Summary: Samson is one of the most remarkable men that you will meet in the Bible. Even his birth was extraordinary, since only one other person in the Old Testament was privileged to have his birth foretold by an angel.
Samson—A Consecrated Man
20 Then she said, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” He woke up and thought, “I’ll leave as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines captured Samson and tore out his eyes. They took him down to Gaza, where they put bronze chains on him and made him grind grain in the prison.
Samson is one of the most remarkable men that you will meet in the Bible. Even his birth was extraordinary, since only one other person in the Old Testament was privileged to have his birth foretold by an angel. Isaac was promised to Abraham and Sarah by angels; that they entertained unawares. Samson was the only other person whose birth was foretold by an angelic messenger.
Before his birth, he was dedicated to God and set apart as a Nazirite. There were four things that marked a Nazirite: he was entirely consecrated to God; he drank no wine; he let his hair grow; and he couldn’t touch anything that was dead. Samson was devoted to God and when people saw him they would say, “That man is God’s man, a Nazirite, set apart.”
God endowed Samson with supernatural strength, a strength that never could have come from mere muscle. It wasn’t the size of Samson’s body that made him strong; and it wasn’t his arm or his fist that smote the Philistines; it was a miracle that lived within him; it was the power of God which made him mightier than thousands of his enemies.
Samson discovered that he had this great power early in his life, for we read that, “the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan.”
He judged Israel for thirty years, and he delivered them from their enemies by his phenomenal strength. Take a look at some of the great feats that he performed:
• There was a time when he stepped into the vineyard to get away from his parents, for a moment. A lion crouched there and sprung upon him. He was unarmed, but he met it with his strong arms and killed it.
• Then there was the time when his countrymen tied him up and gave him into the hands of thousands of Philistines. He was their prisoner, but he saw the jaw bone of an ass lying on the ground. He picked it up, and used it to battle and kill soldiers who had helmets on their heads and brass mail to cover their bodies.
•Toward the end of his life he remained a vigorous champion of his people, because when he died he was in the prime of his life. One of his greatest exploits was performed at that time. This is what the Bible states. He was trapped inside the city of Gaza, but he was unconcerned about the situation and he remained there until midnight. He was so confident in his strength that he was in no hurry to leave; and instead of attacking the guards, he walked up to the city gate and pulled up the posts that supported the gates. He carried the great burden of gates, posts and bar for miles until he came to the top of a hill overlooking Hebron.
It would have been great to have this man for a friend, and to stand next to him in a battle. It would be like having an army in a single man, who could strike terror in thousands of the enemy. But to the enemy, it was best if they never saw him, because there was no escape from him, except to run away.
1. Samson had great physical strength, but there were weaknesses also.
2. He was not intelligent, and he lacked spiritual power.
3. His life was a series of miracles and foolish actions.
4. He had very little charm and was quick to give in to temptation.
5. He was easily enticed and led astray.
6. God often corrected him; nevertheless he would sin again.
At last, Delilah came into his life. She was bribed with an enormous sum, by the Philistines, to get him to reveal the secret to his strength. But Samson foolishly toyed with her and failed to believe he was in danger, and in that way contributed to his own destruction.
At last, due to her constant nagging, he let slip the secret of his strength; that it resided in the locks of his hair. It wasn’t that his hair made him strong; but that his hair was a symbol of his consecration, and was a pledge of God’s favor to him. As long as his hair was untouched, it was a symbol of his consecration; but as soon as it was cut, he was no longer perfectly consecrated and his strength left him.