MEMORY VERSE: “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.” – Judges 13:5
BIBLE PASSAGE: Judges 13:1-5
Samson is one of the few in the scripture whose birth was divinely pre-announced to his parents (Judges 13:3). He shares this honour with Isaac, John the Baptist, and Jesus. Samson, whose name means “sunshine,” was born sometimes between 1045 BC and 1000 BC, during a dark period of Israel’s history. His father was Manoah of the family of Danites (Judges 13:2). Samson was born a Nazirite, meaning he was “separated” or “set aside” for God. This meant that he was not to drink wine or fruit of the vine. He could not go near or touch a dead body, human or animal, nor could he cut his hair (Numbers 6:2-6). After his death, he was buried between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father.
- SAMSONS ACHIEVEMENTS AND FLAWS
- LESSONS FROM SAMSONS LIFE
1. SAMSONS ACHIEVEMENTS AND FLAWS
Samson was a judge in Israel. He Judged Israel for twenty years with landmark achievements though with flaw worthy of note. God’s purpose for Samson’s life was to begin the Deliverance of Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:5). Samson was a powerful man with supernatural strength. With the Spirit of God upon him, he killed a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:5-6); he killed thirty men (Philistines) and took their belongings (Judges 14:19); he killed a thousand men (Philistines) with the jaw bone of an ass (Judges 15:14-16); he lifted the gates of the city and took them up a mountain (Judges 16:3). He was also very intelligent with an unusual sense of humour (Judges 14:12-14). Samson enjoyed answers to prayers in fulfillment of God’s purpose (Judges 15:18; 16:28). He repented towards the end of his life and called upon the Lord and his strength returned, he slew more philistines at his death than he slew during his life (Judges 16:30).
Though he was set apart for special service to God (Judges 13:5), Samson ignored and violated his Nazirite vow of godly devotion and relied upon his own strength and abilities rather than God’s. He was courageous before men but weak when it comes to women (Proverbs 5:3; Proverbs 6:32; Matthew 5:28). His weakness for the Philistine women culminated in his fall (Judges 14:1-3; Judges 16:1-22). His passion for women was more important to him than God’s expressed will (Deuteronomy 7:3). While he had almost unlimited potential to deliver his people from the Philistines, his story ends in needless tragedy. He died with the enemies (Judges 16:30). Samson was swallow shallow and vengeful like the Philistines (Judges 15:10) which is the world’s mindset today and contrary to the teachings of Christ (Matthew 5:38). Summarily, Samson’s disobedience and love for strange women led to his defeat, disgrace and destruction.
2. LESSONS FROM SAMSONS LIFE
There are several lessons to learn from Samson’s life.
- Though we may not be given great physical strength like Samson, God will give us great spiritual strength when we need it (Philippians 4:13).
- Believers should watch out for things and people that can entice them to sin. We must not allow the yearnings of the flesh to control our lives (1John 2:15-17 2Corinthians 6:17)
- The seemingly harmless sins some believers are committing and getting away with are simply baits from the devil to encourage them to go deeper. The devil is not stupid; he has planned a big downfall along the line (2Samuel 11:2-15).
- When you sin no matter how grievous, repent and call upon God. He will always hear your cry of repentance and forgive you (Isaiah 1:18; Acts 2:21; Acts 3:19)
- Spiritual gifts and not pointers to spiritual maturity. Believers should strive to bear the fruit of the Spirit to remain in tune with God (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9).
- Perhaps the greatest lesson we learn is that God would rather forgive than Judge. In the final analysis, God saw Samson as a man of faith. This is evidenced by the fact that he is listed among those in the hall of faith (Hebrews 11:32).
Samson’s story is a strong warning to every Christian never to toy with sin.