JUDGES 13: SAMSON AND TWO PILLARS OF PURPOSE
BORN FOR A PURPOSE
"You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines" (Judges 13:5).
Here we go once more: “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of . . .” (13:1). This is now the eighth time we’ve read this in Judges, and it’s really getting tiresome. Won’t these Israelites ever learn?! This time it’s the Philistines who rule over the Israelites, and it’s 40 years, the longest recorded oppression Israel experienced during the period of the Judges.
But this time things are different. This time, the Israelites do not cry out for God to deliver them. No recognition of their downfall. No repentance. No public acknowledgement of their need for God. They seem completely apathetic about their circumstances, as if they’ve become so accustomed to servitude that they don’t even show any desire to be delivered. Yet, once again, we see God’s grace. Even though the people have not cried out to him for deliverance, God takes it upon himself to deliver them. And, once again, we see God’s intention to keep his covenant with Abraham, that he would make a great nation of his descendants, and through them to send a Savior.
Another unique thing about this next judge is the point in his life at which God called him. Instead of raising up an adult Israelite, God decided to raise up a deliverer from before his conception in his mother’s womb. Yes, this judge was a miracle baby, given to a barren woman, whose life was destined by God to deliver the Israelites. An angel of God announced to her that her soon-to-be-born son was “set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (v. 5). His parents named him Samson, and he became the most colorful of all the judges.
NEXT STEPS: TWO PILLARS OF JUDGES 13
PILLAR ONE: It’s stunning how apathetic the Israelites were during this time—apathetic toward spiritual matters and even about their oppression. K. Lawson Younger, Jr. writes, “It’s hard to understand how a people who have experienced God’s grace and tasted the good gifts he gives can be so unresponsive, dull, and indifferent about their spiritual lives.” But, then, apathy about spiritual matters is also a massive problem in our culture today. Look around you. How sensitive to God’s calling are most of the people around you? Have we compromised with the world so much that we have become unresponsive to God’s Word, to his standards of morality, to his promises and expectations for our lives? The level of disinterest in God’s Word is disturbing. Must we “hit bottom” before we turn back to the Lord with a passionate desire to know and follow him?
PILLAR TWO: Samson was conceived and born with a distinct purpose—to “begin the deliverance of Israel.” Hundreds of years later, God did something very similar, but far more significant. He sent an angel named Gabriel to a young woman named Mary, telling her that she would miraculously conceive and give birth to a son who “will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). And, Apostle Peter says God choose Jesus before the creation of the world to save us (1 Peter 1:20). God chose Jesus to fulfil his divine purpose to die for our sin so that we might be delivered from bondage to sin and receive eternal life.
God of heaven, it's both a scary and a reassuring thing to believe that I was born for a purpose. It's scary because I am not always sure I know what that purpose is, and because I realize I may not be living up to it as you want me to. It's reassuring because it let's me know my life is important and has meaning and direction. Show me each day what my purpose is, and help me fully live into it. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
Dr. Dan Dozier
Dan Dozier preaches for the Rural Hill Church of Christ in Antioch, TN. Dr. Dozier holds degrees from Lipscomb University, Harding School of Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate from Abilene Christian University. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, JaneLee, since 1972. They have three married children and eight grandchildren.
Greg’s sermon in Judges 13-16 entitled, Stickman Theology, presented us two characters; Stickman and Strongman. It gives us a picture of a man, Samson, dedicated to God before birth and appointed to be a deliverer if Israel. One of whom we would expect a godly life. Instead we see a man deeply flawed.
Was Samson a Stickman or Strongman?
Which of these characters represents your idea of spiritual maturity? Why?
What are some characteristics of a Strongman?
How does our culture promote the “Samson Theology”?
How does reliance on ourselves hinder our relationship with God?
What are some characteristics of a Stickman?
What are some actions we can take today to be a Stick Person?
Who are examples of Stick People in the Bible?
Do I depend on the Armor of God to keep me secure in my relationship with Christ? If not, what can I do to change?