After Broken Vows

Read: Judges 16:15-31

“Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time . . .” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” (vv. 28-30 NLT)

Samson’s story, from the special circumstances of his birth to his untimely death as the pillars fall, is told in Judges 13–16. From the womb he was to be a Nazarite, one set apart for God’s purposes by three things: never touching anything to do with grapes, never cutting his hair, and never touching anything dead (Numbers 6). As his story unfolds, there is a certain swagger to Samson. He spent a lot of time in vineyards, was allured by various foreign women, and killed a lion with bare hands, then touched it again to scoop honey out of its carcass.

His final vow was unraveled by Delilah, who pestered him one too many times and, although she had shown herself untrustworthy, was entrusted with the truth. His head shaved and vows totally broken, Samson was captured, chained, and his eyes gouged out.

This was among the Bible stories I learned as a child. Then, I was amazed at Samson’s strength and bravado, but now I’m far more impressed with the strength and kindness of a God who answered the prayer of a desperate Nazarite with broken vows. —Amy Clemens

As you pray, consider vows you have made, how you have kept or not kept them, and the God of grace who answers, even after broken vows.

About the Author

With a bachelors in journalism from Texas Tech University and a masters from Western Theological Seminary, Amy Clemens enjoys all things writing, particularly about the life of faith. She is blessed with a family that includes husband Fred, five children, and five grandchildren.

Amy has just published her first book, "Walking When You'd Rather Fly: Meditations on Faith After the Fall," which weaves her journey from childhood abuse toward healing and spiritual growth with a practical theology for the big story of God. You can find out more about the book and author at walkingwhenyoudratherfly.com.

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