While You Were Sleeping
Day after day Delilah nagged and prodded Samson about his secret, until he was sick to death of her; (Judg. 16: 16). Finally, he told her the source of his strength.
“If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” (v. 17).
Delilah sent word to the Philistine rulers, and after he woke up Samson discovered that his seven braids had been shaved off. Now the Spirit of Lord departed from him once his hair was gone, and his enemies were able to capture him because his strength was gone. They put his eyes out, put him in shackles, and took him to prison.
One day while they were in high spirits the enemy decided they wanted to be entertained by Samson. They called him out of prison to perform for them. Standing near two central pillars on which the temple stood Samson braced himself and with all his might he pushed them down on the rulers and all the people in the temple. He killed more people that day than he killed while he was alive; (Judg. 16:30).
It seemed as though Samson’s hair was the source of his strength, but God was the true Source. From the killing of the lion and the bear to the slaying of a thousand men using a jawbone of an ass, (Judg. 15:15), each battle that Samson fought, his victory was because of the Lord’s power resting upon him. Samson’s hair was only a sign of his obedience to the vow that he had taken. Lust caused him to be visually impaired, and the sin of rebellion was the caused of his death.
Although the Nazirite vow is an Old Testament concept there is a New Testament parallel. Romans 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, (etc.).
Samson’s Stumbling Blocks
Samson did not abide by the Nazarite laws. He disregarded the oath that he swore, and he broke just about every one of his vows. He continuously gave in to temptation, which leads to sin; and sin having consequences leads to death.
- Samson lusted after foreign women. (Judg. 14:11; 16:1, 4)
- He revoked his vow by marrying foreign women. (14:8)
- He ate honey out of a lions carcass and gave some honey to his parents. (Judg. 14:9)
- The Customary Feast which was literally a drinking party. Temptation was often a game that Samson entertained; (Judg. 14:9-10).
- He did not separate himself. He consorted with the enemy which caused him to break the final standing vowel.
- No razor was to be used during the entire period of separation. (Num. 6:5)
- Samson was more concerned about getting revenge than about following God’s will. His neglect cost him his life. (Judg. 16:26-30)
For the Christian, the ancient Nazirite vow symbolizes the need to be separate from the world and consecrated unto God (2nd Tim. 1:9; 1st Peter 1:15). God’s compassion for His people, despite our sins and rejection, presents a picture of Christ on the cross. Jesus died to deliver His people from their sins. Although most of those who followed Him during His ministry would eventually fall away and reject Him, He remained faithful and went to the cross for us.
The Israelites present a perfect example of what we are not to do. Instead of learning from experience, they continued to disobey and suffer God’s discipline. If we continue in disobedience we invite God’s discipline. But in spite of Samson’s rebellion God chose to use him to deliver this people.
The Book of Judges is a testament to God’s faithfulness. He remains faithful to His promises, even when we are unfaithful. He is faithful to save us and to forgive us, (1 John 1:9). God’s love for us is unconditional. If you stray from Him his presence is with you. There isn’t any place that you can go that God is not there. If you’ve wandered from Him, believe me, He’s not far from you. You only need to search your heart. God’s presence departed from Samson, but His Spirit dwells in you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. He promised to be with you even until the end of time; (Matt. 28:20).
*The photo’s used are internet photo’s; they are not owned by me.