What Might Have Been

from Lynda Lindsey

And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him…Judges 13:24-25

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” Judges 14:3(b)

And she (Delilah) said, “The Philistines are upon you Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. And the Philistines seized him…Judges 16:20-21(a)

Samson’s birth, heralded by an angel of the Lord, assuredly thrilled his parents, for Samson’s mother was barren and had not borne children. Samson’s parents knew from the angel’s initial announcement that Samson would be special, that God had called Samson to his Nazirite vows from the womb for all the days of his life, and that he would be used by God to begin to save Israel from their Philistine enemies. Samson grew and was blessed by the Lord; the Lord’s Spirit began to stir him, equipping him with power to accomplish God’s work. 

Samson, even with God’s blessings upon him and the stirrings of God’s Spirit within him, didn’t evidence sincere desire to follow and obey God wholeheartedly. Samson was headstrong, arrogant, disobedient, rash, demonstrated poor choices in relationships with women, and burned with a hot anger when thwarted. Samson was ruled by his physical passions and seemingly delighted in functioning on the cusp of danger, nor is it apparent if he sorrowed over breaking his Nazirite vows. Samson’s story seems full of heartbreak and disappointment for what might have been.  

Samson, although used by God for God’s own purposes, was so distant from God as to be unaware that the Lord had left him. Do we want to reach the end of our life, blinded by the enemy to our own sins, unaware that we are operating apart from God? We, like Samson, are flawed. We commit grievous sins. The Holy Spirit leads and guides us, but is it evident we are obedient, willing followers? Do we evidence sorrow  and repentance when we sin? Samson could have been so much more. Life is short. At life’s end, don’t be left lamenting what might have been.