4 Incredible Messages in the Story of SAMSON
By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
The new movie SAMSON, which is being released in theaters from Pure Flix Entertainment follows the Biblical story of Samson as told in Judges 13-16 in the Bible. Set not too long before the time of King David, the Hebrews in Israel are under the rule of the wicked and ruthless Philistines. Through a man named Samson, who was given supernatural strength from God, the Israelites will be saved from the oppression of the Philistines. However, Samson’s journey leading to their eventual freedom is anything but pretty, and there’s a lot that Christians can learn from Samson’s messy life.
- Following your heart often means following your flesh, which is a bad idea.
Samson’s weakness as told in the Bible, and as shown in the movie SAMSON is clearly women. First, he fell for the Philistine women from Timnah whom he married, but she was manipulated by the Philistines so that they could gain power over Samson and was eventually murdered by them. Samson years later fell for another Philistine woman, Delilah, who would seduce him and get Samson to reveal the secret to his strength, which was the Nazarene vow he made to never drink wine or cut his hair. For a man who was so strong he could kill 1000 soldiers with a donkey’s jawbone, or fight a lion, it’s amazing that Samson did not have enough strength and willpower to fight against the temptation of lust. In a culture that constantly tells us to follow our hearts, and to be “true to ourselves”, Samson’s life actually reveals the importance to practice self-control against the desires of the flesh. In the end, following our heart always causes more pain and heartache than instead of simply following God.
2. True strength derives from God.
Poignantly shown in SAMSON, even though God commanded Samson to abstain from wine and to never cut his hair, the source of his strength ultimately came from God. Even in his final moments, blinded and without his long hair, Samson cried out to God saying, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once.” God heard Samson’s cry, and strengthened him to make one final blow against the Philistines. True strength of will and character doesn’t come through magical thinking or from the newest self-help book, it comes from the one true God. We simply need to humbly ask God for it.
3. God works through flawed leaders.
Samson is a messy, complex person. He has sinful tendencies that get him into trouble, and he clearly has a bit of a temper. Nonetheless, God graciously works through Samson to lead his people out of the Philistines rule. God could’ve raised up a much more righteous leader with less flaws to save his people, yet he doesn’t. He picks a complicated, easily manipulated man whom he gives strength and courage to do great things. We see this throughout the Bible. People like Moses, King David and the Apostle Paul, all broken and sinful individuals whom God redeems and empowers. Does God’s overarching plan to save Israel through Samson excuse some of his sinful actions? Of course not. But, it can remind us to be mindful of what God may doing through flawed people right now in our world, whether it be ourselves, or cultural/political/religious leaders we see.
4. God keeps his promises.
When Samson was born, God promised that he would set in motion events that would free Israel. It wasn’t in Samson’s timing, and it wasn’t in his parents’ timing, but God kept his promise. Even when things got extremely dire for the Israelites and for Samson and all hope seemed lost, God was present, ready for Samson to cry out for help and deliverance.
Check back for a full review of the movie SAMSON, in theaters February 16, 2018.