The Bible is full of heroes whose examples we can follow. However, they were not perfect. Many of these heroes were flawed. They had spiritual setbacks, made mistakes, and committed sins. These heroes were fallible human beings, just like you and me. We will study the failures of some of these individuals in this Bible series.
Let’s read together Judges 13:1-25 and Numbers 6:1-21.
We shall examine the life of Samson. The Bible states he was raised as a Nazirite from birth. Samson was not to drink wine, go near a dead body, or have a razor put to his head. Interestingly, Samson’s mother essentially took the Nazirite vow before he was born.
Note Judges 13:5 states Samson “will begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” who were oppressing the Israelites at the time. God designated Samson to be a deliverer of his brethren. Sadly, Samson never truly lived up to his full potential.
Let’s read together Judges chapters 14 and 15.
Samson likely was raised by his parents with the knowledge he was chosen by God to overthrow the yoke of the Philistines. However, Samson did not want to destroy the Philistines. He wanted to become one of them! Samson desired to marry a Philistine woman despite knowing God’s warning against intermarriage with pagans (Deuteronomy 7:3-4).
Let’s read together Judges 14:5-10.
Samson actually broke two conditions of the Nazirite vow in this passage. Samson reaches into the carcass of the lion to get honey for himself. We can infer Samson drank wine since he came to the vineyards of Timnah and have a feast for the young Philistine men.
However, God mercifully did not abandon Samson. The Holy Spirit still came upon Samson as he defeated the Philistines in several confrontations.
Let’s read together Judges chapter 16.
Samson was playing with sin for so long, he took God’s protection for granted. When he broke the third condition of the Nazirite vow, he didn’t realize the Holy Spirit had left him until it was too late. Samson lost his great strength, his eyes, and his pride.
This could have been the end of Samson’s story, but let’s read together Judges 16:22
“However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” This may be one of the most hope-filled verses in the entire Bible. Considering Samson had forsaken God’s commandments and his duty, God could have left Samson to reap the consequences of his sins, to die a prisoner of the Philistines.
However, God did not give up on Samson. When Samson repented of his sins and turned his heart back towards God, he was granted great strength one final time. Samson killed more Philistines in death than in his entire life.
Let’s read together Hebrews 11:32-43.
Samson’s story is one of failure. While Samson performed great feats in his life, how much more could he have accomplished if he had wholly followed God?
However, Samson’s story is also a story of hope. It is a story of God’s love and forbearance. Samson’s story reminds us God loves us, even if we have drifted far away from Him. If we repent of our sins and come back to God, He will not turn away from us.