Samson, Overcoming The Philistines
Our Text: Book of Judges 13-16
Our Focus: Chapters 13:5,24-25; 15:14-15; 16:4-5,16-24, 28-30
As we look at Samson, we need to remember one main thing.
*****If God had chosen us for our works, or for our own goodness, we may fear that He would one day cast us away. BUT He chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, and for His Own names sake, HE CANNOT LOSE US!
1Sa 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: ]because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people].
Samson was unpredictable and undependable because he was a double-minded man and the Bible teaches us that a double-minded man is unstable.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Samson was bold and mighty before men but we must be honest, Samson was a wimp when it came to women!
He could not keep any secret from the women he ran with!
Samson was to be a Judge of Israel and to begin the deliverance of them from the Philistines, yet he spent more time with the enemy than with his own people.
The name Samson means “Sunny” but in the end Samson was blinded by the enemy he was to conquer and he could no longer see the Sun.
There are 4 chapters in the Book of Judges devoted to Samson but we will see only a few of these verses.
So, let us begin:
*****Jdg 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].
Again we see that God has a plan for each of us even before we are born. Samson had not even been born and it would be many years before he would be of age enough to begin this work God had chosen for him.
We also see that the parents of Samson were to be involved in the life of Samson. When we are given children from the Lord, we are to see that they raised in a godly manner.
One of the most important verses in the Bible about children is this one:
Pro 22:6 Train up a child [in the way he should go]: and when he is old, [he will not depart from it].
We should also keep in mind that if we do not train them in the way they they should go, then whatever way they are taught they may not depart from that way either.
Samson was to have the vow of the Nazarite from his birth.
The Bible teaches us this vow:
Num 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
Num 6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
Num 6:4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
Num 6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
Num 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
Num 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
Num 6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.
1.) He was not to touch strong drink or use grapes in any form.
**Wine is a “symbol” of earthly joy.
Do we ever see a commercial on our TV”s that show alcoholic beverages with people that are shown to be unhappy.
**Wine is a symbol of a merry heart. Sadly neither of these things are true!
Samson was to find his joy in the Lord:
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
What is the fruit of God’s Spirit:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Those that say they are saved and do not show the fruit of the Holy Spirit need to be heavy in prayer to see what is wrong for they are still blind.
2.) The Nazarite of this day was not to cut his hair.
BUT, This is no an excuse to look like a hippie.
The Bible says:
1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, [that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him]?
IN other words Samson was to bear this as a shameful thing all the days of his life!
In other words Samson’s long hair was to be “the symbol” that he followed The Lord and all His commandments. When someone saw Samson, his long hair was the symbol that he belonged to God by a vow.
A Christian makes a vow when we pray the sinners prayer and the evidence of that vow is our noticeably changed life. We are to be like Christ! We are not to start allowing our hair to grow long.
3.) The Nazarite was not to approach any dead thing.
He was to put the Lord ahead of all things even his family and his loved ones:
Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
We should see how we match up to these requirements!
*****Jdg 13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
Samson differed from all the other judges by the fact that he was to have the Nazarite vow but he also was born of a miracle birth. His mother had been barren until the time of Samson’s birth.
Again the name Samson means “Sunny”.
You know, Samson probably was not much bigger or stronger than the average man. The only thing that distinguished Samson from most other men was his hair.
Samson was only strong when the Holy Spirit came upon him and when the Holy Spirit moved him.
BUT, Samson was one of the weakest men in the Bible in his ways.
AND, Samson did not take the work of God seriously!
We are wrong when we do not take the “work” of God seriously, it means we do not take the “Word” of God seriously!
*****Jdg 13:25 [And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him] at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
As we go forward we will see that Samson used his strength as one would use a toy or a plaything. We will also see that Samson was a loner and never showed any signs of leadership. Samson never tried to unite Israel behind him.
Samson was never much of a Judge!
The Holy Spirit is not given to us for our enjoyment but only for our employment!
We cannot do anything for God without the Holy Spirit guiding our way!
To the Church we know that the Holy Spirit teaches us!
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The Holy Spirit does not just come and go like He did with Samson but lives inside every believer and will never leave him.
This where our strength will be until we pass on to Heaven if we do not “grieve Him”.
It is through the Holy Spirit we can see our future and know the truth of God!
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
There is no hope without the Holy Spirit!
*****Jdg 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: [and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him], and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
Here again we see that Samson had no power until the Holy Spirit came mightily upon him!
And to the Church God says.
Rom 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, [through the power of the Holy Ghost].
The power of the Church comes through the Holy Spirit.
The Church is weak in America now because we have “grieved” the Holy Spirit and “lack” Holy Ghost Power.
Act_1:8 But ye shall receive power, ]after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:] and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
*****Jdg 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
There were 3000 Jews that had delivered Samson to these Philistines. There is always a reason God does what He does!
Not only did Samson kill 1000 Philistines and witnessed by the Philistines, God also showed these 3000 of Israel what could happen if they placed their “faith in Him”.
These men of Israel had said to Samson “that it was the Philistine who ruled Israel” but God was showing Israel that it was He, Jehovah who ruled Israel and all the World and All His Creation.
God also showed everybody that Samson was just a man, when He had to provide him some water just to stay alive!
God answered Samson’s prayer, but we never read where Samson sought the guidance of Our Lord.
*****Jdg 15:20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
This verse is not part of our lesson but we can see that after this battle, Samson judged Israel for 20 years.
*****Jdg 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.
We see that for twenty years Samson and the Philistine stayed away from each other but now we see how Samson backslides all the way to his death and Israel will again be ruled by the Philistine.
Just like Eve, we see that Samson “saw with his eyes”.
In fact the Bible teaches us how we all fail:
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, [the lust of the flesh], and [the lust of the eyes], and [the pride of life], is not of the Father, [but is of the world].
We lust and we covet.
We look and we covet.
Then our covetous turns to pride for what we think is right in our own eyes and we fail and backslide.
Back to our lesson.
*****Jdg 16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Now it was not like Samson traveled deep into the land of the Philistines because this valley of Sorek was on the border between Judah and Philistia. Samson actually found a woman that was not too far from his home.
BUT as we shall see it is a dangerous thing to linger too close to the enemy. This will become the biggest failure in the life of Samson.
Samson had a weakness for women and most men have this same weakness.
This Delilah was not an ordinary woman. She could not only entice a man, she could maneuver a man to do her will.
The Bible teaches us:
Ecc 7:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: [whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her]; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
The Bible also teaches us that Satan knows our every weakness:
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of [the snare of the devil], who are taken captive by him at his will.
*****Jdg 16:5 And the [lords of the Philistines] came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
We also see that Satan knew the weakness of Delilah.
Once the Philistines knew Samson had eyes again for their women they made a new plan.
Notice the this plan was put in place by the ruling government of the Philistines. There were five divisions of the Philistines and each one ruled from a different city and each one was a lord. We always find these evil men in one accord.
These lords of the Philistines did not believe in Jehovah, God of Israel, so we can just imagine that if Samson had some kind of secret to his strength, they wanted to know it themselves.
When these lords presented their plan to Delilah, they bought her trust with a great deal of money. Something Samson could not provide for her.
5,500 pieces of silver was a great amount of money at this time.
*****Jdg 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
Jdg 16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
Delilah was relentless and finally found the secret of Samson’s strength. Samson’s strength was not in his long hair.
Samson’s strength was in his vow!
Delilah has shown us how easy it is to defeat the child of God:
And, Jesus warned us of this in one of His parables:
Luk 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: [for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light].
The Holy Spirit departed from Samson and he had no power at all.
He had trusted in himself:
Again the Bible teaches us.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and [lean not unto thine own understanding].
*****Jdg 16:18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
The man God had chosen to liberate Israel from her enemies had lost another battle with his own self.
Samson never raised an army, Samson never won a battle, Samson never rallied Israel.
Samson allowed the lust of his flesh to rule his life.
*****Jdg 16:19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Samson went to sleep in his confidence that nothing could take his strength from him.
Samson had not up untill this time, realized that he actually had no strength.
It had been the gift of God through the Holy Spirit!
*****Jdg 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
The Philistine easily overpowered Samson and now could have their way with him!
*****Jdg 16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
They took him: They had never been able to lay hold on Samson all his life.
They put out his eyes: This was common to do to prisoners at this time.
They would scoop out the eyeballs.
Or they would just pierce the eyes.
Or they would sometimes just hold a red hot poker near enough to the eye to cause blindness.
They did not trust ropes to secure him so they bound him in brass fetters. Fetters were for the feet so Samson could not run away.
Samson was then treated like an animal.
*****Jdg 16:22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
Jdg 16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Jdg 16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
Samson had yielded to his flesh most of his life. We see that his hair begin to grow while he was in prison, which means Samson had taken this time to renew his relationship with Jehovah.
Instead of seeing Samson as one who was in judgment of his own God, these Philistines gave the credit of Samson’s defeat to their false god Dagon.
Many false religions see how Jehovah may judge His people and claim that He has never existed.
This is the means of most all false religion to try to give some credit, or some reality to false gods.
To many in the Arab world they use “oil” as a means of giving credit to their false deities not realizing the God gave this “oil” to them to rise out of poverty but evil men took control of all of it..
These 5 lords of the Philistines held a national festival to honor their god “Dagon” and as we can see they used this false deity also as a means to stay in power.
These people had many false gods but Dagon was their chief god.
I am so glad I don’t have to pick and choose from multiple gods to see who might have the greatest power on certain days!
Samson was used for their amusement!
It is a tragic thing when the children of God are nothing more than a thing of amusement to this world. In fact in the eyes of most of this world we live in the “Body of Christ”, the Church, is no more than a nuisance.
They consider the Church to be blind to progress and blind to the modern ways of the world and harmless just as Samson was this day to these Philistines.
*****Jdg 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
But when God’s people call on Him humbly and with a repentant heart, they find that God has not ever forgotten them and He never will!
Samson had only began to be a deliverer. He had not completed the work God had given him to do.
Samson played with sin “instead of hating sin” as the Bible instructs us to do.
Samson’s great strength was in the Holy Spirit and had nothing to do with His hair nor the length of his hair.
Let’s look at a parallel to Our Lord Jesus:
1.) Both births were foretold by an angel.
2.) Both were separated to God from their time of birth.
3.) Both were Nazarites.
Samson because of the vow of the Nazarite.
Jesus because He had a residence in Nazareth.
4.) Both moved in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
5.) Both were rejected by their own people.
6.) Both were to destroy their enemies.
Now let’s contrast them both:
1.) Samson lived a life in sin——Jesus lived a sinless life.
2.) At his death Samson prayed that he could be avenged of the Philistines——-Jesus prayed for God to forgive those that would persecute Him.
3.) In death Samson’s arms were out stretched in wrath—–On the Cross,Jesus’s arms were stretched out in love.
4.) Samson died!
But the Lord Jesus Christ walked out of that grave and is alive today!