10 Lessons from the Life of Samson

The Bible was written for reproof, correction, and the edification of the believer, that we might come to the knowledge and attainment of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Whether it's the Old testament or the new testament, the Bible in its entirety was written for us to see and know God. Now, one of the ways we can see God is through the lives of men and women of faith in the Bible.

Samson was one of the greatest judges in the Bible. From his unique birth fore-told to the point of his death, the people of Israel experienced great liberation from God through his leadership. However, like almost every other human, he had his flaws and that’s where this article comes in today - sharing lessons from the good and the bad sides of his life.

Let us then examine the person of Samson, as well as the lessons we can draw from his life and apply in our lives as we continue this spiritual journey.


1. A Believer's life is a call to live a holy life

The name Samson means “like the sun" in Hebrew as he was conceived after the visitation of an angel of the Lord to Samson's mother bringing forth instructions on how the child must be raised. According to Judges 13:4-5, “Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines”

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Clearly stated in this instruction from God is a call on Samson's life to live a life of consecration, be separated from God, and become a Nazarite from birth. A razor should never touch even a single strand of the hair on his head, nether must he eat anything unclean or drink wine. The word Nazirite comes from the Hebrew word, "Nazar", which means to "abstain from" or to "consecrate oneself to." 

The word holy also comes from the Hebrew word "Kodesh." which means "to be set apart for a specific purpose." So you can see, that once we become born again as believers, we are called to be separated from the worldly way of thinking and living just like Samson. God wants us to live a life that is wholly dedicated to God. The Apostle Paul made this clear to the church when he said we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. He went further in Romans 12 vs 2, saying "be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of [our] mind, that [we] may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.



This is a clarion call for us as genuinely born-again Christians (not just Sunday Christians), to live a life in which our words and action speaks and emulate the person of Christ and can easily make the unbelievers see God in us. Our lives as Christians are not a life of conforming but a life of overcoming. A boat with leakage can easily sink down the river, but it takes a strong and boat without any leakage to move against the current. This can be likened to the Christian journey in the world, we are to go against the current flow and influence of the world, to eventually get to God's kingdom.

2. God can use even the negative situations to fulfill His purpose

Although Samson's name would never be forgotten in the history of Hebrews, and would always be mentioned whenever the strongest men in the bible are being discussed, he was not without weakness like every other man God created. His greatest weakness as recorded in the bible is women and as a result of this, he was always caught up in dangerous situations. When he became an adult, he decided to marry Delilah, a woman from the tribes of Timnah according to Judges 14: 1-2.

At that time, God's will was that he should not marry another tribe. But Samson, despite knowing this, still went ahead with the decision to marry outside his tribe, and this decision proved fatal both for him and his people. Delilah, his wife-to-be would eventually betray him to the Philistines, who were always contending with and getting killed by Samson in large numbers. Yet despite this, God was always with Samson, even till he drew his last breath, with the phrase “the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him” used multiple times in the bible.

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This shows us that even when Samson was going against God's will, God was still using him to fulfill His purpose. It should also be noted that Samson could have made a better decision and taken a different path. He could have fulfilled his life mission and still live a life pleasing to God. This is to tell us even with the weaknesses in our lives, this would not prevent God from using us for his purpose. But we should always make sure to align our plans and decisions with the plans of God because, we may be able to choose the decision we make, but we can choose the result of our choices, which was catastrophic for Samson. 

3. We are free to make choices, but cannot choose the consequences of our Choices

God has given every man the free will to live and even map out his own life. We are free to either obey him or disobey him. God does not force a man to do his bidding. And this was certainly the case with Samson. As a supreme being, God could have lauded his authority over him and compelled him to walk the path he had mapped out for him. But no, He didn't, rather He gave Samson free rein over his life and he ended up suffering the consequences of the bad decision he made. When we err or go against God's original plan for our lives, of course, we can go to God and ask for forgiveness and be forgiven, however, this would not take away the consequences of our decisions. So before we sin, we should always think about the consequences of our actions. Will it be worth it? 

4. We should use our strength for God’s work

Without a doubt, we all know that Samson is a very strong man and a lot of people even think he is the strongest man in the Bible because with his bare hands, tore lions in half, and single-handedly kill a thousand people using an ass’ jawbone, carried two gate posts on his shoulders, and brought down a massive pagan temple.

While this is partly true, this should not take our focus from the true origin of his supernatural strength, which is strength from above. The strength from God. Without God, he would have just been like any other ordinary man of that time. You and I have also been given God's strength (though not like the physical strength of Samson), to use for His glory. We all have our strengths in different areas such as writing, playing the piano, singing, encouraging one another, etc. So, we should not underestimate all those seemingly small things that we can do to advance the kingdom of God and also the people around us. 

Our small strength without God will amount to nothing if we decide to use it just for our purpose alone. But if we give that strength and time to the things of God, He will magnify them and make them big to fulfill His purpose. Just think about the life of Moses and that of the small fishes offered by the small boy, with which Jesus Christ fed several thousand people. And the best time to use our strength for God is while we are young and active, not when we grow old and can't move easily from one place to another.

5. God is always willing to welcome us back to Him

Even when the Philistines succeeded in overpowering Samson through Delilah, removing his eyeballs and casting him into the dungeon for heavy labor, God departed from a while from Him for a while, giving Samson the time to reflect on his action. And when he choose to call on God again, God heard him and granted his request. 

No matter how big or small our sins are, once we acknowledge our sins, and genuinely repent, God is ever willing to listen to us and welcome us back into the fold just like the father of the prodigal son welcomed him back home.

6. Always Obey God Completely

Samson's parents were instructed by the angel of God to care for Samson while he was in the womb. They lived their lives in complete obedience to God's instructions and for as long as Samson obeyed those instructions, he was safe in God’s hands. However, we read in Judges 13 about how he went astray and disobeyed God.

7. Do not defile Yourself

Samson was warned not to eat any dead animals but when he killed a lion in Judges 14:5-9, the Bible records that he took the honeycomb and ate it from the lion, thereby defiling himself and deviating from God's presence gradually. As believers, we must understand that defilement makes use prone to satanic attacks and evil. Always stay away from all forms and appearances of sin.

8. Open up to Spiritual Authority

In Judges 14:5-9, after Samson ate the honeycomb from the lion, he didn't tell his parents who in this case, were like spiritual parents to him. He hid his sins and that was just the beginning of his downfall. 

The Bible in Proverbs 28:13 says, he that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them shall receive mercy. In this case, we must learn as believers that when God gives you an instruction through your spiritual fathers, mother's, mentors and other people with ranking authority in your life, and you disobey, open up to them instead of hiding. Tell them what has been going on and they will guide you in the path of repentance while monitoring you to ensure that you don’t go astray again.

9. Do not expose your divine secrets - Judges 16:15-21

When God gives or reveals things about our destiny, you should not go about telling people you don’t know the future God has promised you.

Samson gave his secrets of his power to Delilah and she used it against home by making him blind and that ended Samson.

10. Don't be Unequally yoked with Unbelievers

As a believer in Christ, you should not marry someone who doesn’t love God. Marriage is a union between husband and wife to become one. Unlike Samson in Judges 14:3-4, you should not marry someone who does not worship the Lord, a pagan or unbelievers. Samson’s ungodly love for Delilah who was a Philistine caused him to make lot of mistakes and he paid dearly with his life.


If we look at some of the challenges Samson faced during his lifetime and how he ended up badly, we might be tempted to say he shouldn't be given much honor compared to our men of faith who ended the journey well. But beyond all these, we should use the lessons from the life of Samson to grow as believers and live a life that would truly please our maker.

There are many more lessons to learn from the life of Samson. Have you ever studied the life and history of Samson? If yes, kindly share some lessons you learnt as well in the comments. You may also read other lessons from Bible Characters in our series here.



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