Judges 16: 28-30 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Samson's life was a strange one. First, he was called by God from the womb of his mother. He had been chosen in a time of apostasy to be the liberator of a people who were being oppressed by the Philistines. Second, we find that Samson was a Nazarite: he had been separated from the womb for the work of God. Third, Samson became the judge in Israel. He gained mighty victories over Israel's pagan enemies.
Samson was also a physically strong man. But despite that, Samson had a big problem. Spiritually, Samson was a weak man who followed his flesh to his destruction.
The only good thing about Samson that we find is that he is mentioned in Hebrews 11. After having lost God's blessing on his life, and becoming a mockery before the Philistines, he trusted in God, asking Him to give him one last bout of strength to destroy those Philistines.
Samson's life didn't have to end the way it did. God didn’t choose him from his mother's womb, to one day see him dead in the midst of pagan and idolatrous people. But that is how Samson's life ended. Samson's life is a reminder that as children of God, we must really dedicate ourselves to God, not only physically but spiritually.
The war that Samson fought against the Philistines was a part of God’s will since He commanded the Israelites to destroy the pagan nations so Israel would not be corrupted by their idolatry and immorality.
The life of Samson has two purposes for our learning:
Romans 15:4 For the things that were written before were written for our learning, so that through patience and the consolation of the Scriptures we might have hope.
1 Corinthians 10:11 And these things happened to them for an example, and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
These two purposes should cause us to learn so that we don't have to go through all that Samson did.
Truths from the life of Samson:
1. We see God’s power in giving him the ability to overcome his enemies.
Judges 13:3-5 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
God gave Samson the privilege of His presence. God enabled Samson with great power to defeat his enemies and gave him the ability to free the people of Israel who lived under the oppression of the Philistines.
Samson was born to be a liberator–not in his own strength, but in God's strength. He was born to be used greatly for this time.
His job was to bring freedom to the oppressed, rest to the weary, and life to the people. He had everything to succeed. He had the power of God to overcome. But he did not know how to take advantage of it. Why? Because he, like many of us, did not understand the privilege he was given.
As I think of the gift that was given to Samson, I think of the gift given to us the day we came to Christ. We have the privilege of being saved, being a child of God, and having Him with and in us. This is given to us so that we could live differently in this world, not in our power or abilities, but with HIS power!
1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
2. We see that disobedience and flirtation with the world brought destruction to his spiritual and personal life.
Judges 14:1-3 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
The power and grace that had been given to Samson was in vain, since he disobeyed God repeatedly without repentance. Samson refused to separate himself from the Philistines; he even married a Philistine woman (Judges 14:2). He also committed fornication with a Philistine prostitute named Delilah (Judges 16: 1).
Like many of us, Samson thought:
-I can play with sin and get away with it.
-I can play with the opposite sex and nothing will happen to me.
-I can flirt with evil with no consequences.
Great and strong men like Samson have died for not understanding that sin leads their lives to destruction.
Strong men like Solomon—to whom God said, do not get close to Egypt or its women, because they will mislead you. But in his foolishness, he thought himself wise until women led his heart away from God.
Strong men like David who, realizing that he should have been at war, preferred to stay–and ended up looking at a woman, and committing adultery with her. He thought he could cover this up and no one would notice, but he didn't know that God saw and was displeased!
Someone has said that sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you planned to pay.
In reality, Samson was just a man to whom the Lord had given extraordinary strength. Beware of the attitude of superiority and spiritual pride that makes us think we are stronger or better than we are. Samson thought, “I can play with evil and run, and it will never reach me.”
3. We need to understand that Samson's failure was not solely and entirely Delilah's fault.
Four different times when Delilah was tempting Samson, he said: "...I will be like any other man" (verses 7, 11, 13, and 17). He knew the risk if she discovered the true secret to his strength, but he played around anyway, thinking she would never find out how to bring him down and definitely would never use that against him. As we now know reading his story, that is exactly what she did.
Many blame Delilah for what happened to Samson, but it was Samson's own fault since he had turned away from the commandments of God. The encounter with the Philistines did nothing but cause the fall of someone who was already on the brink of a deadly precipice.
Samson had toyed with sin so much, played on the edge so much, that when he stumbled, there simply was no way for him NOT to fall into destruction. So it wasn't Delilah who knocked him off the edge, it was Samson himself.
James 1:13-15 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Most of us Christians blame the devil, the flesh, and the world for our spiritual, personal, and family failures, when the culprit is actually ourselves, because we don’t understand that playing with sin will always lead to destruction.
Proverbs 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
Our children are not going to have that “summer jump” by accident.
The Bible compares the man that does not rule his spirit to a city that is broken down and without walls.