Samson: The unassailable power of a covenant with God
Samson’s strength only lasted as long as he was faithful to his covenant …
Because of the story of Samson in the book of Judges, the name Samson is synonymous with great physical strength. But, as we know, the power that Samson had was not from working out regularly. (Although he might have done that as well). The true source of Samson’s strength came from his covenant with God.
Samson’s covenant with God
The story of Samson tells us that he was dedicated to a group called “Nazirites.” A Nazirite was someone who voluntarily took a vow of consecration to God. This required them not to drink strong drinks nor cut their hair. As long as Samson was faithful to that covenant, then God filled him with strength and there was literally nothing that could overpower him. He pulled a lion apart with his bare hands, killed a thousand men at one time with only the jawbone of a donkey for a weapon, pulled up the gates of the city of Gaza and carried them on his shoulders to the top of a mountain, etc.
Because of this power that he had, the Philistines – Israel’s enemies, who at that time had dominated them – were always out to kill Samson. But no matter what they tried, Samson was undefeatable.
That is, until he was unfaithful to his covenant with God …
In a moment of weakness, Samson revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah, a Philistine woman he was seeing. In that moment he was defeated. The Philistines shaved his hair as he slept, and were finally able to take him prisoner. When he woke up, he still thought that he would be able to overpower them, but having broken his covenant with God, the Lord had departed from him. Now he was just like any ordinary man. The Philistines put out his eyes, brought him down to Gaza, and bound him as a grinder in a prison.
There is a serious lesson we can learn from Samson’s story. If we want to wholeheartedly serve God, then it’s important to understand that we too will have anthat is always seeking to destroy us. Satan is always out to stop people from serving God, to destroy their life in Him so that they can’t receive the enormous spiritual power that a wholehearted disciple gets in their life. This power, which gives strength to overcome sin and the powers of darkness, terrifies him, because it is this that will one day defeat him utterly, and destroy his kingdom.
However, as long as we are faithful in our covenant of discipleship with Christ and keep a pure mind, we will be just as invincible as Samson was! We will get heavenly power in our life to overcome all evil; all temptation! And when the battle becomes intense, God will continually refresh us with new strength to continue, as long as we don’t give up and give in to the enemy.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9.
But if we, like Samson, grow weary of resisting sin, give in to temptation and cease to be faithful, allowing impurity into our heart, then we also lose the power we receive from the Lord. Then we become just ordinary people with no divine strength, and are easily taken captive by all kinds of evil. Then we won’t have the power we need when the enemy comes.
A different kind of strength
We can’t overcome Satan unless we have power from God in our lives, and we only receive this power in relation to the purity of our heart and our faithfulness. It doesn’t help to struggle in our own strength to do good. If we know that we’ve broken our covenant with God, and are living in a way that is not in accordance with God’s will, or trying to keep even just a little of our own will, we will not have the power that is necessary to overcome in temptation. We need a different kind of strength to overcome sin – we need divine power through the Holy Spirit.
Many people have shared Samson’s fate. They have lost the power that they had in their lives because of unfaithfulness. They have quenched the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
But Samson’s story is not a fate that we have to share! We can preserve our hearts in purity, and we can simply be faithful to keep our covenant of discipleship – to serve God instead of ourselves. Then we will have an endless supply of power from the Lord, and we’ll clearly see what we are fighting for. We will be invincible in our battle against sin!
You can read the full story of Samson in Judges 1.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.