Samson

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Samson was the eighth judge God chose to deliver Israel from the Palestine’s. Although Samson was chosen by God, doesn’t mean that he lived a Godly life. Samson, the strongest man to ever live, was selfish, prideful, arrogant, and lusted after women. The life that Samson lived would eventually be his demise.

The story of Samson start’s in the Valley of Sorek, with the tribe of Dan, where Samson’s parents lived. An Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother explaining that Samson was to be a Nazarite. According to the Law that God gave to Moses’ in Numbers 6:1-21, a Nazarite is not allowed to shave his head, eat grapes or drink wine or eat dried grapes (raisins), and is not to touch anything unclean (dead).

Samson’s birth was a miracle because his mother was barren. After the angel of the Lord appeared to his mother, she was excited and went home to tell her husband the news. Manoah could not believe the news so he prayed to the Lord for the angel to appear once more so he could hear for himself the instructions that were given to his wife. God answered Manoah’s prayer, the angel appeared once again. This time Manoah’s wife ran to get him. Manoah asked the angel, how shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him (Judges 13:12)?  Samson’s parents did as the Angel of the Lord commanded. The bible tells us, “The Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan” (Judges 13:25 KJV). So, we see that even at a very early age God was with Samson. The story of Samson really begins to shine through when he is about twenty years old, where he frequently visits the Philistine town of Timnath. During one of these visits, Samson see a young Philistine girl and falls in lust after her. He then goes home and tells his parents to get her for him as his wife. Except for marriage, this must not have been the first time that Samson talked with his parents about women. The Bible tells us, “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” (Judges 14:3, KJV)? Unable to convince Samson, they head out for Timnath. On the way, there happened to be a vineyard. Keep in mind about the Law, No grapes. While there, a young lion attacked Samson and the Spirt of the Lord moved on him and he killed the lion. Why is the lion important? You see, after some time had passed, Samson returned to the same spot in the vineyard where he killed the lion and discovered that bees had made honey inside of the lion’s carcass. When Samson saw this, he ate of the honey. There he goes braking yet another Law. He then gives some of the honey to his parents but never reveals to them where the honey came from. Samson knew his parents would be devastated by this act. They arrive in Timnath and Samson basically throw’s a party, we all know what goes on at some parties. Samson probably indulges in some wine, he starts talking and issues a riddle to the Philistine men there.

So far, Sampson has lusted after women, touched an unclean beast, and drank wine. Samson has given in to every temptation that has been before him.

Now, back to the problem with the riddle. The Philistine men didn’t have an answer for Samson. They became so desperate, they threatened Samson’s new bride. The men told her get us the answer or we will burn down your father’s house with you inside. She begins to nag at Samson, this goes on for days. Finally, Samson gives in and tells her. She then returns to the Philistine men with the answer and when they tell Samson he knew right away where they got the information they needed to solve the riddle. Samson became angered and killed thirty men to pay his debt. He then returns home to his parents for a while but when he returns for his bride she has been given to the best man. Samson must have been very upset because of this. He goes out and finds three hundred foxes, ties their tails together by pairs, attaches torches to them, and turns them loose on the Philistines’ grain fields. He then destroyed the vineyards and olive groves. Because Samson did these things, the Philistines began to oppress Judah even more. So, three thousand men from Judah went to Samson and told him what was happening because of the vengeance he took out on the Philistines. Samson then agree to be delivered to the Philistines but only if his people agreed not to kill him. They agreed.

Jawbone

When Samson arrived in Lehi, he broke loose and killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (an unclean beast). Samson just kept making mistake after mistake. He even took the gates to Gaza. Samson had the strength to defeat these things that were before him, but it was a woman named Delilah that would be the end of him. Samson fell in love with Delilah, but she was a greedy person that loved money. When the Philistine men approached her about finding Samson’s strength all they had to do was offer her some money, and well, that was that. Delilah began to work on Samson to find out his secret. She would ask him over and over, each time with the hopes that this time would be the truth. Each time Samson would lie to her and make a mockery of her. She began to pout and tell Samson, you don’t love me. She nagged and nagged until finally one day Samson broke and told her the truth. It’s my hair Delilah. If my hair was to ever be cut I would be like any other man. She lured Samson to sleep and called in a man to cut Samson’s hair. Samson was then captured; his eyes were gouged out and he was taken to Gaza. One day he was put on display for the amusement of the Palestines. Samson was placed between two pillars which held up the roof.  After some time had passed, Samson prayed to God, “please strengthen me one last time”. God granted Samson this wish, and Samson brought the roof down, killing himself along with three thousand Philistines. With one act, Samson killed more Philistines than he had killed his entire life, but Samson was gone as well.

Samson lived a life that many of us have lived ourselves. We have all done things we are not proud of. Perhaps you like to chase the women, drink, or dabble in things that you knew were bad for you. Like Samson you probably never stopped to think about what the consequences or outcome would be. Just live for the moment. I sure have done that many times. Thank God it didn’t cost me my life or yours.

We as soldiers of God still must be on guard. We must keep a constant eye out for weakness and temptations. As we grow closer to God, our trials will get more difficult, they will be more frequent, and we will grow weary, just as Samson did. If the strongest man to ever lived struggled, why would we think we might be able to do better at resisting? We must pray daily, ask for repentance, and always give God the glory in our victories. Remember, God is with us always and if God is for us, then who can stand against us?!

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