Sung Psalm 78:58-66
Reading Judges 15
The situation was dire, Israel because of their rank idolatry, was under the domination of the Philistines (10:6 and 13:1). They were so for forty years and there was no cry of repentance yet God intervened by calling Samson indirectly through his parents (13:5) who would begin to deliver them. Their full deliverance would only come later under Samuel, the last judge (I Sam.7). We think Samson may have overlapped with Jephthah and Eli.
The Nazarite vow which was really upon his mother and Samson came from Numbers 6:1-6 and meant:
- Hair was never to be cut
- No wine or food or drink made from grapes
- No touching of a dead body (this must have been rescinded in Samson’s case!)
- Nazarites normally vowed for a time period but Samson was one from birth to death.
Judges, by the way did judge legally among the people and also fought to deliver them between the time of Joshua and Saul the first king.
Samson was unique: poetic and intelligent (his riddles and figures of speech), supernaturally strong through his consecration (signified by his hair) and anointing by the Spirit of God, he fought alone, he used unusual weapons, he also fought several battles and he only began to deliver Israel.
Among all Israel he was the only one who cared about their sorry spiritual state, the rest compromised and in fact handed him over to the enemy (15:11).
However his great weakness was the lust of the eyes through which he wanted three different pagan women, with two of whom he fornicated, God yet choosing to use his sin as a means of causing a fight against the Philistines. His taking the gates from Gaza to Hebron involved nearly forty miles walk mainly uphill with a great weight! In the end in severe chastisement, God took out his eyes.
He died fighting slaying more than at any other time of his life.