The story of Samson is well known. But did you know how it started? Judges 13 says an angel appeared to his mother and told her she would have a special son. When she told her husband he prayed, “O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born” (Judges 13:8). He believed God’s promise, took it seriously and asked for wisdom to be a responsible parent.
Samson’s impulsiveness created difficulties for him and his parents. It was hard for Samson to manage his dependence on God and his special call. He started to compromise and then became careless. Whenever he did great exploits for God it was done in the Holy Spirit’s power. Yet he forgot to acknowledge this to himself and others.
Before long he played with his special secret of strength: his long, uncut hair. When he finally shared his secret with Delilah she passed it on to the enemy, who captured him and cut off his hair. He thought he could overpower them as before, but “he did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges ). The Philistines made a spectacle of him.
Slowly his hair grew back. He returned to what he was taught by his parents. He prayed for strength to destroy the enemy. At a large gathering in the temple of their god, Dagon, Samson pushed the two main supporting pillars apart. As the temple fell it killed everyone inside.
Samson’s life illustrates Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”