Samson and Me (Part 1)
In God’s word in the book of Judges we read of a special man whose name was Samson. This week we will begin to study his life and see the parallels of his life in that of the life of a believer. We can venture into Samson’s life and see the amazing way that God used him and also the mistakes that he made and see just how even in his victories, and in his mistakes God remained faithful. As we study I am seeing myself in Samson and I pray that you will see yourself in him as well in some way and know that his life is recorded to help us in our walks with Christ. We can learn from his downfall and from his triumphs. God is not slack concerning His promises to us. No matter where we go or what we do, God is faithful to those who call upon His name. We will see this special, strong, vibrant man in all his glory, and we will also see him being led captive in defeat by his enemy when he let his guard down but God did not forget Samson, no He did not. God was Faithful to him and Dear One, He is faithful to you and I.
Handout: Samson and Me
Teacher’s Guide: Samson and Me
Judges 13:1-5 “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Judges 13:24-25 “24And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.”
The Israelites had done evil and so God had allowed the Philistines to rule over them for these forty years. The Philistines were inhabitants of Philistia; they had immigrated from Caphtor to the western seacoast of Canaan. They did not worship God. They worshipped false gods such as baal, Astarte, and Dagon. It was horrifying that Israel was under the rule of these people but they had turned their backs on God and we know that when we stray from the Father we are enslaved by the enemy. However, the time had come for the LORD to deliver them once again. God is ALWAYS so faithful concerning His promises! He is so good to us. He had chosen a man and his wife to be the parents of this man who would be set apart to deliver Israel. We read that the angel of the Lord visited Manoah and his wife once again and they offered up a burnt offering to God and the angel ascended back to heaven in the flame of the fire there. Just as the angel had told them, they gave birth to a son and named him Samson.
Now I wanted to study the life of Samson because God showed me some things this week of how the life of Samson can be paralleled in the lives of we who are believers in Christ. In our parallel, we will see Samson representing the believer, and the Philistines who will be representing the world or the enemy. In God’s word, most times when the world is mentioned it is referring to sin or the ways of the devil. The first point I want us to look at is this, we as believers are set apart to be separate and different than all others of this world.
Judges 13:5 “For Lo,thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Now the scriptures tell us here that Samson was consecrated or set apart from the womb. We know this because that word Nazarite, it means consecrated or set apart. When we are born into the family of God, that is when we humble ourselves before God and we believe in His Son and ask Him to forgive our sins, and we ask Jesus to come live in our hearts and save us, we being born into the family of God are set apart.
The righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us and therefore we are separate and we are consecrated by His blood to serve Him.
Psalm 4:3 “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: The LORD will hear when I call unto Him.”
2 Corinthians 6 tells us that we who are the righteousness of Christ have been made righteous so we should not be mixing in with darkness. We are light.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2 Peter 2:9-11 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly Beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
So as Samson was called out and set apart to be a deliverer of the oppressed, we are to be lights so that we can lead the oppressed by satan to the light of Christ. That is what it means in 2 Peter 2 when it says we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a priest is set apart to the service of God to lead others to Christ.
Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
So Samson was born and he grew up and God was with him. He had much power and strength. The Spirit of God once again began to move among the Israelites. When we are born into the family of God, at once we begin to grow, and the more we fellowship with God in prayer and by reading and meditating upon His word, the more power and strength we will have. His Spirit will begin to make Himself manifest in our lives inwardly and outwardly so that others will see and be blessed.
We are in the world but not of it.
Judges 14 tells us that Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now get her for me as a wife. Then his father and his mother said. Is there never a woman among the daughters of you’re the Israelites, why do you want to have a wife of these unbelieving Philistines? However, Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well. The Bible tells us that Samson’s His father and mother had no idea that God was behind this, that he was arranging an opportunity against the Philistines.
God had a plan that would bring Samson in closer with the Philistines through what they thought would be a marriage to this Philistine woman, but what seemed to be would not happen. So Samson was on his way down to Timnah with his father and mother to talk to this woman to see if he would marry her or not and one day when Samson was in a vineyard, a young lion roared up against him and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon Samson and he just tore the lion apart with his bare hands. This parallel is amazing to me. I think it was a foreshadow of what Samson was about to do to the Philistines.
What does the Bible say to us about a roaring lion? Let’s review shall we?
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Samson was in the midst of his enemies, he was among them but he was not part of them, he was set apart remember. They would come at him trying to defeat him from every side. When I read about the lion I thought how God must have done that to show Samson His strength by the Spirit of God and to increase his faith and let him know that He was a mighty warrior for the time was to come when he would be in battle with these people. He would be standing against them alone. You and I are in a battle with evil forces, and sometimes we have to stand alone on the promises of God. We are not really alone though when we believe and place our trust in God. On our own, we can do nothing about this roaring lion, on his own Samson would have been torn to shreds by this lion, but it says The Spirit of God came MIGHTILY upon him. (Judges 14:5-6.)
Apart from Christ and His Holy Spirit we can do nothing, we are no match for satan, but with Christ we can do all things and we are more than conquerors.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
I think when Samson killed that lion, God was showing Samson His great strength through him and that with the Holy Spirit he could conquer his enemies who would come against him. I believe also that God wants us to see the example in our own lives as we look at Samson and in looking at that verse we reviewed in 1 Peter 5 be sober and vigilant for the devil as a roaring lion walks about seeking who he can devour. What does it mean to be sober and vigilant? When it says be sober the greek word for that is nepho and it means to be calm and collected in spirit. The word for vigilant in the greek transliteration is gretoreo and it means to watch; to be actively cautious. Do not let your guard down because Satan is lying in wait to pounce on you as soon as you let down your watchful eyes. He is persistent and he is patient. He does not mind waiting for just the right time to attack you at your weakest point. My dad many times says when is the best time to eat a hot potato? Wait till it cools off. The devil waits for us to “cool off” because when we are on fire with the Holy Spirit he cannot touch us. He knows our weaknesses and he will use them every time to get us to let our guards down and to let us cool off. The strategy is to NEVER cool off! We must ask the Holy Spirit to always burn with passion inside our hearts so that we stay ablaze for the glory of God!
2. Be Wise and Guard Yourself
In reading the full story of Samson it seems that the devil always used a female to try to bring him down. Perhaps that was his greatest weakness. He was very strong physically when God would move upon him, but he wore his heart on his sleeve and he kept falling for these Philistine women and getting into trouble. What is your greatest weakness? What areas does Satan use most to come against you? What does he use to try to get you to let your guard down? Notice that the enemy did not just run up and try to overtake Samson most of the time, they were sneaky about it and they used these women who seemed harmless but in reality were the strongest strategy against Samson. When satan comes against you and I, he will rarely just attack, he does at times, but most of the time he will be crafty and tricky about it. He will come at us with something or someone that seems harmless so that we will let our guards and our watch down so that he can pounce when we are at our most vulnerable point. So how did he get Samson to let his guard down the first time? In reading further in Judges 14 we see that Samson presented a riddle to the Philistines as he was there having an engagement party for himself and this Philistine woman that he was going to marry. Samson had gone by to see the carcass of this lion he had slain and there inside he found bees had made honey. He had taken the honey and had eaten it. He told no one about this. Then he presented the riddle to them, and said out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. He had proposed to them that if they could figure out the riddle that he would give them 60 garments and if they could not they owed him 60.
The Philistine men tried to figure out this riddle and when they the could not figure it out, they did not go to Samson and demand that he tell them, they went straight for his woman. They went for the weaker one. They threatened her and said that Samson was making sport of them and that he was going to take their things. They told her that if she did not find out the answer to the riddle that they would kill her and her family with fire. So she began to cry and plead with Samson for 7 days to tell her the answer until she got on his nerves so badly that he just told her the answer. Ladies learn from this that we have the power to bring our husbands down or we can choose to lift them up before God. We can choose to be women of God and be honest and bring honor to God and to our husbands, or we can choose to self serve and bring him down. We want to empower our husbands and help them to be strong and victorious men of God! We are created to be our husband’s helper, not his downfall. That goes for all believers. Male and Female alike. We are to lift others up not tear them down. (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:24; Hebrews 12:12)
So they had gotten to Samson’s wife and I’m sure to Samson she seemed harmless enough, what would it hurt to tell her? Samson let his guard down. He seemed to forget that she was of these people. I’m sure she was afraid for her life and the lives of her family but she could have just gone and told Samson the truth, that they had threatened her, instead she chose to betray and deceive him. Be ware of those Satan will use against you. They may not do it maliciously, they may be weak and do something out of fear, still we must be wise and guard our own hearts and know that Satan does not care how he harms, he just wants to harm. It doesn’t matter to him who he uses or what as long as it will get him the result he wants which is destruction. He will use the weak, the strong, the young, the old, the poor the rich, it does not matter to him. He is ruthless. Know that and know that he is the epitome of evil, you can not even wrap your mind around how evil he is. Don’t be fooled to think that he will ever let up or not stoop to any level of wickedness. He will and the more he can hurt doing it the more pleased he is with himself.
So Samson’s wife told the Philistine the answer to the riddle and they then pretended to Samson that they had figured out the answer, but Samson knew that the woman had told them. He was so angry that Judges 14:19 says that the Holy Spirit came upon him so strongly that he went down Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. He was hot! They were not going to mess with him now, remember the potato, he had cooled off a bit before, but now he was on fire again! They would not mess with him for a while but this battle with the Philistines was far from over! You and I may have some times of cooling off and failure here and there and we will have victories where the devil will not mess with us for a few days, but as long as we are living on planet earth in these mortal bodies, our battle is far from over! We will stop and rest here but it is my hope and prayer that next week you will come back on our journey and see what happens next with Samson and me. God Bless you.
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father…
Thank YOU so much for who You are. There are no words to describe Your Wander! Father I love You and I thank You for Your mercies and that they are new every morning. I praise You that You give grace and that You are always faithful even though on our own we do not deserve it! You are good and Your mercy endures forever! Father I pray today that Your name will be lifted up and that You will draw and bring many to Yourself. I ask that You continue to use me and this ministry to help Your children and to bring the lost to JESUS. Thank You for Your love and that You are our help. Thank You that we can resist the devil and he will flee from us and that when we draw close to You, You will draw closer to us. I love You LORD and I Praise You forever. Thank You for the gospel of Christ and that in Him is HOPE! I ask that You bless and provide for all those who are reading and teaching this word that is from You. Help us to serve You and do as You would have us to. Help us to bless Your heart O God. We will ever love and worship You and bring the honor that is due to Your name by the help and the power of Your Holy Spirit. In the name of Wonderful Jesus we pray. Amen.
April 18, 2010