The Cry of the Broken
Gracious God, let all that is within me bring willing praise to You today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Read JUDGES 16:23-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Mic. 7:8).
There’s only one picture of a broken man in the Bible more poignant than this image of Samson. He’s bound, blind, wretched, the object of Philistine ridicule; his enemies gloat over him. Worse, they gloat over Samson’s God. To the Philistines, Samson, the deliverer, has become the reason to gloat over Jehovah as they glorify Dagon. The one picture that is more poignant, of course, is of Christ on the cross. Physically ruined, mocked, in mental anguish and in the deepest spiritual agonies, he is scorned, mocked and insulted (Psa. 22:6,7).
It’s at this point that Samson, the deliverer, most clearly resembles God’s delivering work in Jesus. Both are working to God’s plan. Both appear to be at the point of lowest defeat. Both gain their ultimate victory through their apparent humiliation. Both save through self-sacrifice. Both are touchingly honored in death by those close to them. Both cry out to God from their brokenness and pain. And God answers them. They know that they cannot do the heroic deed in their own strength; and they know to whom they can turn. Both are fortified and sustained by the one who hears and who alone gives his people strength. Both, in death, glorify God. Compare with the psalmist: “You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help” (Psa. 22:23,24).
A recurring sinner and the spotless Son: both heard by the Father when their humanity is at its lowest point. There’s no place so desolate that the Father won’t hear you and answer you.
If you could pray like Samson for one thing, what would it be? Lift that matter to God, confident he hears you and will answer out of his wisdom.
Father, I cry to You from the depths of shame and sorrow: grant me forgiveness. May my friends, too, put their hope in Your unfailing love and full redemption.