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"SAMSON"

out of weakness he was made strong

'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me...for when I am weak, then I am strong.'

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Samson2 LH.jpg

chalk and charcoal on black Canson 160gsm paper

Samson was physically strong and had a flowing mane of hair like a roaring lion in the prime of its life, so he is portrayed as a lion, for his God-given gift of strength. It wasn't until his mane was shaven off in humiliation, however, that he learnt that true power can only come from God.

So you think you know the story of the Biblical Superman Samson, whose magical hair gave him superhuman strength, allowing him to slay a lion bare-handed? Sadly his weakness for women led to his betrayal by Delilah who tricked him, shaved off his hair and had him captured and imprisoned. 

 

Samson was born at a time when Israel was under Philistine oppression and without a leader. He was the last of a series of judges God raised up to lead, rescue and deliver God’s people. In a way, his life mirrored that of the history of Israel, with its pattern of sin, judgment, repentance and deliverance. Samson was a Nazarite and was supposed live a life consecrated to serving God with strict rules which set his life apart (eg. no alcohol, keeping away from unclean things, and not shaving his hair which was a physical symbol of his God-given strength). God gave him his strength for a specific purpose - to deliver Israel from its enemies. Samson, however, turned his back on his vows and lived according to his own desires of lust, anger, pride and violence. His weakness ultimately led to his capture and downfall. 

 

Was Samson a tragic hero-figure, a physically strong, but a morally weak and compromised man? Is he any different from those of us who have achieved great personal/career/financial success in our lives by using the gifts God has given us for our personal gain, whilst completely ignoring the reason God has given us those gifts in the first place? The good news is that even in his weakness, even when he broke the promises he made to God, even when he misused the gifts God gave him for his own selfish purposes, God was still able to use Samson to deliver Israel when he finally repented and called on Him. His hair grown back and his pride broken, Samson, in his death, was able to achieve his greatest victory and destroyed more enemies than he ever did while he was alive. He ‘out of weakness was made strong’ (Hebrews 11:34). When we are weak, insulted, being persecuted or going through difficulties, it is an opportunity for God to strengthen us with His powers so that He can use our weakness to demonstrate His strength, for His purpose and glory.

If you would like to read more about the story of Samson please see: Judges 13-16. 

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