Samson: Physically Strong Morally Weak

By Don R. Hastings

Most youngsters in an audience can quickly guess who I am referring to when I say that this popular Old Testament character possessed supernatural strength. He was God’s strong man. He was the Hebrew’s Hercules. His superhuman strength amazes us. Most of us enjoy watching the amazing feats accomplished by very strong men. However, none of them can compare with Samson.

Whoever killed a thousand soldiers ‘ with nothing more than a bone for his weapon (15:14-16)? Who else, but Samson, could have pulled up the heavy, massive gate to a city and carried it to the top of a mountain (16:3)? Samson demonstrated his great strength once again when he moved “the two middle pillars upon which the house rested . . . and the house fell . . .” (16:27-31).

Samson was very courageous, for he would fight the Philistines by himself, regardless of the number of Philistines (15:6-8, 14-16). He must have been very fast for he “caught 300 foxes . . .” (15:3-5).

Samson’s physical endowments did not help him overcome Satan. Satan is not frightened by anyone’s physical strength. Our defense against Satan is the Word of God (Matt. 4; Eph. 6:10-17). Samson failed to bring his passions under control. He did not practice self-control. He would resist a Philistine army, but not a Philistine woman.

Samson Lived A Sinful Life

Samson refused to listen to the wise counsel of his parents as they advised him against such a marriage (14:3). Samson’s response was, “Get her for me: for she pleaseth me well” (14:3). He did not consider what would please his parents, or more importantly, what would please Jehovah!

Judges 14:4 means that God used Samson’s obstinate determination to take a Philistine wife as a means to cause Samson to become so angry with the Philistines that he would kill them. God does not want us to violate His word. God used Pharaoh’s stubbornness to reveal His glorious power. We make a very serious mistake when we choose, as our close friends, those who do not fear God, reverence or worship Him!

Don’t Make The Same Mistake As Samson

Like Isaac, Samuel, John the Baptist, and Jesus, Samson’s birth was foretold (13: 1). He was to be a Nazarite all his life (13:3,7). As a Nazarite, he was not to drink or eat anything connected with grapes, cut his hair, or come near a dead body (Num. 6:1-8). The Lord was with him and gave him supernatural strength as long as his hair was not cut (16:15-17,20).

Manoah humbly prayed for Divine guidance in rearing Samson (13:8,12). What a wonderful example for us to follow! How often do you pray for wisdom from above in rearing your children? Are you following God’s instructions (Prov., Eph. 6:1-4)?

As Samson grew, “Jehovah blessed him” (13:24,25). Samson is a good example that proves Proverbs 22:6 is a general rule that has exceptions. Samson was a bitter disappointment to his parents (Prov. 17:25; 10:1). Are you a disappointment to your parents and to God?

Samson Sinned Because He Chose To Marry An Evil Woman (14:1,2)

God had forbidden marriages between His children, the Israelites, and other nations (Deut. 7:1-3). God knew that such marriages would lead His children away from Him (Deut. 7:4; 1 Kings 11:4; Neh. 13:23-27).

Make up your mind now that you are going to marry one who loves the Lord, and never change your mind! If you love the Lord, why would you want to enter into the closest of all human relationships with one who:

I . Is a child of the devil?

2. Holds in contempt the Bible, church, worship, prayer, Jesus, etc.?

3. Lives by a different standard?

4. Wants to live in sin?

5. Has his mind totally on earthly things?

6. Will try to counteract all the good your example and teaching does for your children?

7. Will try to discourage you from faithfully following and serving the Lord; thus, causing you to fall from God’s favor and be eternally tormented?

It is to our eternal sorrow when we choose our close companions from among the enemies of God! Will we never learn the truth that “evil companionships corrupt good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 1:10; 4:14)? Know the joy of being united with one who loves the Lord as fervently as you do!

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 16, p. 489
August 16, 1984