Samson, mostly known for his hair (which was more than just a physical attribute of personal glory), was one of the Israelite Judges from the tribe of Dan.
He was set apart before birth by God Himself for some special service. He’d taken a sacred Nazarite vow (same as John the Baptist) which restricted him from touching anything ceremonially unclean, abstaining from alcohol consumption, and keeping his hair long as an outward symbol of his consecration.
He wasn’t to intermarry with pagan nationals but insisted his parents hook him up with a Philistine woman (not Delilah, although she would be his downfall, and also a Philistine). Apparently his hair was glorious but his inclination to lust, ignorance, and recklessness led him to break all three of his Nazarite vows.
- He not only touched a dead lion after killing it with his bare hands, he ate a hand scoop full of honey from its carcass days after killing it AND gave some to his parents without telling them where he got it (We can all agree thats messed up).
- Secondly, he liked to party with the Philistines and consumed alcohol.
- Lastly, he gave away his strength by letting Delilah in on the source of his peculiar power… his hair (similar to Esau despising his birth-rite).
He was a terror to the Philistines and a born protector of Israel, set aside by God Himself, but his ignorance and lust kept him from experiencing the full blessing of God. Delilah cut his hair while he slept and gave him up to the Philistines who gouged out his eyes and tied him to a grind like an ox. While in prison, his hair began to grow ALONG with his spiritual sensitivity.
“His hair began to grow again, that is, to be as thick and as long as it had been. When his hair was full grown, people took particular notice of it, being extraordinary. It was a special indication of the return of God’s favor. The regrowth of his hair was not the cause or the sign of the return of his strength, but the badge of his consecration and a token that God accepted him as a Nazarite once again.”Matthew Henry
What is a gift from God, and a symbol of His favor on your life, may seem like an unnecessary weight in your youthful ignorance. Nothing like a “Philistine prison” to make us count the cost of losing it, realizing the possibility of never regaining it.
God, give us spiritual eyes to see the weight of glory you’ve given each of us in Christ, not as an unnecessary burden￼, but as the gift you intended for your own glory and the good of others. Amen.