People of the Bible: Samson

Samson was the strongest man in Scripture – in terms of sheer physical power. He had many weaknesses, however, most of which he did not initially recognize. He was able to provide ancient Israel some relief from Philistine oppression, but his weakness for wanting Philistine friends, including girlfriends, eventually led to his demise. He revealed the secret of the Nazarite vow, including unshorn hair, to Delilah, who betrayed him to some jealous Philistines. They cut his hair, and turned him into something like a carnival act.

At the lowest point in his life, Samson asked for God to give him strength so that he could complete his mission. The Bible says, “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).

Like Samson, God is best able to empower us when we recognize our need for Him. A paradox of Scripture is that when we have recognized our deprivation without God’s strength, He will strengthen us, using His word, the fellowship of His people, our worship of Him, and His providence. Here are some of the passages which refer to that concept:

  • “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (II Chron. 20:12).
  • “For the Lord will not cast off for ever: 32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies” (Lam. 3:31-32).
  • “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:7-10).
  • “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you” (II Cor. 13:4).

The real source of Samson’s strength was his faith in God. The Heavenly Father can strengthen us once we recognize our weaknesses. God takes our faith and “out of weakness” makes us strong (Heb. 11:34).

Having a hard time in life right now? Perhaps the moment is arriving when you can experience God’s strength more fully.