Reading through the Bible together
This chapter reveals Samson’s character and sets the stage for the rest of the narrative of his life. Samson is a man controlled by impulses, physically strong but weak in spirit. His desire to marry a Philistine woman goes against the wishes of his parents, biblical law, and his consecrated status as a Nazirite. But none of these blessings matter to Samson who is only interested in what pleases him well (14:3).
From birth God had set a rule of life for Samson that would teach him discipline and self-control. For a man with the physical strength to tear apart a wild beast with his bare hands (14:6), temperance and self-control was a lesson Samson could not afford to miss. More importantly, as a judge and the deliverer of Israel, Samson was the spiritual leader of his people. While every man was doing what was right in his own eyes, Samson was supposed to do what was right in God’s eyes and bring Israel together for the Lord. Unfortunately, it is with his eyes (“I have seen a woman”) that he first fails to live up to his calling.
The Lord accomplishes His purpose through Samson in spite of his weak character. Twice the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him with power to perform marvelous feats. This initial confrontation between Samson and the Philistines foreshadows the events through which the Lord will provide deliverance for his people. Yet Samson’s unlawful familiarity with the Philistines will ultimately prove his undoing.
God has a purpose for our lives. Samson knew what his calling was but knowing that did not influence the way he lived his life. How much more God could have accomplished through Samson if he had chosen to surrender his will to God! We have the same choice today—to be slaves to our passions or to allow God to mold us into holy vessels for His spirit.
Justo E. Moralis
Southern Adventist University