How much do you know about Samson? Many people are familiar with the Biblical story of a man with long locks of hair and superhuman strength who was betrayed by a woman named Delilah. However, there is much more to this story than we ever hear in television movies and children’s storybooks. This article discusses how Samson’s story applies to you and me.
Text: Judges 13-16
1. You are in a contract with God.
In Judges 13, we see how the Israelites were suffering under the hard, dominating rule of their enemy, the Philistines, because they have forgotten God. However, God has mercy on His children and wants to give them deliverance and victory over their enemies. So, God appears to a childless woman and prophesies to her that she will bear a son who will one day deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.
God tells the woman that her son will be a Nazarite from the womb. This means that God has consecrated the child, set him apart from others, and ordained him to be in a binding contract with God. This contract required that the child’s hair would never be cut. His long hair would be an outward sign that he was dedicated to God. As long as the child and his parents kept their end of the contract, God would keep His part by giving them victory and deliverance over their enemy. (See more about the vow of a Nazarite in Numbers 6:1-8)
After Samson was born, his parents were faithful to their side of the contract and never let a razor touch Samson’s hair. When Samson grew into an adult, he also remained dedicated to God by never cutting his hair. As a result, God gave him extraordinary strength to defeat Israel’s enemy, the Philistines.
I believe this story illustrates to all of us who are Christians that we also are in a contract with God. When we become Christians, we are “added” to God’s church (Acts 2:47), which means “the called out ones.” This means that as Christians, we are separated and consecrated to God. We are to live our daily lives in a way that presents an outward sign that we are dedicated to God. The way we talk, act, dress, and live are all outward ways that should demonstrate our dedication to God. And like Samson, if we are faithful to our side of the contract, then God is always faithful to bless us and deliver us from our enemy, Satan, and the trials and troubles that Satan brings into lives.
“For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
2. Obedience to God is your source of strength and success.
The source of Samson’s extraordinary strength did not come from his long hair but rather from his obedience to God by never cutting it.
Likewise for us, when we obey God, we have a great inner strength that carries us through the trials and storms of life. If we did not have this strength from God, we would not know how to get through our troubles. We would despair, give up, and die. But, God’s strength not only gets us through our troubles but makes a way for us to overcome them as well.
The apostle Peter states the case that Noah and his family were saved not by the ark on the flood waters but rather by obeying God in building the ark and preparing for the flood. Peter goes on to compare this to baptism. He says that like Noah, the water of baptism does not save us, but rather it is obedience to God that saves us by being baptized into Christ through the means of water. (I Peter 3:20-21)
Like Samson, it is our obedience and dedication to God that saves us, overcomes our troubles, gives us great inner strength, and an inner peace that “surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
3. Sin will make you a slave.
Sadly, Samson got big-headed, proud of his strength, and forgot where it came from. He flirted with sin by playing games and riddles with the Philistines, believing himself to be above failure. He also involved himself with sin by spending time with a harlot and then with Delilah, who was hired by the Philistines to discover the source of his strength. Because Samson allowed himself to flirt with sin by proudly playing tricks on the Philistines, sin came back to bite him. Samson’s involvement with sin opened up the avenues and opportunities through which the Philistines were able to finally apprehend and enslave him. (Judges 16:21) (See also, Chapters 14-16)
Like Samson, when you and I become prideful and flirt with sin, we too fall into sin’s trap that can damage and ruin our lives.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.'” (John 8:34)
“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
4. Sin will blind you.
Because of Samson’s pride and involvement with sin, he gave away the source of his strength to Delilah. Working for the Philistines, she lulled Samson to sleep and called for the Philistines to come cut off his hair. When this happened, Samson’s contract and dedication to God was broken, and he was left without any strength. The Philistines then apprehended Samson, put out his eyes, and made him work as a slave grinder in the prison. (Judges 16:21)
The Bible teaches that sin can blind you and me too, maybe not physically, but spiritually.
The apostle Paul says this about those living in sin:
“having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:18)
Sin caused blindness to Samson as well as a broken relationship with God. According to the apostle Paul, sin blinds us and alienates us from God. Without God, we can not see rightly, and we are deprived of His great inner strength and peace.
5. Sin will make a fool out of you.
While Samson was a blind slave in a Philistine prison, his hair grew back, and as a result so did his strength. This shows the faithfulness and goodness of God in giving Samson back his strength when his hair grew back.
But, one day the Philistine leaders decided to throw a big party to rejoice and brag about how their false god, Dagon, had delivered Samson into their hands. They hosted this party at their temple with three thousand people. While they were partying, they decided to have Samson brought up and make him “perform” for them like he was some kind of circus freak. They made a laughingstock out of him. (Judges 16:25)
When you and I involve ourselves in sin, it will always come back and make a fool of us too. For Samson, it was pride and loose women, but for you and me, it may be other sins like abuse of drugs, alcohol, money, or power. Anytime you give your life to sin, it will eventually betray you as Delilah did Samson, and it will make a fool of you in the end.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
6. Sin will kill you.
With each of his hands on a pillar of the temple, Samson used his last strength to collapse the entire temple, causing the death of himself and thousands of Philistines. Samson most likely chose and welcomed death over remaining a blind slave to his enemies. But, the fact of the matter is that a gradual decline into sin can lead to death.
How many people today involve themselves in something sinful, thinking it is merely a guilty pleasure, and it will be okay, but then the next thing they know, someone is trying to kill them or they get caught up in a crime where they are killed? We see it on the nightly news every day.
The Bible plainly says that sin will kill you or lead you to your death.
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
Even if sin does not lead you to your physical death, it can destroy your family, career, mind, and soul.
7. You can be restored.
Samson’s story ends on a sad note, but it doesn’t have to be that way with you and me. As was pointed out above, Samson willingly brought down the pillars to the death of himself and others because he most likely preferred death over life as a blind slave.
But, remember that when Samson’s hair began to grow back out, God restored Samson’s strength, because God is faithful like that. Although Samson had allowed sin to lead him into this terrible predicament, when he called out, praying for strength to bring the pillars down, God heard his prayer and answered it. (Judges 16:28)
No matter how deep in sin you are involved–even if it has led you into a life of crime and landed you in prison like Samson–God can and will restore you if you give Him a chance.
There is no sin too big or too bad that God cannot forgive you. The only sin God cannot forgive is denying Him. If you never accept God into your life, He cannot forgive you of your sins because you don’t give Him the chance to do so. But, if you are willing to give Him the chance by accepting Him as your Savior, He will forgive you of all your sins and restore strength and peace to you. He will also help you build back your life if sin has destroyed it.
“Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'” (Isaiah 1:18)
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9)