The Book of Judges gives us a tragic account of how God was repeatedly taken for granted by the Israelites. In spite of their rebellion, God honored the promise that He made Abraham. He promised to protect them and to bless Abrahams offspring; (Gen. 12:2-3). After being held captive for 40 years, the LORD raised up judges to deliver his people out of the enemies hands.
One of the most notable judges was Samson, the 12th judge. Before he was born the angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother and foretold of his birth. From birth, Samson was to be raised as a Nazirite, set apart to God. It was also decreed that Samson would deliver Israel out of the Philistine’s hands; (Judg. 13:7).
The Nazarite Vow (Num. 6:1-21)
The Hebrew word “nazir” means to be separated or consecrated. The Nazirite/Nazarite vow is taken by individuals who have dedicated, and yield themselves to God completely. The individual enters into this vow voluntarily knowing the vow has a beginning and an end. He/she must abstain from wine/fermented drink. This includes abstaining from eating grapes, raisins, and seeds. They were also forbidden to cut their hair for the length of the vow. They were not to go near a dead body (including family members), because it made the individual ceremonially unclean. Samson vowed to keep these laws throughout the separation period.
In spite of the vows he had taken, Samson lusted after foreign women. While he was in Timnah, he saw the woman he wanted to marry. He told his parents about her, insisting that she was the right one for him. Against their best advice, Samson married her anyway, and the marriage turned out disastrous. In the end, Samson’s wife was given to a groomsman who attended him at his wedding; (Judges 14).
Samson Meets Delilah (Judges Chapter 16)
While in Gaza Samson met a prostitute and he spends the night with her. He only stayed there until midnight because the Philistines were planning to capture him. They were always trying to understand Samson’s great strength.
Shortly after meeting the prostitute Samson met Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to Delilah and offered her eleven hundred shekels of silver to lure Samson into telling her the secret of his strength. The Bible describes three distinct times that Delilah attempted to pry Samson’s secret source from him; (v.v. 6, 10, 13, 15). If Samson’s strength could be determined by the size of his muscles, why was it necessary to ask him about his strength?
“If Samson physique resembled that of, let’s say, Arnold Schwarzenegger, most likely we would conclude that his strength obviously was within his muscles. But, if indeed he was small in stature, it would be needful to question the Source behind his strength.”
After reading this story for the very first time I could not believe it. I judged Samson as an overly self-confident foolish man. Not once did Samson question Delilah about her motives. I would have asked her: “What are you up to? Why do you need to know? Don’t you love my muscles?” Most women admire a man with muscles. This is the reason that I don’t believe Samson had a muscular physique.
Despite the evil games Delilah played Samson didn’t recognize the dangers that he faced. He lacked both discernment and wisdom. I even questioned if Samson knew that God was the Source of his strength. Continue to Page 2