So often when we read the Scriptures we have a preconceived notion about things. One of those ideas, at least for me, revolves around the man Samson. When our children were young they had among their toys a “Samson” figure. Bulging muscles (step aside, Arnold!) and hair down to the middle of his back. Right on! Correct? Not exactly.

We know that Samson was a Nazirite unto God, and part of that vow was that no razor was to come upon his head. (I wonder if he would not be allowed church membership for that today.) He was to be separated unto God until the day of his death. Interestingly, the Visitor who appeared to Samson’s mom and dad with further instructions about their son was One called Wonderful.

Samson, whose name means strong, was born, grew, and began to “move in the Spirit of God”. We find our “hero” doing amazing feats of physical strength – killing a young lion bare-handed; killing thirty men in Ashkelon; catching 300 foxes for a little “light show”; slaying 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass; carrying the city gates of Gaza to the top of a hill near Hebron, a 40-mile “hike”! Now, did he do these things with those “bulging muscles”? No. Do you know where Samson’s strength came from? Not his muscles, but his consecration unto God was the source of his strength.

Note too that this man, though physically strong, was at times morally weak because of his fleshly appetite for women. Among these women was one called Delilah, or “dainty one”. She wore Samson down to the point of loving her more than God and, in doing so, he lost his strength. Samson, unaware of his drifting heart, knew not that the Lord had departed from him, and lost his ability to see things clearly.

Sin weakens and clouds our perception. The result? Grinding in prison. Remember, only in Christ do we find strength. In the flesh it’s a prison grind. Of course a “spirit-filled” man in prison is an evangelist! A lust-filled person, though, is imprisoned – grinding through life.

Samson, of course, renewed his vow to God and ended his ministry dying in the enemy’s camp. The moral of the story? We are only strong when we are in the Lord positionally and practically. Let’s stay there.