Tapped Out, Tapping In
Samson was a human see-saw—up one moment and down the next. Following this man’s life is both interesting and disappointing; he did amazing things for the glory of the Lord and his country, but his character was majorly flawed. He rebelled against his parents, womanized, lied repeatedly, flaunted his strength and yet, he is included in Hebrews 11 among the heroes of the faith. Go figure!
While it is easy to identify Samson’s moral failures, I want to take a look at one snapshot moment in his life that serves as a positive help for us. In Judges 15:14-15, we read of Samson picking up the jawbone of a donkey and using it to finish off a thousand Philistines. The account reads like something out of a modern-day action movie. A massive man with long hair tackles an entire army with a pointed bone, killing a thousand of them in one day. Yet, after this incredible victory, there comes an exhaustion which is unbearable. The Spirit of the Lord, having accomplished the task through Samson, withdraws his empowerment and Samson is once again left in his own strength…which he finds to be woefully insufficient. Listen to his calling out to God as he comes off from the spiritual whirlwind and physical victory:
“And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” Judges 15:18
Sensing that he was close to physical death, Samson musters the last of his energy to offer a less-than-praiseworthy prayer to God and argues that it isn’t fitting that he should die in the desert after being used for a glorious victory on behalf of Israel. Yet, Samson knows that he is utterly tapped-out and must have intervention from on high if he will make it to tomorrow. Scripture tells us what God did for him: “But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.” God performs a miracle for His weary warrior and brings forth refreshing, sustaining water from a place which offered Samson none.
Whether God agreed with Samson’s request or He stooped to Samson in grace, either way, a spring of water miraculously appears and he finds refreshment in a place of dearth and death. The gracious and merciful God of Heaven would not allow His servant to die in the desert but revives him so that he can fight another day. What a wonderful reminder to God’s servants today! The battle can wear us out, but we have a faithful God who re-energizes us when we call out for strength.
I hope you have not grown accustomed to the concept of God’s supply of power in your life—He grants victory to you on a regular basis. One of Samson’s biggest struggles in life was that he was far too aware of his strength and often lapsed in his acknowledgment of his weakness. You do not need to fear strength, but you should fear becoming addicted to it. Weakness is essential because it invites the work of God on your behalf. That is why the Lord allows us to reach our physical and emotional limits so that in desperation we would call upon Him for sustaining springs of empowerment and assistance.
Could it be that God is opening up your own private Enhakkore today? From that point forward, that is what the place where God refreshed Samson would be called. The name signifies “the spring of him who called.” Note: it is not “the spring of him who is worthy” or “the spring of him who earned it” or “the spring of him who deserved it.” Nobody would remember that place as “the spring of him who was strong” or “the spring of him who did it on his own.” This place was memorialized as the location where a weak saint of God called out in desperation and received refreshment from his God.
Somewhere between these two extremes of human weakness and human strength, we must find the “spring of the one who calls” and when we do, we will encounter miraculous living water which will energize us for our next chapter of ministry.