Sometimes it’s our spiritual roots that keep us from losing our vision.
In the book of Judges 14-16, we read about Samson the Nazarite judge who was devoted in service to God. Samson was known for his supernatural power attained through his long hair. His uncut hair was an outward sign of an inward covenant. He was a godly judge but he lived in a worldly culture that eventually got the best of him.
Samson lived among the Philistines and their influence on him crept in slowly, compromising his covenant with God. You see, Samson had a weakness for pretty women. He noticed a Philistine gal and like a spoiled brat, he begged his parents, “I want that woman, go get her for me, pleeeeeeeease.”
Well ok, maybe he didn’t say it like that, but he pressed his father until he got what he wanted. Against his parent’s advice, Samson got hooked up with this foreign woman. He married the woman but her people didn’t like Samson. He got caught up in a feud that sadly resulted in the murder of his bride. Over time, Samson allowed bitterness and revenge to consume him. Back and forth in a vicious circle, he and the Philistines wrought revenge upon each other.
Meanwhile, Samson met and fell for Delilah who became his girlfriend. Under the prompting of the Philistines, she eventually obtained from Samson the secret to his strength. While he slept, they bound him with ropes and cut his hair. Without his strength, he was helpless against them. They gouged out his eyes, threw him in prison and put him to work grinding grain. More than likely, he walked in circles all day tied to the mill.
Now blind and defeated, Samson’s spiritual compromise had led him to this downfall. He had lost his vision figuratively and literally. The “daily grind” had got the best of him. This seems like the end of the story, but for one thing.
Samson’s hair began to grow back.
The Philistines may have cut his long locks but they couldn’t get to the roots. They forgot about Samson’s roots. His strength returned and he was able to overtake the enemy in one last glorious act of courage.
So often the world slowly and subtly entices strong Christians away from their true calling. Before we know it, we are in the dark, captive to the desires we chased after.
Has the world stolen your heart-caused you to lose your vision? Do you find yourself getting nowhere, wandering in circles in the daily grind? There is hope with repentance. Don’t underestimate your spiritual roots. They are strong and they go deep-your hair will return along with the glory of your covenant with God.
Rise up, fighter, break those ropes that bind and return to the destiny God planned for you.
Joel exhorts us to, “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” (Joel 2:13).
Following Jesus doesn’t mean an easy life. As Samson and many others in the Bible learned this the hard way, you can be encouraged that you aren’t walking the narrow path alone.
*Inspired by a sermon by Daniel Rolfe, Mountain Spring Church, Colorado Springs.