results that could have been avoided.


Read More 

Filling The God-Shaped Vacuum

Filling The God-Shaped Vacuum

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” - Blaise Pascal God-Shaped Vacuum Blaise Pascal, a mathematician and philosopher from the 1600s is often...

read more
Why Brokenness Is Essential in the Heart of the Believer

Why Brokenness Is Essential in the Heart of the Believer

Brokenness - Part 1 Brokenness in the life of the believer is an essential element in the development of a heart towards God and others. Often, only after pain, anguish, or loss do we come to understand and embrace what it means to be broken. Psalm 51 tells us much...

read more

Leave a comment.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.