The Miraculous Birth Of Samson
When the Lord saw that the children of Israel did evil, He punished them by delivering them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. As they left their God and turned to the idols. That made the Lord angry.
But God was kind to his people and he delivered the nation Israel by the family of Manoah. Manoah was from the family of Danites and his wife was barren. The Bible speaks that God uses the weak one to reveal himself before the man.
So, the angel of the Lord came to Manoah’s wife and told her that she will bear a son and deliver the children of Israel from the hands of Philistines.
The angel also ordered the woman not to take wine or similar types of drink. She also was to abstain from anything unclean. The son was to be called a Nazirite from his mother’s womb and he shall be assigned to deliver Israel from the Philistines.
The woman explained everything to her husband what the angel told her. Manoah prayed to the Lord after hearing everything from his wife. He asked the Lord to send the angel again so that he can tell all the things in detail. God answered the prayer and sent the angel again to the woman while she was in the field.
At that time her husband was not there so she ran quickly and called Manoah to meet the angel who had come to her earlier. Manoah was happy and followed his wife and met the heavenly visitor whom God sent. But the angel of the Lord did not give any other information concerning the birth of the son.
He reminded them again of the instructions that he had given before to abstain from wine and unclean things. To have the child, the mother should observe all the instructions that were given to her.
Manoah requested the angel to stay a few minutes along with them so that they could prepare a young goat for him. But the angel refused that request to take any food from them. Instead of that, he told them to offer a burnt offering to the Lord.
Manoah did not know that the angel came from the Lord. So, he wanted to know his name so that when they will get the son, he will honor him.
Manoah offered the young goat with the grain offering to the Lord. When the flame went up towards above from the altar, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Manoah and his wife worshipped him by facing their faces to the ground. They came to know that the angel was from the Lord when he disappeared from the altar.
They were afraid as they saw the Lord, but his wife said that God would not have received their offerings if he desired to kill them. After this Manoah’s wife bore a son and named Samson and the Lord blessed the child while he grew up. Soon, it was evident to all that the spirit of the Lord was dwelling in him.
The Sinful Marriage Of Samson
Samson grew up under the guidance of the spirit of God. God has a special plan for him to use to deliver the children of Israel from the enslaves of Philistines. Samson visited Timna where he was attracted by a Philistine woman.
He brought this information to his parents so that they can bring the woman for him. But his parents disagreed with his proposal as the woman was from the uncircumcised Philistines.
Samson was obstinate in his decision to get that woman. During that time Philistine had dominion over the children of Israel. It was the plan of God to make a way to give punishment to Philistines.
The Lord used Samson to enter into the battle with Israel’s enemy. Samson and his parents came to Timna to meet the woman. Samson was confronted with a young lion roaring against him.
The spirit of the Lord moved in him and with his empty hand he tore the lion apart. He kept this hidden from his parents’ knowledge. After reaching there he met the woman who won his heart.
Later on, when they returned to Timna to claim his bride, he returned to see the carcass of the lion. He found honey in the carcass of the lion. He took the honey to eat and also gave it to his parents to taste but he did not tell them that he obtained it from the carcass of a lion’s body.
The children of Israel were prohibited to touch a dead animal. That is why Samson did not tell his father about the honey.
After which Samson gave a feast to observe his marriage. People used to do so in those times to enjoy the wedding ceremony. At that wedding, Samson gave a riddle offering a complete outfit if they could explain it.
On the other hand, if they fail to explain, they would have to give him thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes. So he said to them the riddle……..
” Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something”
Till third day they could not answer him. The people failed, so they threatened Samson’s wife to get the answer for them. The woman enticed Samson and got the answer and told it to those thirty men.
The men told the answer to Samson on the seventh day before the evening. But Samson understood that they got the answer from his wife. In order to pay them the clothes, he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty men.
He took their clothes and gave the changes of clothing to them who had answered his riddle. Samson was angry because of their unfaithfulness.
So, he returned to his home without taking his wife along with him. The woman’s family had decided to deliver their daughter in the hands of Samson’s best friend whom they found worthy.
Judgeship Of Samson
In the time of the wheat harvest, Samson approached to meet that woman and he took a goat along with him. When he wanted to go into his wife’s room, his father-in-law did not allow him to go in.
He told Samson that he had given his wife into his best friend’s hand. As he thought that Samson might extremely hate her because of the riddle. Samson was being offered to take the younger sister but he denied marrying her.
This incident made him angry and he prepared to take revenge upon the Philistines. Then Samson gathered three hundred foxes and tied their tails in pairs and put a torch between each pair.
He released the foxes in the grain fields, vineyards, and olive groves setting the torches on fire.
When the Philistines came to know that Timnite the father-in-law of Samson gave his daughter to Samson’s friend which led him to cause such a wasteful act, they took revenge by punishing to death Samson’s wife and her father with fire.
Samson determined to retaliate by killing a great number of Philistines. According to his plan, he slaughtered a great number of Philistines and went down to dwell in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
At that time, the Philistines were the rulers of the Jews. So, the Philistines attacked Judah to catch Samson as he killed many of them. Then three thousand men of Judah went to search Samson to the cleft of the rock of Etam where he took shelter after slaying a great multitude of Philistines.
Samson was being found by the people of Judah and they told him all that happened to them. They came to arrest him to handover in the hands of the Philistines. Samson swore not to slay them by themselves but to deliver him in his enemy’s hand.
They agreed with him and tied him with two new ropes to deliver him securely in the hands of Philistines. As soon as he arrived at Lehi, the Philistine started shouting to take revenge by putting him to death.
The spirit of the Lord moved upon him and he turned into a mighty warrior. With a jawbone of a donkey, he killed one thousand men. He threw the jawbone and named the place Ramnath Lehi.
After the battle, he became so thirsty that he cried out to the Lord for the wonderful deliverance from their oppressors and sought water to quench his thirst. The Lord answered his prayer and miraculously a spring came out of that place which put his trust away from him. This victory changed Samson’s life and he judged Israel twenty years.
Failure Of Samson
Afterward, Samson went down to Gaza where he found a beautiful harlot and he decided to take her. When the Gazites came to know that Samson had come into their land, they planned to kill him.
To slay him all of the Gazites surrounded the place and waited for him the entire night at the gate of the city. But Samson slept till midnight and he arose at midnight and he pulled up the city door. He moved toward the top of the hill which was facing Hebron.
Samson loved Delilah who dwelt in the valley of Sorel.
The lords of the Philistines came to Delilah to entice him to ask the secret of his great strength. They could not defeat him as his strength was great. So, they decided to give Delilah eleven hundred pieces of silver if she can tell them the reason for Samson’s strength.
Delilah requested him to tell her about the secret of his strength. But Samson did not tell her the secret. Instead of that, he told her a lie and she told the Philistines. When they tried to catch him, they failed.
Again for the second time, Delilah asked him to tell the secret of his strength and again Samson told her a lie and she told the Philistines and again they tried to kill him with that information and they were not successful.
For the third time, Delilah asked him the secret of strength and Samson told her a lie like before. But Delilah did not give up the hope so she kept on asking him the secret that lies behind his strength.
But at last, she was successful and got the secret of his strength. After which she told the lords of Philistines that if we cut his hair then he will be a normal man like us. So, she lulled Samson on her knees and called a man to shave off the seven locks of his head.
As soon as his strength left him. And the Philistines attacked him but this time he could not deliver himself from them as the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him.
In front of the Philistines, Samson was helpless and they tortured him and put out his eyes. They bound him with bronze fetters and appointed him as a grinder in the prison. While he was in the prison, his hair started to grow again after it had been shaven.
The Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to their God, Dragon. They proclaimed and shouted by saying that our god had delivered Samson in our hands. While the multitude saw Samson as he was taken on that program, they praised their god for delivering him in their hands.
While they called Samson to perform before them, everyone was mocking him. And they stationed him between the two main pillars of that temple. The temple was full of people and around three thousand men and women gathered on that day.
They were watching Samson’s performance. Then Samson sought the Lord for giving him strength again so that he could kill them all. Then he pushed with all his strength and the two middle pillars trembled and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in the temple.
Along with them he also died in that temple. His brothers and father’s household took him and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol.