Most of us know the story of Samson. If you grew up going to Sunday school you know him as some big strong dude that burnt a field with foxes, hung out with some woman named Delilah, and ended up in the Philistines custody after getting his hair cut by them and asking God to help him get revenge on those Philistines. He pushes the pillars down he’s tied to and he and a bunch of the Philistines are killed. End the Sunday school class. I want to take a little bit closer look at his life.
First, Samson was chosen or setup for success
Judges 13:5 For lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. The word “Nazarite” means designated one who was set apart and dedicated wholly to the Lord. They were to abstain from alcohol, contact with dead bodies, and cutting their hair.
Samson was also a judge. Judges came from different tribes and functioned as military leaders and civil magistrates; many remained tribal in their sphere of influence, while some served the whole territory of Israel.
Samson was the only Judge specifically called out as being a Nazarite in the Bible. The last judge, Samuel was mentioned that he would not take a razor to his head, but the Bible does not specifically say he was or was not a Nazarite. Either way, God wanted Samson to be set apart from the general crowd. God was putting him in a position to do great things.
But we know how the story goes with Samson, he Wasted his Opportunity
God had chosen him to be different as a nazarite and a judge. He had 20 years to be a judge. He had the spirit with him. Multiple times the Bible mentioned that the Spirit was with Samson.
Samson also became Part of the World
Judges 14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Samson ignored God’s law concerning mixed marriages with non-Godly people groups.
Judges 16:1 Samson has a relation with a harlot. Samson was getting mixed up in worldly ways instead of being different than the world
Samson Wasted his Talent
We all know that Samson had the talent of strength. At this time, ~1400-1000 BC warfare was very hand to hand combat. The weapons used were clubs, axes, spears, slings. Having superior strength was a huge benefit and also respected. With the respect Samson could have been a great leader for God, but he wasted his God given talent.
Samson had a hard time with seeking wisdom and keeping his mouth shut
Judges 14: 15-17 Samson gives a riddle to the Philistines and they get his wife to coax the answer out of him.
And then there is Delilah. Three times, Delilah asked Samson where he got his strength from.
The first time, Delilah asks where Samson gets his strength. . . I get not thinking anything about it. I’m sure it’s not the first time that someone asked Samson. But when the enemy tries to do exactly what you told someone your strength came from, I would begin to think. Now when it happens a second time, and then Delilah asks a third time. . . I would be trying to get away from her as fast as I could.
Samson always seemed to have ulterior motives
In Judges 15:7 “And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.” Samson wanted revenge after his wife and father in-law were burned by the Philistines.
Later on we see in Judges 16:28 “And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Samson’s fight with the Philistines was primarily motivated by personal anger and revenge rather than by concern for God’s deliverance of the Hebrew people.
Here we have a man that was chosen by God, he was given the tools to do the job God wanted him to do, and God was with him. And we’re like what was wrong with this guy? He was setup to do great things. It is easy for us to make fun of Samson. God chose this man to lead these people, gave him talents and the spirit was with him, but this guy blew it.
Yet . . . How many times have we wasted the time God has given us?
Samson had 20 years as a judge and did very little with it. We all have people we can connect with that other believers might not have the ability to connect with. None of us know how long we have on this earth, let alone how long we have at a certain job, location.
It’s easy for us to say we’ll witness to a person another day. We weren’t feeling up to it. I’ll wait until the timing is better. I had some errands I needed to finish. There’s never going to be a perfect timing. We will always be able to find an excuse.
Samson was given strength for one of his talents, I’m sure he had others, but the Bible specifically calls out strength. In his time, strength was important if you were going to go into battle. Battle was primarily hand to hand combat. There were no guns, missiles, jets, calling in a drone strike, or rolling through with your Abrams tank. As I mentioned before it was hands and weapons you could hold in your hands and whack the guy across from you with.
God has given us all talents to use for His glory. But how often do we waste these talents? Or better yet, how often do we use them for everything except to further God’s will?
Twice the Bible mentioned Samson wanting to avenge something.
He didn’t want to attack the Philistines because they were enemies of God, he wanted to attack to satisfy his own desire of revenge. We do similar things. We’ll say we’re doing something for God, when really we’re playing games with God hoping to get on His good side so we have life a little easier.
Or we’ll help out with something so we look good and deep down we don’t really care if God wants us to do it, its to benefit our selfish needs. Many times we say we’re doing something for God, but we have ulterior motives. People hurt us and we want revenge. Instead of showing we are different. Showing the love God shows us when we hurt him.
Samson is like the equivalent to a No 1 draft pick in the NBA or NFL and ends up being mediocre at best in their careers. In sports they call those players a “flop”. At the end of their careers, they don’t have many accolades.
At the end of Sampson’s life, he didn’t have many accolades either. He won a few skirmishes against the Philistines, but no major victories, no leading Israel out of captivity.
Now I’m going to switch gears here. . .
When we get to heaven and go through our judgement as believers, are we going to feel like Samson? Are we going to be standing before God, realizing how much opportunity we had and we wasted it. It’s easy for us to make fun of Samson and say he should have done more, but in reality we are Samson’s.
When we’re saved we know that we have the Holy Spirit inside us. We all have gifts given to us. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”
Some can minister, some can sing, some are givers, and then there are these obnoxious people that can do anything. But all of these are given from God to be used for his glory not ours.
Just as Samson was a Nazarite and should have stuck out from the crowd, we should be the same as Christians, we should stick out from the world. Yet like Samson we intermingle into the world.
Just like Samson, we’ve been setup for success. We’re all like the #1 draft pick. There is a lot of potential for what we can do with God’s help. God has put us in the right position, location, given us the tools needed. We all know the verse Philippians 4:13”I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
God can do amazing things with us to grow his kingdom.The Spirit was with Samson, and he wasted his life. We have the Holy Spirit, what are we doing with ours?
You see one day we will all have to answer to God. 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Everything will be made manifest. The word “appear” is from the Greek word “phanee” which means “to be revealed openly or publicly”. God will examine and openly reveal everything we have done.
He will reveal our secret acts.
In Mark 4:22, when discussing the parable about the kingdom, Jesus says; “For there is nothing hid which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.” Romans 2:16 says, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
We have no secrets from God. He knows everything about us, even though we get into playing games with God, where we try to hide our sin. In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and realized they were naked and made aprons to hide themselves when they heard God’s voice; God already knew they had sinned. We are no different in our lives. God knows everything running through our mind.
He will reveal Our Character
Romans 2:5-11 discusses how we will be judged for our character. “5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.”
In verse 11, it says that there is no respect of persons with God. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, educated or not, famous or only known by a few people; we will all be judged the same.
When studying this the words “For there is no respect of persons with God” popped out to me. I didn’t realize how many times this was said in the Bible when talking about judgement. God doesn’t say oh they were a good person for Earthly standards. He will judge us all to His standard.
He will reveal Our words
Jesus says in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by they words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
The key word is “idle”. Idle in this case is meaning lazy or useless. I think this is talking about what we say in our everyday conversations when we’re not even thinking about what we are saying.
Gossiping would fall into this. There is no value in gossip, except to make yourself feel better.
We can try to justify gossip all we want, but what we really are doing is putting doubt in people’s mind about a person’s actions/character, and therefore making ourselves look better.
He will reveal Our good deeds
Ephesians 6:8 “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” In Ephesians 6:5-9 Paul is talking about workers and masters.
It doesn’t matter our situation, we are always responsible for our actions, no matter how hard we have it (bonded) or how well off we are (free). We think when things go bad that gives us a right to act badly, but we will have to answer for that to Christ.
He will reveal Our attitudes
Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Jesus is not speaking of righteous anger at injustice or holy indignation for hurtful wicked behavior but is condemning the vindictive anger that would unjustly desire the death of another. This goes into our character.
What shows on the outside is sometimes or biggest testimony.
It’s easy for us to be the perfect Christian when everything is going well, but our true testimony is when it feels like life is crumbling and life is going to crash around us. That’s when we’re different to the world. That’s when we show we have something else they don’t have.
He will reveal Our motives
There will be a lot of shocked people when they get judged on their motives. A lot of times we lie to ourselves on why we are doing something. We try to make ourselves seem spiritual by saying we are doing it for God’s work, but we tell everyone what we are doing, so that people will think better of us.
In 1 Corinthians 4:5 it states, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
God will bring to light the secret acts of all persons and expose their true thoughts and motives, good as well as bad. So the inner lives of everyone will be revealed exactly as they were, nothing will be left hidden.
So whatever things we think we can hide from everyone else, God knows them and we will be judged for them; good or bad.
How we act and is one of our biggest testimonies, its sometimes all people see and they make a judgement on if being “Christian” is something they want. When they see that our motives are not true,why would you change to something if those people don’t act any different or worse?
He will reveal Our lack of love
In Colossians 3:18-4:1, it talks about the Christian family. In verse 25, it says, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
The principle of future accountability to God should help motivate our love, kindness and mercy toward all human beings. We should all keep in mind that God will hold His children responsible for the way they have treated one another.
And the last one He will reveal Our work and ministry, this is a culmination of all the other points
Our job here on Earth is to further the kingdom, this is what we’re ultimately being judged on. In 1 Corinthians 3:13, it says: ” Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
Everything we do will be tried by fire. I don’t know if we will see it but, one of my biggest fears is when I’m being judged, that it will be shown to me how many people I had the opportunity to witness to, and I did not because I was too busy, chickened out, whatever. It’s going to be humbling and embarrassing that I was so selfish to keep the greatest gift ever given, to myself.
The specific results of the believer’s judgment will be varied
There will be either the gain or loss of joy, divine approval, tasks and authority, position, rewards, and honor. How we are rewarded in Heaven depends on what we do here on Earth.
We don’t get a second chance after getting to heaven, this isn’t like a video game where you have multiple lives or chances to do better or get a higher score. The lowest position in Heaven is not even comparable to what Hell will be like.
The sad thing is, that person we were too busy to witness too, or too scared to witness to . . . we/you/myself might be the only chance they have to hear the gospel.
DO WE WANT THAT ON OUR ACCOUNT THAT WE DID NOT GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY?
We become Samson’s so easily in our daily lives. We waste our opportunity, testimony, and time
So in closing, what are we doing with our lives, talents, resources, and opportunities? We will all be humbled before God one day when we have to answer for how we used all these things. Some will be able to say they tried, some can say they sort of tried, and others will not be able to say much, but to hang their head. We will be rewarded accordingly to what we truly acted and did for God while on this earth, the question is, will our lives be like Samson where his life was mediocre and selfish or will we have done more with it and helped further God’s kingdom?