Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, 'O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!' And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. Then Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines!' And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.
And his brothers and all his father's household came down and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.
Samson, our flawed hero, had a flawless finish. He brought down 3000 Philistines during a great celebration honoring Dagon, their god. 'Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy! (v.23). 'So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, 'Call for Samson, that he may perform for us' ' (v.25).
Since his capture by the lips of Delilah, the blinded leader of Israel became their chief amusement. Like Jesus, Samson was betrayed, scarred and scorned. Like Jesus, Samson surrendered his life willingly--so that his brethren might be free.
'Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him--This awful catastrophe seems to have so completely paralyzed the Philistines, that they neither attempted to prevent the removal of Samson's corpse, nor to molest the Israelites for a long time after' (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).
God confirms Samson's flawless finish in Hebrews Chapter 11, now called the 'Faith Hall of Fame.' * Because God never stopped loving Samson, especially during his torture and confinement. God's plans for His flawed hero were heroic to the end.
Did it have to happen this way? Only God knows. But we know Samson needed to return to his First Love. We know Samson received multiple opportunities to get it right. So God gave him the opportunity to get it wrong. Therein, Samson was perfected through suffering.
Yes, his finish was flawless.
To Be Continued...
* 'And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again' (Hebrews 11:32-35).
* Hebrews 11: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Samson & Delilah: Star Struggles series.