We now come to the story of Samson which is full of lessons for us today. Samson was called by God before his birth to be a Nazarite and a Judge in Israel, yet he was a weak man desiring strange [unconverted] wives.
The first lesson is that God has commanded that the converted are NOT to willfully marry unconverted people like Samson and Solomon did, because unconverted spouses are a very strong influence to lead us to compromise with the Word of God.
The second lesson is that God can use a weak person to accomplish his will; for God used Sampson‘s fascination with Philistine women to diminish the Philistines who were oppressing Israel at that time.
The third lesson is that Jesus Christ does NOT tolerate sin; and just as Moses was corrected for his sin, God allowed his champion Sampson to be corrected for his sins against his calling.
The primary lesson of Judges is that God will NOT tolerate any compromise with his Word and will correct those who allow anything to come between them and God; like marrying unconverted spouses or following corporate idols, or turning away from God to follow idols of men; but God will show mercy to all those who sincerely repent and commit to “go and sin no more!”
God is his marvelous wisdom can still use the sinner to accomplish his will; which does NOT justify the sin and it does not justify us taking part in their sins either. Today spiritual Israel is to be faithful and zealous for our calling to internalize and passionately live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal.
The circumstances surrounding the birth of Samson
Judges 13:1 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.
A barren woman was visited by a spirit and promised a son. Her husband Manoah just like Abraham [father or Isaac], Elkanah [father of Samuel] and Zacharias [father of John Baptist] had barren wives and received promises of sons. These sons were all special gifts of God to barren women and they were all called by God for very special purposes.
13:2 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.
The angel gives the promise of a son and then reveals that this son was from God and called by God from before his conception; and gives instructions to the woman to keep herself from any unclean thing. The woman is herself forbidden to take any wine or alcohol [strong drink] during her pregnancy, for the child was to be kept pure from very conception.
Notice the detailed instructions for the purity and holiness of this man in sharp contrast to his own personal behavior in adulthood.
13:3 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. 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
Samson is called to be a Nazarite from his very conception.
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.
The woman then tells her husband these things.
13:6 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: 13:7 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.
The husband believed his wife, and full of faith asks God for instructions regarding the child. Notice that Manoah, Abraham [father or Isaac], Elkanah [father of Samuel] and Zacharias [father of John Baptist] were all godly men of faith, full of the works of faith.
13:8 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. 13:9 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. 13:10 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.
Manoah asks for instructions about raising the child
13:11 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. 13:12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order [teach and raise] the child, and how shall we do unto him?
The angel then repeats his instructions concerning the woman during her pregnancy.
13:13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 13:14 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.
Manoah offers the angel food; which the angel rejects and instructs them that a Burnt Offering be made to YHVH. The Burnt Offering being entirely burned was a symbol of wholehearted service to God.
13:15 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. 13:16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread [food]: 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.
Manoah asks the angel his name and the angel refuses him an answer; must assuredly because all honor should be given to God.
13:17 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? 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
The angel then ascended into heaven in the fire of the offering.
13:19 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. 13:20 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.
13:21 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.
Manoah then feared, and was consoled by his wife.
13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 13:23 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 [unleavened bread] 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.
13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
Samson seems to have lived in the section of Dan that was on the coast near Philistia.
13:25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Samson now a young man feeling his need, saw and desired a Philistine woman.
Judges 14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
Samson asks his parents to get this woman for his wife; it being the custom for parents to provide wives for their sons after the example of Abraham.
14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Samson’s parents objected but Samson insists.
14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
Samson’s parents were greatly grieved.
14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Samson then began to exhibit the gift of God’s strength.
14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent [killed the lion with his hands] him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. 14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
After speaking with the lady he left and later returned on the appointed day.
14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.
Samson now eats honey, telling NO ONE of the lion and the source of the honey.
14:9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.
Samson and his father went to take the bride and a wedding feast was held.
14:10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a [wedding] feast; for so used the young men to do. 14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
Samson then challenges his thirty Philistine “friends”.
14:12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: 14:13 But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.
14:14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat [food], and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
After three days they asked the lady to entice her husband to reveal the answer, and on the seventh day they threatened to burn her and her family alive if she failed.
14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson’s wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?
14:16 And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? 14:17 And she wept before him the [on the seventh day, fearing the threat and having no faith in God and in Samson to protect them] seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
The sun going down [sunset] ended the day and the Philistines answered the riddle before the seventh day ended, and Samson immediately knew that the only one he had ever told the matter to was his bride.
14:18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down [before the seventh day ended], What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.
In has fury Samson killed thirty Philistines of Ashkelon and gave their clothes to pay off his wager. Then Samson was angry with his bride and returned to his father’s house.
Just so, Jesus Christ will be furious with us for our betrayal of him to follow idols of men and corporate entities, or if we lose faith and turn aside from him for ANY REASON!
If we turn aside from absolute loyalty to God and faith in God to deliver us; We will be rejected by Almighty God the Father and Jesus Christ our espoused Husband.
14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.
The woman’s father then thinking that she had been abandoned, gave her to a Philistine, the friend of Samson.
14:20 But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.