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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Samson’s Strength

long-haired warrior with sword and shield
Author Biography

    Lina's worked in CBN's Prayer Center since 2009. She's a mother and grandmother whose favorite Scripture is Zephaniah 3:17. She says CBN is like a second family to her.

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Lina Johnson - Prayer Center Coach

Many are familiar Samson and Delilah's story, but was it really Samson’s hair that made him strong?

Samson’s birth was foretold in Judges 13:2-7 (NLT).

In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. The angel of the LORD appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.”

What is a Nazarite? Numbers 6:2-8 tells us that it is an individual who makes a vow, wishing to be set apart for God’s purposes. The Nazirite vow had three stipulations:

  • do not eat or drink anything from the vine (wine, grape juice, raisins, etc.)
  • do not touch a dead or nearly dead body
  • do not cut your hair for the duration of the vow period.

When the vow period was ended, the person would cut their hair as a sacrifice to God.

Samson was one of only three people in the Bible who was under this Nazirite vow from birth. (The other two are Samuel and John the Baptist.) In all three cases, their parents entered into this vow on their behalf.

Samson was, because of the Nazirite vow, set apart for God’s work for his whole life. He was to follow these rules. However, we know that he did not. We know he drank wine, and he ate honey out of a dead lion’s carcass. He also used a jawbone of a donkey to fight against the Philistines. He was not to touch the dead, yet nothing happened when he did. He even boasted of what he had done.

Then Delilah comes into the story. When Samson finally confesses that he is living under this Nazirite vow, and that his hair is not to be cut, Delilah acts quickly. While he sleeps, she calls for his head to be shaved. Samson awoke believing he was still strong, but the Lord had left him. The vow had been broken with the cutting of his hair. The supernatural strength of God had left him.

Samson did not give God the credit for his strength. Pride led to his downfall, but the story does not end there. Time passes and Samson’s hair grew. More importantly, so did his faith. In Judges 16:28 we see Samson’s new reliance on God.

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” 

In this prayer, Samson acknowledges that the Lord is his source of strength. His hair was just a symbol of his dedication to the Lord. God allowed Samson to enter into this Nazirite vow once more, and thus regain the supernatural strength of God for the purpose of doing God’s will.

Just like Samson, we must be careful to keep ourselves set apart for God’s use.

How careful we must be with our gifts from the Lord! Let us always give God the glory for what He does through us.

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