Samson is noted for his strengths and weaknesses. He had great physical strength in fighting against men, but he had a glaring lack of moral fiber in resisting seductive women. Samson saw a Philistine woman in Timnath and wanted her to be his wife (Judges 14:1-2). Samson’s parents were conscientious in regard to their responsibility of raising the son God had given them to follow the Lord. His father Manoah asked, “O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born” (Judges 13:8). He wanted to know, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” (Judges 13:12). Now that Samson was grown and making this request, they were concerned. Samson’s parents knew that this Philistine woman would not make a good choice for a wife (Judges 14:3). The Philistines served Dagon, a grain and fertility god (Judges 16:23). Thus, they tried to encourage Samson to marry a woman who believed in the true God of Israel. But Samson was insistent, saying, “Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.”
This was a time of moral and spiritual degeneration characterized by God’s people forsaking Him to serve other gods and every man doing what was right in his own eyes (Judges 2:12; 17:6; 21:25). Samson, at times, seemed to have imbibed the attitude of the day: seeking pleasure over pleasing God (cf.
2 Timothy 3:4). His lust for another Philistine woman, Delilah, cost him dearly (Judges 16). It is obvious, reading the narrative, that Delilah was bent on betraying him, but he continued to flirt with sin until it left him with his head shaved, his Nazarite vow broken, his strength departed, and his eyes gouged out (Judges 16:19-21).
However, by faith Samson—though flawed—was used by God to accomplish military victories against the wicked enemies of God’s people: the Philistines. The brief synopsis of Hebrews 11:32-34 is, “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and
of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Samson’s marriage to the woman at Timnath did not end well, as his parents suspected, “But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel” (Judges 14:4). Because things went south between Samson and the in-laws, he slew a thousand Philistines when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Judges 15). He went after Delilah like an ox to the slaughter, just as many strong men have been slain by an adulterous woman (Proverbs 7:22, 26). But when his hair grew, he prayed to God for one last opportunity to fight against the enemies, and killed more Philistines in his death than he
had in his life (Judges 16:28, 30).
Perhaps in your life unwise decisions and past sins have resulted in you having to face difficult situations that make it hard to be happy. But God can still use you if you will give your life to Him in faith.
– Mark Day