The Story of Samson: Vision/Promise/Purpose

Recently I was watching the movie “Samson” and even though there were some biblical inaccuracies (I’m sure to make it more dramatic) there were some things that the Lord began to show me.  He wanted me to go deeper into study on Samson’s story and I wanted to share that message with you.

 

Story of Samson Judges 13-16

And then the People of Israel were back at it again, doing what was evil in God’s sight. God put them under the domination of the Philistines for forty years.  At that time there was a man named Manoah from Zorah from the tribe of Dan. His wife was barren and childless. The angel of God appeared to her and told her, “I know that you are barren and childless, but you’re going to become pregnant and bear a son. But take much care: Drink no wine or beer; eat nothing ritually unclean. You are, in fact, pregnant right now, carrying a son. No razor will touch his head—the boy will be God’s Nazirite from the moment of his birth. He will launch the deliverance from Philistine oppression.”  (Judges 13:1-5)

****Manoah means “place of rest”.  God was bringing a place of rest for the people through Manoah’s seed, Samson.****

Samson was a Nazirite from the womb.  He could drink no wine, touch no unclean thing or cut his hair; consecrated (set apart for God’s use) for God’s service.  Manoah’s wife was told by the angel that she would prepare and bear the promise for her people’s deliverance.  When she received news that she was pregnant the angel also gave her and her husband instruction on how to allow their son to be born properly.  The mother had to prepare before the promise could come out of her.

Side Note:

Some of us have been given a promise and the Word of God (Bible) gives us instruction on how to live in order to prepare and see the promise come to manifest.  Just think if Samson’s mother had not obeyed the messenger from God (angel) the promise would have been deformed and inactive.  God would have chosen someone else or chosen another route of some kind to carry out His mission.

We should use this story as an example for ourselves.  We cannot allow other voices, temptations, or circumstances to rob us of our destinies.  It is very important that we stay the course and finish strong.  Stay sensitive to the voice of God by reading the Bible, having a healthy prayer life and applying the scripture to your everyday activities.

Back to Samson:

During the course of Samson’s adult life there were vows that he broke which put him in dangerous positions. It seemed like he enjoyed the company of women and it also seemed like he wasn’t totally committed to God’s vision for his life, he wanted to do his own thing at times.

He decided that he would marry a Philistine woman, which put him at odds with his parents but the Word of God says:

Judges 14:4 KJV
“But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord , that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”

So God was positioning Samson to provoke the Philistines (the enemy) with every encounter with them.  Instead he became destracted with the company of women at times, which lead to the cutting of his hair.

As time went on and as we fast forward through Samson’s story we see his vision and purpose becomes diluted of delivering the Israelites out from under Philistine rule. At the end Judges 16:21-30 he totally loses his eyes and is put into a position where he has to solely rely on God’s vision and power to have a great victory, the greatest he was ever able to achieve.

Judges 16:30 KJV
“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

My point: When his parents first received promise that Samson would be set apart and he would help the Israelites become free of philistine rule I don’t think that they thought that their son would end up losing his eyes and dying along with many other Philistines at the end but God knows the end of his own promises and He’ll make sure that his promises stand. It is our job to hold onto our promise and our vision whole-heartedly so that way we can see it through and live victoriously.

As we live out our lives let’s carry the vision God has set before us and speak with clarity and authority knowing that God will see His own promises through. God called Samson to provoke the enemy and destroy him in his own backyard. Sometimes the journey to the promise isn’t pretty but we need to hold onto it with strong conviction and take our authority over the enemy in his backyard.

 

****Proverbs 29:18 KJV
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

You could look at it either way. Samson was punished because of his discretions and that’s why he lost his sight. Big, strong, able body but no vision to carry him to the next level. He could go no further than where he was.

God brought him to the point where he was forced to solely rely on God’s power to destroy the enemy. We shouldn’t get to that point. Stay committed to the vision and promise all the way through, so you can be used in the next chapter.

 

 

 

Explanation about the Nazarite:

“The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

“‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.” (Numbers 6:2-7)

Pressure And The Faith To Get Through It

James chapter 1:2-8 in the message and the the King James Version.

The Message Bible titles this scripture

Faith Under Pressure

James 1:2-8 MSG
[2-4] Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. [5-8] If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

So no plan b c d e f g, trust God!

James 1:2-8 KJV
[2] My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [3] Knowing this , that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. [5] If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. [6] But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. [7] For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. [8] A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

This entire passage is showing us that we should be diligent and devoted to having faith and that we should not be moved when pressures come. We should allow those pressures to develop our spiritual muscles. The pressures tend to draw out the things that need to be corrected in our own mindsets. We learn God’s character and statutes during times of crisis. We also learn ourselves pretty well too.

I’m going to give some clear definitions of words that are highlighted in this passage of scripture.

Diligent-   constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything:

Devotion- Profound dedication; consecration.  Earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.

Disciple-  a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower:

Hebrews 11:6 KJV
[6] But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We must seek his will and not our own, he knows what’s best. I’ve learned in my own life that if I pray for God’s best, many things in my own mind that I thought were correct began to fall away and room was made for God to work his work. This prayer calls for you to surrender to his will; relinquish the control you think you may have. It’s difficult to do, it’s an everyday decision because we are always faced with distractions. You start to see your spiritual growth when those distractions the enemy throws at you don’t effect you the same way and don’t shake the very foundations of your faith. Don’t be so quick to throw up your hands at the first sign of resistance, press through, your faith will grow and you will stop circling the same mountains, so to speak. The goal is to have unwavering faith.

Psalm 119:71 KJV
[71] It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Another scripture comes to mind: You can’t put new wine in old wine skins. You need to be prepared for the new. Have a new heart and way of operating at all times. Mark 2:22

Application: When you want to have good results you are diligent at working on them. You keep working at things you desire and that capture your attention, like things that you see need improvement.  When it comes to working out even, for example, building yourself up in some way or learning a new skill (whatever is important to you) we tend to focus on those things until we get the desired result. We should be like that with the word of God working in our lives and seeing His desires for our lives and His kingdom.  We should be diligently seeking Him to be equipped to further His purposes.  We should drop anything that would burden us and keep us from doing His will.  Don’t let you get in the way of fulfilling God’s plan.

Side note:  Sometimes we wonder why things go awry in our lives and we get discouraged, but at that point (before you open your mouth to speak negatively, remember life and death is in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21, don’t give the enemy a foothold) do a quick evaluation of your position, ask God to search you and bring things to your mind that may need to be addressed so that way you stay on track or get back on track for that matter, it’s never too late.You may be praying for something in your life, don’t give up or be double minded as the scripture says. Stay the course even if hard times come, even if what you have prayed for doesn’t happen on your timetable. God didn’t promise that it would be easy but he has given us guidelines and promises to apply and base our lives upon. Have unmovable faith and watch God move, he is always available. He is concerned with the impossible and also with what we may believe to be the unremarkable hustle and bustle of life. Allow him into all areas of your being so you can be a fully equipped warrior in his kingdom. Never lose sight.

Galatians 6:9 KJV says, “[9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.Be a devoted and diligent disciple of Christ. You are God’s child and coheirs with Christ, stay in position and stay in faith.”

The Favored Life

Ephesians 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

“7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

We receive God’s grace when we accept Christ into our hearts.  The grace of God is beautiful! When we accept Him as our personal savior, His grace comes and covers our sins and brings us back into right relationship with God, but that is not all God has for us.   His grace is boundless, but He wants to give you an abundant life, a life of full favor and blessing.  When you live outside of the will of God and do not follow Him wholeheartedly you diminish the favor and blessing that He is able to extend to you personally.

Psalm 5:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

“12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Definition of Righteous- living a life pleasing to God.

A scripture that is one of my favorites is Deuteronomy 28:1-15 ESV.  It outlines the many blessings that God will command to come on your life if you follow His statutes (commands/rules).

28 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”

On the other side of that starting at verse 15 there are consequences to not obeying or following His commands.  Those verses show what not living in God’s favor looks like.  I haven’t heard of too many people quoting the second half of this chapter because it touches a nerve.  No one is perfect, I certainly am not and there are many things I had to fight through and overcome to grow but it is always good and part of our job as Christians to read, learn (study) and accept the full Bible.

Hebrews 4:12-13 The Message (MSG)

“12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”

These are just a few examples of scripture that tell us of the wonderful blessings that are in-store for us if we really love the Lord and serve Him with our whole hearts, not for show, and not just because we want His hand of blessing but because we are thankful for who He is and the sacrifice He has made for us!

He wants the very best for us and He knows us better than we knows ourselves.

John 10:10 The Message (MSG)

6-10 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Take full advantage of every gift God has for you.  Live the FAVORED life.