There is so much we can learn from the destructive and tragic life of Samson.
- God grace is not exactly free. His mother got a child but had to raise him as a Nazarite. We have certain responsibilities. We need to hold up our end of the bargain. Samson had great strength but it had a price. And when he neglected it, it left him.
- Predestination is real, but who knows how it will manifest. Judges 13:5 said “He will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). Sounds like he may be a great leader or a great warrior. Not some fallen, blind, has-been. Samson did not fulfill this prophecy until the very end, after he had lost everything – his strength and his freedom. God has great things in store for many of us but that doesn’t always translate into some big, fancy, glamorous role or title. We may be severely humbled before we are able to achieve our destiny. And for some of us, our destiny may not be achieved until our deaths.
- Sometimes it would do us good to listen to advice from our elders. Samson’s parents warned him about marrying the Philistine woman and just as they predicted it didn’t turn out so well. She died, her father died, and many Philistine died when Samson sought revenge. On the bright side, God is able to work all of our mistakes and shortcomings into his plan.
- We must step back and look at the big picture before we begin to judge another. Delilah is often made out to be one of the bad girls of the bible. Assuming the scholars are right, she was a working girl just trying to get by. She finally finds a man who falls madly in love with her and she is asked to betray him. The money offered was probably a significant amount given her status. Even if money wasn’t persuasive, let’s not forget that Samson’s former wife and her father were burned at the stake by the rulers of Philistine; so money or not, Delilah didn’t have much choice when it came to betraying Samson. Looking at the situation she was in, it makes more difficult to see her as some conniving shrew and actually makes her a more sympathetic character. Remember that the next time you want to judge someone at first glance.
- There’s always more to the story. Until the day you die (and maybe even beyond that) there will be more to your story. Samson was betrayed, blinded, imprisoned, and lost his strength. But that wasn’t end. God gave him an opening. His hair began to grow and his strength began to return to him. He used that strength to finally bring down the leaders of the Philistines.
- Revenge is no way to live. Revenge seems to be a central story in Samson’s life right until the very end. His last prayer was to pay the Philistines back for what they did to his eyes! That is no way to live. For me, that is what makes me feel most sad for Samson. He never seemed happy and always seemed at war; seeking revenge for being wronged. Revenge didn’t get him much. It angered the Philistines and put the woman he loved in a position where she was forced to betray him.