The Faith of Samson:
"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:" - Hebrews 11:3232 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:
. The book of Judges mentions many who judged Israel during the time after Joshua and before King Saul but this verse only refers to these four (4) as having been borne witness to by their faith. We have studied Gideon, Barak and Jephthae and here we begin a series on Judge Samson who is probably the best known of all the judges even among non-Bible believing people. However his notoriety is not because of a godly life of faith but because of his colossal strength, licentious activities and the tragic but heroic way in which he died.
He is an excellent example of how God blesses some people with a great deal of potential only to have them blow it on self indulgence because of the innate self centeredness of human nature. But in spite of his failures his life is primarily a lesson in the power of faith because we find in his victories over Israel's enemy a type pointing to what Jesus Christ finally and completely accomplished in the power of perfect faith and conformity to God's Word.
Samson's story begins at Judges 13:22 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.
2 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 runs through the 16th chapter. In today's study we examine the significance of what God said Samson would do before he was even conceived. This pointed to Jesus Christ whose purpose and life mission was foretold by many in the Old Testament long before He was ever conceived. Israel's national situation in Samson's time was basically the same as when the Word of God came in the person of Jesus Christ. Before Samson's conception Israel had gone to worshiping the Canaanite's idols, an evil in the Lord's sight and thus God gave them over to servitude to the Philistines for 40 years - Judges 13:11 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.
. In Christ's time Israel was following the idol of self righteousness and was out of fellowship with God and under domination of the Romans.
Samson's father was Manoah, his mother's name is not recorded in the Bible. She had been unable to have children, Judges 13:2, when a messenger from the Lord appeared and told her she would conceive and bare a son - Judges 13:33 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.
. This of course pointed to the time when Gabriel the messenger of God appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her about the son she would have - Luke 1: 26 - 35. Having never known a man intimately Mary naturally asked how this could be and Gabriel told her that nothing is impossible with God. He advised that her cousin Elizabeth, who was well on in age and like Samson's mother had been barren all her life, had conceived and was already six (6) months pregnant - Luke 1:36 & 3736 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Samson's mother was instructed not to drink any strong drink or eat any unclean thing while pregnant in order to maintain the holiness (separation from the world) of her yet to be born son. Her son was ordained to be a Nazarite, a man dedicated to God from the time he was born and as a sign of his separation to God he was never to cut his hair - Judges 13:3 - 53 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.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
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.
. Here we note that many years before the Lord had given Israel the law of the Nazarite through Moses, Numbers 6:1 - 211 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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:
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.
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.
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.
6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
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.
8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.
9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.
10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.
12 And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.
13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.
16 And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering:
17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering.
18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.
19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven:
20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.
21 This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.
. This law specified that any man or woman who took the vow of a Nazarite was to abstain from wine or strong drink, from any unclean thing and they were not to cut their hair while under the vow. Significantly, Moses' law does not mention someone ordained a Nazarite from the womb as in Samson's case for Samson took no Nazarite vow himself. The Word of God ordained him as such and he should have taken that by faith. So it was in the case of Jesus Christ for although He was not a Nazarite in name He nevertheless fulfilled the holiness that the Nazarite represented in that He lived a totally separated life devoid of uncleanness and totally dedicated to fulfilling God's Word. Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses in it's entirely, as no other man could ever do - Matthew 5:1818 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
; Romans 7:44 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
; 8:2 - 4.
Samson's mother informed her husband Manoah what "The Man of God" had told her at which Manoah entreated the Lord to send him back to tell him about the child to be born, and the Lord did. When Joseph discovered his betrothed Mary was pregnant the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and explained that she had conceived by the Holy Spirit - Matthew 1:18 - 2418 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
. After the Messenger told Manaoah how his wife was to conduct herself during her pregnancy Manoah offered to prepare a kid goat for a meal. The Messenger replied that such a meal would be made an offering to the Lord. Manoah prepared the kid and laid it upon a rock at which time it burnt up with the Angel of the Lord ascending to heaven in the flames from it - Judges 13:6 - 236 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, 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.
9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.
11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.
12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.
17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.
20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.
22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
. The finished work of Jesus Christ ended the need for such offerings - "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." - Hebrews 10:4 - 74 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
. And Christ ascended into heaven after His work was completed.
Samson's mother was told his life mission would be to "begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines," Judges 13:55 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.
. Jesus Christ came to finish the job for He provided atonement for sin and will someday deliver Israel from all their enemies, as Mary spoke prophetically: "And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." - Luke 1:50 - 5550 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
. The Angel that appeared to Joseph told him: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:2121 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
All these promises about Christ had been foretold by the Word of God through prophets such as Isaiah, Isaiah 52:9 - 159 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
. We note that Mary spoke of what Christ would do in the past tense even though He was not yet born, which is the essence of faith in the Word of God. Everything was and is as good as accomplished even if they have not all been fulfilled yet, even as the year 2006 comes so to a close. Each promise is as good as done because God said it and faith accepts it. For, faith is the substance or foundation of things hoped for, the evidence or proof of things not seen - Hebrews 11:11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Word of God spoke to Samson's parents who believed and Samson's life bore witness to that faith even though he failed in many ways because of the sinful nature he inherited from the first Adam who brought sin and death to all that followed him. The Word of God spoke of Jesus Christ's coming and He lived a perfect life of faith and met the standard set by God's Word because He came free from a sinful nature. So He is the second Adam who brings life to all that believe - I Corinthians 15:22 & 45; John 14:11 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
; Romans 10:99 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
. Jesus was tempted in every way possible but He did not sin. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." - Hebrews 4:1515 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Samson fell short but Jesus Christ did not and we have His righteousness in which we stand before God, not because of our weak and faltering faith, but because we believe in Him. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ (note: this is the faith of Christ, not our faith in Him) unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." - Romans 3:22 - 2622 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The corporate body of Israel was steeped in sin during Samson's time and there is no record of them repenting of their sins when God gave them Samson to begin to free them from their enemies. The Nation of Israel was not repentant when Christ came to finish the job of saving them. We learn from the Apostle Paul that this is also true for we who are not of Israel - "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:" - Ephesians 2:11 & 1611 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Samson was a gift from God to Israel pointing to and typifying Jesus Christ, who is God's gift to both Israel and to we who are believers and members of Christ's Body. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:2323 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
. (See also Romans 5:15 - 2115 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
.) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" - Ephesians 2:88 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
. So it is that even the faith that brings us salvation is not ours but that of Jesus Christ and is God's gift to us. All we have to do is believe - John 1:1212 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
; 6:29; 7:39; Acts 16:3131 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
; Romans 4:2424 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
; 1 Timothy 1:1616 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
; 1 John 5:1313 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.