Juges 14:1-6 and Judges 16:4-22

The story of Samson reminds me of how we sometimes find ourselves in a challenging situation not knowing that we had actually been set up by God!  Or was he (Samson) a victim of divinity?

God appeared to Samson’s parents and told them that they would have a child, and this child would be a Nazirite. Therefore, Samson’s parents before his birth, were given a revelation from God concerning his birth. Prior to this, his mother had been barren and did not have any children.

A Nazirite is one who is devoted to God. According to the customs of the Old Testament.  Samson was a Nazirite from the womb of his mother. So he was not only consecrated for a certain period of his life, but he was consecrated all his life, even prior to conception, to God.   Consecration to God involves self-denial, but it brings a deeper joy and a fuller life than a self-seeking course will secure. 

Samson was filled with the Holy Spirit, “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25). This is a very powerful verse. According to other translations, “The Spirit of the Lord began moving him,” which meant that the Spirit of the Lord was directing him, or leading him and helping him to make decisions. He could not take a step in his life without the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

But Samson also had a very weak point in his life. One weak point of a person could destroy his entire life, if he were not aware of this particular weak point.  Samson’s weak point was that he couldn’t discipline or subdue his desires.  In this case, Samson’s undisciplined desire was speaking to his relationship with women.

Now your kryptonite may not be Philistine women… you may be tempted by something else. But whatever it is, take extra care in that area and stay true to the scripture that says ‘put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts.

In the Holy Book of Judges chapter 14, this weak point is explained and reflected upon, “ Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”  His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”  But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)  Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. So the lesson to learn here is that if we surrender our spirits to God, God can give us the power to kill the lions in our lives.  The Apostle Peter tells us that Satan goes around like a roaring lion, looking for those He could devour. But we too, like Samson, gain victory over the enemy through our faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s empowering.   

And because he insisted upon this marriage, his parents agreed, and he married this woman.   This marriage was wrong in the sight of God. First, Samson married a foreigner.  According to the law of the Old Testament, the children of Israel could not marry from among foreigners.  And foreigners here denoted Gentiles, those who did not believe in the God of Israel.  So a foreigner also meant a foreigner in faith. 

So when his father emphasized the fact that she was the daughter of the uncircumcised Philistines, this meant that they did not worship the God of Israel.  Samson being a Nazirite should have known better, but he insisted on getting married to this woman. So this was Samson’s first mistake.

Of course this marriage was not of the Lord, because it was against the commandment given and the prohibition that the children of Israel were not to get married from among the Gentiles.   Although this marriage was not according to the will of God, God who was merciful, transformed the situation into furnishing an opportunity for Samson to defeat the Philistines. For, the Philistines at that time had dominion over Israel.

What I find interesting however, is that when God decides to write about His Judges, He spends more time on Samson than anyone else. Just possibly He wants us to learn something so that the errors of Samson are not repeated in the lives of other believers.  As we read these things however we should always bear in mind that Samson, despite his failures and weaknesses, was still God’s chosen and anointed judge and as such he is mentioned in ‘the hall of faith’ in Hebrews 11.  God still used him and there are certainly times of tremendous faith.

At a certain point and time; God delivers us to the consequences of our wrong decisions, as He did with Samson at the end. But we will see how many times God defended him, despite of his wrong decisions. A person can make wrong decisions in his life, and God defends him. Abraham lied and said that Sarah was his sister. God defended him. But if the person doesn’t learn, once, twice, three, four or even five times, then God will let him be, and he has to bare the consequences of his wrong decisions. St. Paul the Apostle said, “Not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).

Samson was dedicated as a Nazirite, a holy man who was to honor God with his life and provide an example to others. Samson used his physical strength to fight Israel’s enemies.  He led Israel for 20 years.  He is honoured in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith.  Samson’s incredible physical strength allowed him to fight Israel’s enemies throughout his life.  Before he died, he realized his mistakes, returned to God, and sacrificed himself in a great victory.

Every Christian should say with St. Paul, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Not through his power, but through the power of God. This expression “I can’t’, should disappear from our lives. ‘I can’t control my anger’. ‘I can’t stop smoking’. ‘I can’t stop drinking’. ‘I can’t stop watching TV and pray more.’ This word ‘I can’t’ means that person is weak. This means that person can’t use the Holy Spirit that is within him.

God is willing to give us strength. God is willing to help us to kill the lion in our lives. But He will not do this unless we call upon His Holy Name, and ask Him to help us. So before we suffer the dire consequences of our sins, let us try to eliminate these lions, whatever they might be.

In proportion to our holiness will be our spiritual strength. Religious devotion without moral purity cannot be accepted by God (Isaiah 1:11-15).   Samson was a Nazarite; he was also a deliverer of his people.  In the last moments of his life, Samson returned to God, and God answered his prayer.

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