“And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, ‘O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.’”
Judges 16: 28
King James Version
“Remember Me, I Pray Thee”
“To repent is to alter one’s way of looking at life; it is to take God’s point of view instead of one’s own.”
What does it mean to me to “repent?”
What has Samson’s life taught me about the way I should live my life each day?
“When prodigals return great things are done.”
A. A. Dowty
“When the soul has laid down its faults at the feet of God, it feels as though it had wings.”
Eugenie de Guerin
Several days ago, I had the fantastic experience of having my college roommate, whom I hadn’t seen for nearly twenty years, come down from Canada to spend the weekend. It was pure bliss! We ate too much; laughed our heads off; and shed tears for the pains we have endured and those sad happenings that our friends are trying to cope with right now.
However, there was one thing Shari said that really set me to thinking.
“You know,” she began, “I was a little worried when I got off the plane. It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other in person. I wondered if you would recognize me.”
Don’t worry. I recognized Shari the minute she came down the escalator. Her beautiful smile. Her infectious laugh. Her gorgeous hair. And after all these years, not a wrinkle on her face (well, none I could see, anyway!) What I’m saying is that when there is love between two individuals, no matter the time apart or the distance that separates, the heart won’t forget. There will always be a remembrance. God wired us this way. I’m so thankful He did, for it is my ability to never forget those I love, that makes it possible for me to believe my Heavenly Father never forgets me! His remembrance of His daughter, Dorothy, is greater than anything I could imagine or any remembrance I might try to extend to those who mean everything to me.
In our text for today, Judges 16: 28, after a life of wasted living, Samson made a heartfelt plea to his Father, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee.” Frankly, after studying about all the shenanigans Samson pulled, I think it would have been difficult for God to forget someone like Samson, a person who had misbehaved in such a disgusting manner. But there’s more to Samson’s request. He also asked God for strength to help him “avenge” the sight he had lost. In the Hebrew this word means to “deliver punishment,” and in the case of Samson, it was the enemies of God, the Philistines who had targeted his weaknesses and led him downhill until Samson lost all spiritual sight in his life – long before he lost his physical sight. Samson recognized that following the lust of his eyes had made him lose his spiritual footing on God’s pathway.
Reading further in Judges 16, we find God answered Samson’s prayer. His strength was restored and the enemies of God were destroyed – all the princes of the Philistines.
There is a critical point I want to make about our Father, which is a lesson we can learn from Samson’s story. Rather frequently, I hear people talk about the “God” of the Old Testament as the “big Meanie,” while the “God” of the New Testament, “Jesus,” is referred to as the “real Sweetie.” If we read the words of Jesus to Philip in John 14:9, (Amplified Bible) we’ll find that Jesus could not have spelled out the truth about Himself and His Father any clearer than when He said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Now I want to add something to this passage. Anyone who has seen how Jesus treated people has seen how our Father treats us. Nowhere is this fact more clearly displayed than in the way our heavenly Father treated His wayward son, Samson, when he cried out, “O Lord, remember me.” What’s more, if this cry sounds familiar, it is! For on a dark day on Golgotha’s mountain top, tied to a cross next to the innocent Jesus, a wayward son, a thief, cried out again, “Lord, remember me!” (Luke 23: 42, Amplified Bible).
If like Samson, you have gotten off track in your life, like we all have, how thankful we can be we have a Father who loves us so much that nothing we can do is so bad or no place we wander is so far away that our Father will ever forget us.
One of my favorite texts in the entire Bible God reminds us that, “I have indelibly imprinted a picture of you on the palm of each of My hands: (Isaiah 49: 16, Amplified Bible).
When we call “Remember me,” He will answer, “I never forgot you!”
“Repentance must be something more than mere remorse for sins: it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.”
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice!
If you should keep account of our sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
So that You may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits for Him,
And in His Word is my hope.”
Psalm 130: 1-5
“My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards:
My self-deception in face of temptation:
My choosing of the worst when I know the better:
O Lord, forgive.
My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I demand of others:
My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness to be taught by my own:
My complacence towards wrongs that do not touch my own case
and my over-sensitiveness to those that do:
My slowness to see the good in my fellows and to see the evil in myself:
My hardness towards my neighbours’ faults and my readiness
to make allowance for my own:
O Lord, forgive.”
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
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