What was Samson’s problem?
First, Samson[3] was dominated by lust. That passion led Samson to desire a Philistine woman as a wife, which was strictly forbidden by God’s Law. In addition, that passion led him to liaisons with prostitutes, like the one with the woman Delilah who betrayed him for money.
Second, Samson was driven by pride and revenge. He was more moved by anger at personal affronts to strike out at the Philistines than he was moved by the suffering of the people he was supposed to lead (cf. 14:19–20; 15:7–8; 16:28).
Third, Samson was defeated by himself. We can hardly imagine what Samson, with his great strength and godly heritage, might have been. If only he had lived out daily the formal commitment to God expressed in that Nazarite vow.
The rest of the story shows the tragic end of the believer who will not let God have his way with his life. From 16.20 on, Samson does nothing but lose.
Samson loses his hair, the symbol of his Nazarite dedication; for that dedication had long since been abandoned.
Samson loses his strength, but doesn’t even know it until he is overpowered. Judges 16:20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. How futile it is for the servant of God to try to serve the Lord when out of His will.
Samson loses his sight, as the Philistines put out his eyes.
Samson loses his freedom, for they bind him with fetters of brass.
Samson loses his usefulness to the Lord, for he ends up grinding corn instead of fighting God’s battles. What a picture of sin. 1st sin blinds, then sin binds, and finally sin grinds. Ask any person who has lived a life of alcohol, a life of immorality, a life of drugs – they will tell you no matter how alluring it looks, it grinds. And all of this began when Samson despised his blessings and defied his parents!
Samson loses his testimony, for he was the laughingstock of the Philistines. Their fish-god Dagon, not the God of Israel, was given all the glory.
Samson loses his life. Samson was a castaway; he had committed sin unto death, and God had to take him off the scene. His loved ones claimed his body and buried him “between Zorah and Eshtaol”—the very place where he had started his ministry (13:25). What about Samson’s death? Was it suicide, and was it wrong[4]?
What happened to Samson in New Testament terms? To answer that, and as a warning to every one of us called to life-long consecration to the Lord, here is a series of verses that explain to us that there are “sins unto death”.
CONSECRATED — ALL NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS ARE CONSECRATED TO THE LORD LIKE SAMSON WAS. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple (the Spirit is so specific, we are not the hieron ‘the whole temple building’ but naos the Holy of Holies) of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
ANSWERABLE — WE WILL ANSWER TO GOD FOR WHAT WE DID WITH OUR BODY. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. 1 Corinthians 9:27
INVOLVED — GOD WILL NOT STAND BY AS WE SIN. 1 Corinthians 11:30-31
DEAD — GOD KILLS BELIEVERS WHO WON’T REPENT IN TIME. Revelation 2:22-23 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Apparently, during the grinding at the mill, Samson repented of his sin. God offered him one more chance to act by faith. His hair had begun to grow and Samson remembered his calling. He asked God for strength to win one more victory over the enemy. God answered his prayer, but in defeating others, Samson lost his own life.
Samson illustrates people who have the power to conquer others, but who cannot conquer themselves.
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