God’s Reputation: My Highest Priority

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. Judges 16:28-31

God’s reputation: my highest priority

God is good. I’ve heard that phrase from God’s precious people many times, even in reaction to a hard life lesson. “God is good,” says the inmate in prison who finally came to see the beauty of God’s love and grace. “God is good,” says the man who, after losing his family and loved ones to his addiction, finally took his faith seriously and found peace with God as well as a godly way to conquer his addiction. “God is good” is the cry of sinners who in their rock bottom moments find God is faithful and that his love endures forever.

Samson is such a soul. At the end of it all, he proclaimed, “God is good.” When all was lost for Samson, when he had nothing left, when he was as good as dead, God came crashing in. Samson’s cry for rescue went up and God’s destiny for him was finally fulfilled. Samson became the one God always desired him to be, one set apart for holy purposes. Samson still delivered the Israelites from their enemies. God’s will is always done! And in that saving act provided by God’s pure grace, everything Samson had lost was restored.

Just think about how good God was to Samson in spite of all his failures. Ask a Sunday School child about Samson, and they’ll tell you what a hero he was and how strong he was! Samson’s sins could not overshadow God’s grace and the life God set apart for him. The life that should have finished in complete humiliation was changed by God to finish in divine exaltation!

Dear child of God, God’s goal for you is that your life ends the same way as Samson’s—in victory, not defeat. All the proof you need is in Christ, whose life in our place began in humiliation but ended in the conquering of the grave, Satan, sin, and hell! His love for us is such an amazing love! How good is our God who set us apart for this kind of end!

Such a God as this deserves of all praise. Such a God as we have in Christ deserves to have his saving reputation proclaimed in all we say, think, and do. His name is worthy of praise as the highest of all our priorities.

How can we do this? Think back to our opening thoughts on Samson. Don’t take your faith for granted. Don’t neglect the gifts God has given you to serve him and be a hero to others. Be wise, understanding that God has set us apart and given us gifts that deserve endless nourishing in God’s Word and endless training. Amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for inspiring the words in the book of Judges which tell us Samson’s story. I have learned so much from his sinful ways and from your grace. Send me your Spirit as you did Samson. Set me apart for your holy purposes and never let me fall. Amen