Consider Samson. In Hebrews 11:32, he’s numbered among the heroes of faith. His life contained acts of God-given physical strength to protect the Israelites from the Philistines. But his life was also a sordid drama of anger, lust, and weakness of will.
What sealed his place in the rank of biblical heroes was his death. Blinded, enslaved, humiliated, he prayed for one last burst of strength and received it. “He killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30).
Samson’s acts of immorality loom large, especially his flippant attitude toward God’s gift and the vows required to keep it. Yet in Samson’s final moments, he was forgiven. Our sins can never outweigh God’s forgiveness.
2) God can use the forgiven sinner
Samson’s history did not make him useless to the Lord. When he prayed for strength, he received it, and God used him for one last mighty act. And see how the Lord redeemed his sin—his defeat placed him between those pillars right where God could use him. The Lord can use us too, no matter where our sin has placed us.
3) Even forgiven sin has consequences
Samson repented, but he bore the consequences of his sin—he did not regain his sight or freedom—and he died. We mustn’t ever take sin lightly.
What do you take from Samson’s example?