A series in Judges: Samson

A series in Judges: Samson

Possibly one of the most well-known judges, Samson, was a Nazarite from birth and grew up in the rebellious country of Israel. As mentioned in the last article, a Nazirite vow is a promise to God to avoid eating grape products, touching dead animals or cutting one’s hair. Judges 14 tells us he goes to Timnah, a Philistine town, and finds a pagan woman for his wife.

When he returns home, his parents question his decision to go to an idolatrous Canaanite town to find a wife rather than finding a wife of his own belief. Nonetheless, Samson chooses to return to Timnah without their blessing. 

While he approaches a vineyard and a young lion threatens to attack him, the Spirit of the Lord descends on Samson as he tears the lion apart with his bare hands. Samson could perform this feat because of the great power he had from his long hair. On one of his trips to see his wife-to-be, Samson sees a carcass of the same lion that he tore apart days before. He notices there are bees and honey in the dead lion’s body. He scoops the honey from the carcass and takes some to his parents without informing them of its origin. 

Samson then bets with some Philistine men that they could never guess a riddle he came up with. These men convince Samson’s new wife to tell them the answer to the riddle, and he becomes enraged. After being filled again with the spirit of the Lord, Samson strikes the city of Ashkelon and kills the 30 men who cheated him. 

Next, his father-in-law gives Samson’s wife to another man, and Samson goes down to the valley of Sork, where he finds a promiscuous woman named Delilah. Judges 16:5 says, “The rulers of the Philistines went to her [Delilah] and said, ‘See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him.’” 

Three times Samson lies to Delilah about the source of his strength. Each time, he inches closer and closer to the truth, and ultimately gives the secret away. What Samson doesn’t know is that Delilah is sharing his weaknesses with the Philistine rulers. One night, the Philistines come into the place where Samson is sleeping and cut his hair, taking his mighty strength with them. 

They gouge his eyes and force him to grind grain like an ox. When the servants move Samson to an area where he is leaning against two support columns of the temple, he prays that the Lord will remember him. 

Judges 16:28 says, “‘Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.’”

One final time, the Lord gives Samson back his strength. He then topples the support column, bringing the temple crashing down, and killing any Philistines present. 

Not only does Samson’s story show us that God can use flawed sinners, but it also shows us that our flirtatious tendencies with sin can cause us to fall farther than we ever anticipated.

Author

  • Audrey Johnson

    Audrey is a sophomore majoring in elementary education. She is the religion section editor and a co-host of Tower Radio's podcast 'our high tops, His steps'.

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