Learning Rest Through Samson

When you lose your rest in Christ – your understanding of who He is – you lose your perspective.

Samson lost his perspective and the blessing of his strength. He became a joke among the Philistines. That is what the enemy wants to make of us – a laughingstock. When Samson was forced to rest as a captive, his hair (the symbol of his strength) gradually grew back over that time, and he regained the blessing of his strength as well as renewed perspective.

In those days Israel didn’t have a king. The people did anything they thought was right. (Judges 17:6)

Samson was one of the last of the Judges. After him came Samuel, and then the first kings of Israel. The main theme of the book of Judges is the downward spiral of God’s people into chaos… much like today.

During this time, Israel had been under the oppression of the Philistines for about 40 years.

Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to the Philistines for 40 years. (Judges 13:1)

An angel appeared the wife of a man named Manoah, saying she would have a child would be a Nazirite for life. There are just 2 other people who had this designation – Samuel and John the Baptist. A Nazirite was set apart by a vow, holy to God, and had to abstain from certain things. (Read more in Numbers 6.)

One day Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place. They hid and waited for him at the city gate all night long. They didn’t make any move against him during the night. They said, “Let’s wait until the sun comes up. Then we’ll kill him.” But Samson stayed there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up. He took hold of the doors of the city gate. He also took hold of the two doorposts. He tore them loose, together with their metal bar. He picked them up and put them on his shoulders. Then he carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. (Judges 16)

Samson is an interesting picture of human weakness and Jesus. On the one hand, he wasn’t able to keep his vows as a Nazirite, and he also had a problem with lust. But in the verse above, we see a foreshadowing of Jesus carrying the cross.Then we come to Delilah:

Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you’? You won’t even share your secret with me. This is the third time you have made me look foolish. And you still haven’t told me the secret of why you are so strong.” 16 She continued to pester him day after day. She nagged him until he was sick and tired of it. (Judges 16)

How often have we, as believers, been harassed by satan until we give in?