When I was young, the story of Samson (Judges 13-16) was one of my favorites. He had super-human strength, and it felt like I was reading about the Incredible Hulk. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that Samson seems to have done more wrong than he did right. He had taken the Nazarite vow, which said he couldn’t drink any alcohol, go near anything unclean (including animal corpses), or cut his hair as a symbol of being on this oath. As you read Samson’s story, you’ll see that he does all of these things at one time or another except cutting his own hair. However, he allowed himself to get involved with (and even married to) a woman from a nation they were at war with, and told her that if his hair was cut, he would lose his strength. So, guess what happens. She cut his hair, and he lost his strength. However, in his lowest point, he cried out to God in repentance, got his strength back, and laid waste to the enemy army, although killing himself in the process.
This is yet another story where God uses imperfect people to accomplish His plan. However, Samson wasn’t just imperfect; he was full-on rebellious at certain points. When I was a kid, the moral of Samson’s story was “if I don’t cut my hair, God will make me the Hulk.” When I read it today, I see that no matter how rebellious someone may have been in their past, God will still use them today if they’re truly repentant.