by Faith Samson


I’ve heard of people saying, “I would not believe in a god who…”  then they say something, such as … “would allow suffering.”

First of all, we, as in humanity, cause most of the suffering, but we don’t have a choice who God is. We aren’t His judge. He doesn’t report to us for roll call every morning. The whole statement is humorous, “I can’t believe in a god who doesn’t fit my standard.” Do we realize that our standard changes over time anyways?

Ravi Zacharias was asked on a doctrinal questionnaire: “God is perfect, briefly explain.” Really, how does one explain that attribute of God briefly? He wrote:

“He is the only entity in existence whose reason for existence is in Himself.  Every other entity exists for God.”

Wow, that statement still gets me. God exists for Himself, every other entity exists for Him.

We exist for God and so God is God, we have no choice who He is as He is self existent and we exists for Him. Thankfully, we find out about Him in His Word. God has revealed Himself to us. (Deut. 29:29; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

As I look at Samson I see that God used Samson. Samson trusted God, Samson, did have faith, seemingly selfish faith, but God worked in his life. Samson existed for God. But I do as well.

Let’s talk about Samson, first let’s read Heb. 11:32:

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets…

Look at Judges 14:4: (I’ll explain it in a minute)

 (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.)

See Samson’s prayer in Judges 16:28:

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “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.”

My theme is:

By Faith, Samson, Trusted the Lord and the Lord worked through him. (Hebrews 11:32; Judges 13-16 especially 14:4)

Theme: God carries out His plan. God was in control, even in Samson’s freewill.

Application: Surrender to God daily, you have no choice who God is.

We cannot talk about Samson until I summarize his messed up life:

  1. First: Through chapter 15 are Samson’s Ten Feats of Strength and Heroism Part 1:

Three mentions of the “Spirit of the Lord”

  1. The killing of the lion: 14:5–9“The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him” (14:6).
  2. The killing of 30 Philistines: 14:19“The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him” (14:19).
  3. The burning of the fields: 15:4–6
  4. Another slaughter of the Philistines: 15:7–8
  5. Escape from ropes and killing of 1,000 Philistines: 15:14–17“The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him” (15:14).

Part 2: No mention of the “Spirit of the Lord”

  1. The Gaza-gate incident: 16:3
  2. Escape from the bowstrings: 16:9
  3. Escape from the new ropes: 16:12
  4. Escape from the loom: 16:14
  5. Final destruction of 3,000 Philistines: 16:28–30 Judg 14:1

Judges 13-16 in a nutshell:

  1. In Judges 13:1-25 we have the birth of Samson.
    1. In verse 1 we once again have the common phrase in the book of Judges: Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
    2. Verse 2: Samson’s father: “Manoah’s” wife was barren.
      1. Moody Bible Commentary: Manoah’s wife was barren, but Ps 113:9 cites the classic image of God blessing “barren women” who became “joyful mothers.” This miraculous conception and birth echos Isaac and prefigures the Messiah, with the point that life always comes from the Lord.
    3. I notice another account where God intervenes with a woman a couple who is barren (1 Samuel 1-2; Luke 1)
    4. The rest of chapter 13 an angel of the Lord visits Samson’s mother and father and declares the baby to come.
  2. Chapter 14:1-15:20 is Samson and the Philistines part 1.
    1. Samson marries a woman of the Philistines. Apparently, he did not care about the whole idea of not marrying someone who is a foreigner. Exodus 34:16 instructs against marrying foreign women (also Deut 7:3). Of course in the New Testament 2 Cor. 6:14 instructs not to be unequally yoked. My social Psychology professor said: “opposites attack and birds of a feather flock together.”
    2. ESV study note says that usually in that day the marriages were arranged, but in this case Samson demands the wife that he wishes. (14:3) However, verse 4 says that in this case the Lord was going to use this for good.
      1. Notice that. God is in control.
      2. We do have freewill, but isn’t it cool that God is in control even in our freewill?
  • Is it awesome that you cannot mess up God’s plan?
  1. Is it awesome that our God can never fail?
  2. Is it awesome that God is powerful?
  3. God is a strong God.
  • Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that our God can’t do. The mountains are big, the valleys are big, the stars are His handiwork to. Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing that our God can’t do.
  • Do you believe that? Do you really believe that?
  1. Sometimes we have that in our head, but do we have that in our heart? It has to go from our head to our heart.
  2. How did Samson have faith? I believe when he fought the Philistines in battle in the core of his being he had no doubt, none at all, that God would give him strength.
  3. Listen to how God works in his mess.
  1. The marriage is a mess but Samson retaliates with the Philistines. At his wedding feast he tells the Philistines a riddle and they cannot solve it. He had made an arrangement that if they solve the riddle he will give them 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes, but if he solves the riddle they must give him 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes. So, the Philistines enlist his wife to trick him. He eventually gives the answer and they win the riddle. Samson retaliates by killing 30 Philistines. He killed 30 Philistines to get the 30 linen garments and changes of clothes.
  2. He is the only man who crashed his own wedding party.
  3. In Chapter 15 Samson finds out that his wife was given to his best man. Samson, in anger caught 30 foxes, or they might have been jackals, he ties their tales together, puts a torch between each pair of tales and lets them go in the standing grain. He also set fire to the stacked grain, standing grain and olive orchards.
  4. The Philistines are now mad so they attack the people of Judah. So, Samson allowed 3000 men of Judah to tie him and take him to the Philistines. In 15:14-17: The Philistines come out and he kills 1000 of them with the jawbone of a donkey.
  5. In chapter 16:1-3 he goes in to a prostitute. The Gazites were told that Samson was here. So he arose at midnight and took hold of the doors of the city, picked them up on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill which is in front of Hebron. This is about 40 miles. He might have carried them the distance or towards that distance.
  6. Notice that Samson is a mess, he has broken all but one of the Nazerite vows. He does not appear to be following God. Is he going to mess up God’s plan?
  7. Delilah enters the picture in verse 5 and she is paid to seduce him to discover his strength.
  8. In 16:7-9 she uses seven fresh bow strings.
  9. In 16:11 they use new ropes. This is how the people of Judah captured him in chapter 15 but he broke free and killed 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone.
  10. 16:13-14: seven locks of his head made tight with a pin.
  11. In 16:16-22 he tells her that a razor had never touched his head. At the end of verse 20 the Bible says that he did not know that the Lord had left him.
    1. Isn’t that a telling statement?
    2. Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to worry about that.
  • You see in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come upon a person for a task or tasks. In the New Testament we have the Holy Spirit for life. (John 14-17; Acts 1:8)
  1. The Holy Spirit left Samson and now he will get captured. So, who allowed Samson to do everything? God did.
  2. The main character in this passage seems to be Samson, but the main character is really God.
  1. 16:21-22: the Philistines capture him, gauge gouge out his eyes and he was to grind at the mill in prison.
  2. 16:23-31: his hair grows back, the Philistines make a mockery out of him, he prays: “SovereignLord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
  3. Whose strength enables him to finish what he started? God’s strength. Samson was trusting the Lord so that he could finish well.
  4. Samson says to the young man who was leading him around that he wants to feel the pillars. He gets in between and pushes them apart. He kills 3,000 that day.
  5. We have archaeological evidence of a temple that was destroyed with pillars fairly close together.
  6. Any man or woman could take a vow to become a Nazirite, to separate himself or herself to God (see Numbers 6). It was to be voluntary (Num. 6:2), for a limited time (Num. 6:5, 8, 13, 20), and involved three provisions: (1) abstinence from wine, strong drink, or anything associated with the vine (Num. 6:3–4); (2) no cutting of the hair (Num. 6:5); and (3) no contact with the dead (Num. 6:6–8). If a person became unclean, there were elaborate cleansing rituals (Num. 6:9–21). Three things are unusual concerning Samson and this vow. First, he did not take it voluntarily; it was his lot from the womb (Judg. 13:5, 7). Second, it was not limited in time; it was to last to the day of his death (vv. 5, 7; cf. 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15 for similar situations). Third, he broke every one of its stipulations: his head was sheared (Judg. 16:17, 19); he associated with the dead (14:6–9; 15:15); and he undoubtedly drank at his wedding feast (14:10–20; see note on 14:10). Judges 13:5[1]
  7. He judges Israel for 20 years. (16:31)
  • Was Samson a puppet in God’s hands? Are we puppets?
    1. Video:
    2. Listen, we don’t have strings, see consider this: without the possibility of sin we would be puppet’s on a string. But we have the possibility of sin which equals freewill.
    3. We all have freewill so in that sense, Samson was not a puppet. He could do what he wanted.
    4. We are not puppet’s either, but God will not sacrifice His plan because of our freewill. Isn’t that cool? God is so great that He can manage both, my free will with His plan.
    5. God’s will comes through in our freewill.
    6. As I look at this I see that most everything Samson did was just wrong Biblically, but God intended to use his failures for God’s perfection.

So, where are you at?

Are you surrendered to God? He will use you no matter what, I believe that.

By Faith, Samson, Trusted the Lord and the Lord worked through him. (Hebrews 11:32; Judges 13-16 especially 14:4)

Theme: God carries out His plan. God was in control, even in Samson’s freewill.

Application: Surrender to God daily, you have no choice who God is.

Of God Ravi Zacharias sad:

“He is the only entity in existence whose reason for existence is in Himself.  Every other entity exists for God.”

What does it mean to recognize this?

The most important thing is falling at Jesus’ feet and saying, My Lord and My God. (John 20:28)

The best response is Luke 9:23:

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Is it in your heart that God is all powerful Lord?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)


[1] ESV Study Bible page 461

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