33. Samson, Quite A Character


By Benji Miller

Samson has always reminded me of a biblical superhero with his long hair and supernatural strength. His story is amazing, twists and turns and many plot twists along with a catastrophic ending, but he did ultimately fulfil God’s plan for him.

‘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. A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, ‘You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.’ Then the woman went to her husband and told him, ‘A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’ Judges 13:1-7

His mother was barren until God provided her with a son. She also received instructions that he would be a Nazirite, Nazirites were consecrated or set apart before the Lord for a special purpose. They were to abstain from alcohol derived from grapes, they were not to cut their hair, and they were not to come in contact with a grave or dead body, even a family member, Numbers 6:1-21.

Samson was sent to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, a militant nation that had controlled them for 40 years. Due to unfortunate decisions made by Samson, he led a life of turmoil. But he ultimately fulfilled his purpose as he struck down and took revenge on the Philistines.

Questions for Discussion

Read Judges 13.

Have you ever taken a vow, maybe a marriage vow or otherwise?

What was the importance of that vow?

Did Samson take his vow seriously?

Read Judges 14.

What was Samson’s mistake (in the eyes of his parents)?

How did it fulfil God’s plan?

What ‘mistakes’ or missteps in our lives does God use for good?

Samson’s riddle was solved by the townspeople after they bribed his wife. His anger burned against the town and he killed thirty men with the Spirit of the Lord.

Was his response justified?

Do we let our anger burn at times when we should be more level-headed?

Has it ever led to negative consequences in your life?

Read Judges 16.

Samson made several poor decisions based on his love of beautiful women. His love for Delilah was his fatal one. Delilah seduced him and eventually was able to get the secret to his God-given superhuman strength and surrendered him to the Philistines.

After suffering through punishment and torture, God answered his prayer to deliver the Philistines into his hands one last time.

Why did Samson reveal his secret to Delilah after three separate failed attempts to learn it?

Have you ever been let down by someone you trusted?

How did you respond? Did you turn to God for deliverance?

Final Thoughts

Similar to a Nazirite vow, we are consecrated or set apart by God for a special purpose through our dedication to him when we became a Christian. Galatians 1:15 even says we were set apart before birth for his purpose.

What confidence and inspiration should that give us, knowing that we have a special mission?

Samson’s story is an amazing one! He made many decisions that lead to his ultimate death, but God was always with him and answered his last prayer. Sometimes we also make decisions that are likely displeasing to God, but we should remember that God is always there with us, especially in our times of greatest need.


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16