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Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633

 The Story of Sampson

I've been reading the story of Sampson. Of course, I've read it before, but I have been struck this time by the sinfullness of Sampson's whole existence.

In one verse, Judges 14:4, "But his father and mother knew not that it was the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." Sampson had found a Philistine girl he wanted to marry (against God's command to the Israelites). His parents objected (as good parents should). But it seems to me that this verse is inferring that God inspired Sampson to want to marry a woman that he, under normal, Jewish custom, was not to marry. He often did sinful things which led to his carrying out of the purpose for which he was born. This is difficult to understand. He seems like a selfish, angry man. Does anyone have any insight here? Thanks, Dian.

 2008/1/26 5:51Profile

Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633

 Re: The Story of Sampson

Doesn't anyone here have any insights on the life of Sampson and why God would inspire a man whom the Angel of the Lord had declared would be dedicated to God his whole life to do something which he had been commanded not to do? (Marry a foreigner)

Is a man like Sampson in heaven? It seems he broke his Nazarite vow repeatedly: he married a foreigner, he ate unclean food, he slept with prostitutes, etc. What a troubled, tormented man! Called by God, yet driven by his flesh. There's something really important to see here, I'm sure. Sampson's life seems really sad, yet most of us would feel priviledged to be able to say, "An Angel of the Lord appeared to my parents before I was born to say that my life was consecrated to God. I'm special to God. God has given me a strength far above any man to defeat His enemies." Who wouldn't think that was "special"? Yet, Sampson's life was basically miserable and his end was horrible. And all for the glory of God? Hmmmm.

Come on, Ya'll. Talk back to me. Dian

 2008/1/27 2:40Profile

Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario



One of the things that stood out to me in his story was when it said "The Lord departed from him and he knew it not".

I am going to reread Judges before I say anything else.

Good questions though!


Murray Beninger

 2008/1/27 6:31Profile


Hi Dian

The only thing I know is that he's in Hebrews 11 as one of those who "By faith..."

His behaviour was frankly "carnal", and although God used his bad temper and desire for revenge, it would have been better if he had sought to follow the Lord. Yet I believe he was a true man of faith - Hebrews 11 says so - and that he repented at the end.

He also learned, by the bitterest of bitter experience, that his miraculous strength was a gift of God, not his own, and that the Lord could take it away if He chose.

A good lesson for all of us, maybe!

And was Samson any better than grumbling, rebellious, Xenophobic Jonah? Even after his horrible experience inside the fish he still had the same bad attitude.

Looking at Hebrews 11, the emphasised parts refer especially to Samson:
[color=990000] 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, [u][i][b]Samson[/b][/i][/u], Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, [i][b]won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight[/b][/i]...[/color]

[The Revised Standard Version]

Yes, Samson had many, very human weaknesses. He constantly gave in to uncontrollable rage, and the lusts of the flesh. He cared nothing about his Nazarite status. An unrepeatable modern saying about where he kept his brains would fit his behaviour towards women...

And yet, [i]he's in Hebrews 11![/i]

He's an example of the grace of God if nothing else.

Yes, I do believe he's in heaven, in spite of his sins...



 2008/1/27 6:48

Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


As far as I can tell, Samson knew he was chosen by God and he knew what the Nazarite vow required of him, yet in every instance where the spirit of the Lord came upon him, he did what he did for his own purposes and not for God. Even in the end of his life, the Bible says he asked the Lord to return his strength so he could avenge the gouging out of his eyes. It seems he missed the whole point. At no point does he seem to do what he does for the honor of God.

 2008/1/27 7:12Profile



Spitfire wrote:
As far as I can tell, Samson knew he was chosen by God and he knew what the Nazarite vow required of him, yet in every instance where the spirit of the Lord came upon him, he did what he did for his own purposes and not for God. Even in the end of his life, the Bible says he asked the Lord to return his strength so he could avenge the gouging out of his eyes. It seems he missed the whole point. At no point does he seem to do what he does for the honor of God.

Mmmm, yes, you have a point. Maybe I was being too optimistic about him! But the question still puzzles me greatly, why is he in Heb 11?

 2008/1/27 17:39

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi Diane, how are you?

Maybe there is something to consider here also in what his father and mother say in verse 3. Anything stand out to you?


Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/1/27 18:07Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1076
Germany NRW

 Re: The Story of Sampson

This story has often bewildered me, too. Why should God use such a crude and carnal man to deliver Israel? He was motivated by doing harm to the enemy rather than leading Israel out of bondage.

I think the message is that if God only delivers us from our enemies but not from our sin, we will not have lasting victory. Many Baby Christians only want deliverance from their problems but not victory over sin. He used these 400 dark years episode in Israels history to teach us this truth. Have we learned it?

There we neither prophets who lead people back to the Lord, nor Kings who exercised God's authority by proxi. There was only deliverance from calamity. The root of Israel's problems was not tackled until the Davidic throne was established.

In Judges 16:31 it says he judged Israel for 20 years.

His judgements must have been terrible.

Judges: 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.


 2008/1/27 18:45Profile

Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re: The Story of Sampson

I hope I sound solemn not harsh

The reason people like Samson is and David are hard to understand is because people today have a postage size list of sins that they have been taught from child hood are bad. And they are, but most people have little understanding of the damning destructive power of spiritual sin.

God’s Blood shed on calvary was the answer to the question that the prophets filled with the Holy Spirit preached and then they and angels looked into. They were ministering to us on how Holy God could forgive dead sinners back then and today and still remain righteous. God put Jesus on the Cross and crucified Him with all of Samson’s, David’s and our sin on Him. The story’s repeated every time with One exception.

Unless we are in rebellion and fight against everyone that believes and very thing we profess with our mouths to believe. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God and yielding to the will of the Master of The House of God.

You cannot use your reasoning in a place where you have to die to live, a place you have to become poor to become rich, and become blind to see and deaf to hear. If you say you see its proof you are blind, and if you say your wise it proves your as dumb as a box of rocks.

Hear Him!


 2008/1/27 18:50Profile

Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


1st, to Chris JD, I am assuming you are referring to vs 3 of chapter 14, right? Yes, I see that his parents understood the problem, but Samson doesn't seem to understand. I know that it was against God's commandments for an Israelite to marry a foreigner and they were trying to disuade him from this.

The whole thing I am meditating on is this and maybe this will be in answer to Rowdey: You hear so many people preaching saying, we can avert God's plan for our life by going our own way, right? Well, did Samson avert God's plan by going his own way, or did God take into account what he knew about Samson before he was born and then use that knowledge to bring about his plan? And if God did, indeed, choose Samson knowing he was a going to be a selfish, headstrong, carnally minded man, did he still choose him and use him? Was God's intention thwarted because Samson was so self-centered and didn't get it? Was only a portion of what God intended carried out because Samson never got it? Could God have done so much more with Samson if he had lined up with God's word? Or was the full will of God carried out through Samson because he was just driven by his own humanity? And, if so, is Samson with God now? It would seem, from what we are being taught, that Samson should be in hell. I want to know if Samson is in heaven or hell.

To be honest with you, Samson's life seemingly contradicts what we are being taught about how God sees us. I guess the bottom line is, I need a meeting with God concerning what He thinks about Samson. I want to know what God thinks. It's mind boggling to think that God would call a man and "anoint" him to do a certain task and use him in spite of his exceeding sinfulness. I mean, in other places, we see God sending a prophet to call the sinner onto the carpet (like David), and we see repentance. We never see this in Samson's life.

God is radical! He cannot be contained. I love that about Him. I suppose, honestly, I am confused over the rigid teaching I see that says, Bible, Bible, Bible, Bible. I love God's Word, I do! I believe it! I do! But...I see things in it that...don't make me doubt God...please don't misunderstand me...I do not ever doubt God, but...things like God telling Abraham to take Isaac up onto a mountain and kill him and this story of Samson and the story of Rahab and the fact that Solomon, the son of David's and Bethsheba's sinful relationship, was in the lineage of Christ. Was that a mistake? I don't think so. What is God trying to tell us about Himself? About ourselves? I want to know these things. I can't stand how alot of Bible teachers can't answer these things for me. They have God boxed into this tight little space and they are saying that the Bible is inerrant (and I believe it is inerrant, by the way), but they neglect this aspect of what the Bible tells us about God. They want to figure God out. I just wonder, can He be figured out? I'm kind of glad that, perhaps, God might still have something up his sleeve that will surprise us all!

I'm such a sinner....Oh My God! I need a Savior that is beyond anything I've ever imagined! One who doesn't think like I think. One who loves me in spite of my failures and weakness and who, maybe loved me because of my failure and weakness. Wouldn't that be a concept?! That God sees and knows all about me and yet, loves the whole package? I'm always striving so hard to get everything so right and, often, it feels like I'm not getting any closer than I've ever been. I hope God still loves me and still wants to use me anyway, because, if He has to wait until I've reached some level of consistent holiness, I'm afraid it's never gonna happen. I really am. Or else I'll be so old by then, I'll be in a wheelchair! Sometimes I think, "What if God is absolutely happy with the way I am today?" It makes me cry, because I am never happy with me. I'm often just overwhelmed with my own...failure. What if God has taken all of that into account and chose me anyway? What if he doesn't even care about my failure? That's how it seemed with David and Sampson. It almost contradicts the....Bible (ducking to avoid the stones now). But...that [i]is[/i] the Bible. What is the Bible trying to tell us about the God [i]of[/i] the Bible?

 2008/1/28 5:55Profile

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