TEXT: Judges 16
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). With all of Samson’s strength, he thinks he is in control, taking God’s gifts and God’s covenant for granted. Pride will be his downfall. But God’s plan to free His people will not fail.
1. God’s Servant is Blinded by Pride (16:4-22)
Because of his past victories and gift of strength, Samson thought nothing could happen to him. Like a moth to a flame, Samson is drawn to Delilah, who seduces Samson to reveal the secret of his strength. Once his hair is cut, the Lord departs from him, and he is captured and blinded by the Philistines.
Big sins start as small compromises. And little by little, a heart that goes unchecked leads to sin that goes unconfessed. Our discernment dulls. Our conscience is hardened. And before we know it, destruction is at our door.
2. God’s Name is Avenged (16:23-31)
To the Philistines, capturing Samson wasn’t just victory over a man. To them, it was victory over Israel’s God. And God is not going to let His name be dishonored forever. For only the second time, Samson prays. He asks for God to grant him one more moment of strength. With it, Samson causes the idol temple to collapse, killing more Philistines in his death than in his life. While this seems to be a sad ending to our story, we must remember that Samson was born for this reason – to be God’s instrument of judgment on the wicked enemies of Israel. In the end, that’s exactly what God accomplished.
However, Samson’s life and death are not to be our focus. We are meant to remember One greater than Samson. We are meant to see Jesus, who like Samson was betrayed for money by someone He trusted, was handed over to Israel’s oppressors, tortured and mocked publicly, abandoned by his own people, died with his arms outstretched, and accomplished a great victory in His death.
But in every way, Jesus is greater:
● Samson’s pride led him to trust Delilah. In humility Jesus served even those who would betray Him.
● Samson was captured and bound because he rejected God’s rule and authority in his own life. Jesus was arrested and killed because He surrendered his life, perfectly following the will of the
● Samson’s victory in death was over a physical enemy. Jesus’ victory in death was over a much
greater enemy – over Satan and our sin.
● Samson’s victory was only partial and temporary. Jesus’ victory is complete and it’s eternal.
● In Samson’s death, he killed his enemies. In Jesus’ death, His enemies were saved.*
*Parts of this list are inspired by or quoted from Tim Keller, Judges for You (p. 162-65)