[last of a three-part series on Samson]
Samson treated the calling of God, his Nazirite vow, the favor of God… callously, indifferently… Samson’s religion was superficial. Samson was a hypocrite. He was not the same person on the inside as he was on the outside. That’s the definition of a hypocrite.
On the outside Samson was a judge of Israel. For 20 years he was moderately effective in keeping the Philistines on their heels. They were scared of him. Rightfully so, because he was erratic and unpredictable. He was super-humanly strong. He wore the hair of a Nazirite holy man. When the Spirit of God came on him, he was something to behold. So from all outward appearances, he was God’s man in Israel.
But what was he on the inside? You can always tell what’s on the inside of a man if you know how they conduct themselves when nobody is watching. Sampson repeatedly violated his Nazarite vow, usually when his parents or others were not watching.
Samson was attacked by this wild lion, kills it, tears it apart, but in doing so, comes in direct contact with a dead carcass. A Nazirite is to have no contact with a dead carcass. Samson doesn’t perform any cleansing ritual, which is prescribed in Numbers 6 for just such cases as this, neither does he mention it to his parents. Later on he goes back to the dead carcass and sticks his hand in the shell and scoops out the honey, which he then shares with his parents! He drags them into his fraud.
Later in the passage it says Samson convened a wedding feast, and the Hebrew words denote a “place of drinking.” Guess what, they weren’t drinking Kool Aid. The area was a vineyard. They were drinking wine and fermented drinks like beer, which Samson was expressly forbidden to drink. It’s naive to think that Samson, who spent way too much time in and around vineyards, did not drink forbidden wine or grape products, when he so easily violated his other vows.
Samson kept his hair long in order to maintain the outward appearance of devotion to God, while all the time he was regularly violating that vow.
The last straw was when Delilah cut off his hair, which was the outward expression of what was supposed to be an inward covenant with God. And the Bible says, “the Lord left him.” Samson cast his pearls before swine when he told Delilah the source of his strength…and God walked away from him.
Samson could have rallied Israel to drive out the Philistines. He could have used his vow and his strength to lead Israel to judge these horrible pagan people, just like God wanted to do.
Is your walk with God penetrating the surface of your life? Or are you just wearing the “hairstyle” of a Christian, when the reality is there’s nothing happening on the inside?
- Transformation happens when we have a clear sense of who we are in Christ—we’re his redeemed, his beloved, we’ve been bought with a price… that shapes who we are and how we seek to live…
- Transformation happens when we face our weaknesses head on and ask God to guide us to victory over our own failed humanity… when we crucify the flesh as Apostle Paul says…
- Transformation happens when we live each day allowing God to get below the surface of our lives—letting his Word and his Spirit touch the biggest and the deepest issues we face as Christ-followers…