Be Faithful

Key Verse: “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.”
—Judges 16:28

Selected Scripture:
Judges 16:4-30

“THE CHILDREN OF Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord.” (Judg. 13: 1) As a consequence the Lord permitted the Philistines to have dominion over them and to oppress them forty years. Under these circumstances God raised up another judge, in a different way than in the past. He sent an angel to the barren wife of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, to tell her that she was to have a son who would be a Nazarite, and, as a Nazarite, would take a vow unto the Lord and his hair would not be shaved at any time. She bore a son and named him Samson.

During the first twenty years of the Philistine’s dominance, Samson grew to maturity and the Lord blessed him. When he matured, “the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.” (Judg. 13:25, Revised Standard Version) He spent the next twenty years judging Israel. (Judg. 16:31) He was young; he had tremendous strength; and was a man full of faith. He also had a weakness for beautiful women, and the incidents of his life recorded in Judges, Chapter 14 to 16 highlight this weakness. The women involved were Philistines, and his parents, who expected him to marry a woman of Israel, spoke to him of this. They did not realize that it was the Lord’s doing to get Samson involved with the Philistines in order to break the dominion of the Philistines over Israel.—Judg. 14:4

Samson is not viewed as an example of good moral living expected of the servants of the Lord, yet he is mentioned as one of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11: 32. Therefore, these incidents were to illustrate how God would release his children from captivity, oppression and false religious worship. Samson’s first wife betrayed his secret to her kinsmen and this caused Samson to slay those who brought on her betrayal. When her father gave her as a wife to a companion of Samson, he took vengeance against the Philistines by destroying their grain crops, so the Philistines burned his wife and father-in-law. Samson slew many Philistines in vengeance.

They, in turn, planned to attack Judah and, out of fear, Judah pleaded with Samson to let them bind him and to turn him over to them. Again, this led to a great slaughter of the Philistines by Samson, who easily broke his bonds. It was only when Samson became involved with Delilah in the valley of Sorek that the Philistines were able to use her to find the source of his strength. They pledged her vast sums of money, and with persistent pleading she finally found the secret of Samson’s great strength. She caused him to sleep, and had his head shaved—an indication that his vow had terminated. (Num. 6:19) When he went out to fight the Philistines, his strength was gone and he was taken captive. The Philistines put out his eyes and placed him in prison.

After his hair began to grow back, the Philistines made a great feast to their God, Dagon, and brought out Samson to entertain them, restraining him between two pillars. The house was full of thousands of people. All the rulers were there. Samson prayed for the renewal of his strength and pushed on the pillars with all his might.

The temple collapsed, killing all those assembled.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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