The Book of JUDGES
James J. Barker
SAMSON Part 4
- We have been studying the book of Judges, and tonight we will conclude our series in the life of Samson.
- We have noted that Samson is an enigma. He is mentioned as a man of faith in Hebrews 11:32, yet he is one of the most carnal men in the Bible.
- Judges 13:24 says, "The LORD blessed him," but Samson was double-minded and unstable. James 1:8 says "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." This describes Samson.
- Before men Samson was the strongest of men, but before women he was weak and could not resist them. We will see this again tonight (16:1, 4).
- Samson was empowered by the Spirit of God, but he constantly yielded his body to the lusts of the flesh.
- SAMSON'S FINAL CHAPTER
- SAMSON'S FATAL BLUNDER
- SAMSON'S IMPRISONMENT
- SAMSON'S LAST VICTORY
SAMSON'S FINAL CHAPTER (16:1-5).
- Most Bible teachers believe that the events in Judges 16 took place near the end of Samson's life. This was Samson's final chapter.
- Samson went to Gaza, probably the most prominent of the Philistine cities, and once again yielded to his lustful passions (16:1; cf. 16:21). Samson's downfall began here in Gaza.
- First Corinthians 6:16 says, "Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith He, shall be one flesh."
- This was disgraceful behaviour for any believer, but especially for a Nazarite.
- Notice that the Philistines were watching him (16:2). The devil and his emissaries know our every weakness. They are watching us, just waiting to attack us in our moment of weakness. Samson's weakness was women.
- Samson left the harlot's house at midnight, while his enemies were sleeping. He broke the lock to the city gate, and walked off carrying the doors of the gate, the two door posts, and the locking bar (16:3).
- Undoubtedly the Philistines saw Samson walking away with all of this heavy lumber on his shoulders, but they were probably too frightened to do anything.
- God was merciful to Samson. God gave Samson his amazing strength, and it was this strength that saved Samson's life-this time.
- Next we are introduced to Delilah, Samson's last Philistine girlfriend (16:4). I say last because it was by entering into this unlawful relationship that Samson crossed the line and committed the sin unto death.
- There is no indication that Samson ever married Delilah therefore, it was very foolish of Samson to tell Delilah "all his heart" (16:18). Men should tell only their wives all that is in their heart.
- Women should only tell their husbands all that is in their heart. But Samson had a weakness for women, and soon he fell asleep in the devil's barbershop (16:19).
- This brings us to Samson's fatal blunder.
SAMSON'S FATAL BLUNDER (16:4-20).
- Samson may have loved Delilah but there is no indication that she loved him. She took him for a fool and when the lords of the Philistines came around, Delilah willingly cooperated with them-for an enormous some of money! (16:4, 5).
- Delilah is a picture of a wicked, worldly, pleasure-loving woman-beautiful to look at but untrustworthy, deceitful, and ungodly. Her aim was to rob Samson of his separation, and therefore his strength. She serves as a warning to all of us.
- Once Delilah started asking Samson about his great strength, he should have been very suspicious (16:6). He had been deceived by a Philistine woman once before, but that was long ago and apparently he did not learn his lesson (cf. 14:15-17).
- It is amazing how to see how this seductive temptress was so easily able to entice Samson. Three times she actually warned him that he would be "afflicted" and "bound" (16:6, 10, 13).
- Here is Samson, a giant in physical strength, but helpless in Delilah's hands, unable to resist her enticements (16:5, 6).
- For a while, Samson resisted Delilah, lying to her on three different occasions (16:7-15). Samson should have known Delilah was up to no good; she kept shouting, "The Philistines be upon thee, Samson" (16:9, 12, 14).
- Even if Samson did not see the Philistines hiding and waiting to pounce upon him (cf. 16:9, 12), he should have been suspicious when Delilah shouted "The Philistines be upon thee Samson" (16:9, 12, 14).
- But Samson was so consumed by his sensual appetites that he was blinded to what was happening around him. Samson was infatuated with Delilah and found her hard to resist.
- Sensual sins are often very difficult to overcome. Satan knew that this was Samson's besetting sin so he kept at it till Samson was finally overcome.
- Notice that Samson was seeing Delilah "daily" (16:16). The valley of Sorek was far away from Samson's home. It looks like Samson had moved in with her.
- Finally Delilah prevail-Samson's "soul was vexed unto death" (16:16). He told Delilah all that was in his heart (16:17).
- Samson's uncut hair represented his willingness to be set apart from other men. It symbolized his willingness to be separated to the Lord and to suffer reproach from the world. By revealing his Nazarite vow to Delilah, Samson was demonstrating that he did not take it very seriously (16:17-20).
- Samson's great strength was not in his hair but in his Nazarite vow, which he had carelessly given up to a wicked Philistine woman.
- Samson's sin had caught up with him. Sadly, Samson did not realize "that the LORD was departed from him" (16:20).
SAMSON'S IMPRISONMENT (16:21, 22).
- The Philistines did not want to kill Samson-at least not right away. They wanted to humiliate him; they wanted to torture him; and they wanted to parade him around as a spectacle to be mocked and laughed at (16:20-25).
- This should be a vivid warning to us. Samson had godly parents. He was the strongest of men; and we are told that on four different occasions the Spirit of God came upon him.
- And here he is humiliated; his eyes have been gouged out; and all these wicked heathen are laughing at him and shouting praises to their false god Dagon (16:20-25).
- If a man with these advantages could fall so low, it reminds all of us to take heed lest we fall.
- The Philistines had Samson grinding grain in the prison mill (16:21). Someone has said that sin results in blinding, binding, and grinding-and that describes the folly of Samson.
- This is a sad story. Samson has dishonored the Lord. The great strong man of Israel has been humiliated and is now the object of their scorn and merriment. But in the midst of all of this we see the grace of God displayed once again-"Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven" (16:22).
- God was not through with Samson yet. This brings us to our last point.
SAMSON'S LAST VICTORY (16:26-31).
- Samson's prayer shows his genuine confession of sin and trust in God (16:28).
- The Lord had to chasten Samson but God wasn't through with Samson. Samson "brought the house down" and gave his life in order to vindicate the true God of heaven before the ungodly Philistines (16:26-31).
- It is very significant that Samson defeated the Philistines in their idolatrous temple. Samson's final attack was on their false religion and he killed more pagan Philistines in his death than he did in his life (16:30).
- In this closing moment of triumph, God graciously allowed Samson to make up a little for all of the foolishness that had brought his downfall.
- Nevertheless, nothing could offset the harm he had done. His sinfulness had been so serious that it affected the work of God in Israel. Sin always has serious consequences.