Christian Churches of God
Samson and the Judges
(Edition 1.2 19941022-19990523)
This story has some interesting and surprising lessons for today in our understanding of the activities of Messiah and of the Church.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994, 1998, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary Ed. Wade Cox)
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Samson and the Judges
The activities and evils of Israel under the Judges were to eventuate in the raising of Samson as Judge of Israel, from the tribe of Dan. After entry into Canaan, the Israelites served the Lord all the days of Joshua (salvation) son of Nun (endurance) – i.e. salvation comes from endurance, from him who led them. When all the elders of the era of Joshua died, Israel did evil, and served the Balaam or the other Lords. (Judg. 2:7-11)
This became the characteristic of Israel under its own rule. When God became angry and subjected Israel to spoilers and plunderers, the Israelites cried to the Lord for relief.
With this continual pattern, God raised many Judges to bring Israel out of many captivities, only to have them relapse into gross idolatry.
God tested them by not driving out the native peoples before them, to see whether they would walk in His way. Today, we are tested by the nations and peoples we interact with. Likewise, apostasy is allowed to remain in the Churches of God today, to draw out those who see the lies handed to them, and to take a stance for the truth of God. This requires separation from that Church organization.
Thus Judges were raised and died, and Israel reverted to her own ways. However, there are seven instances during these years, when God deliberately set Israel free, by use of seemingly very weak instruments – thus demonstrating His power (1Cor. 1:27, 2Cor. 12:9).
The left hand (Judg. 3:21)
The ox goad (Judg. 3:31)
A woman (Judg. 4:4)
A nail (Judg. 4:21)
A piece of a millstone (Judg. 9:53)
Pitchers and trumpets (Judg. 7:20)
The jawbone of an ass (Judg. 15:16)
It is interesting that God chose Judges for Israel from different tribes, and with different authority from the previous judge. Never did the son of a judge succeed for good purpose, or with the authority of God.
The story of Abimelich, who murdered his 70 brothers and seized the kingship, has a very powerful spiritual significance. His skull was broken by a piece of millstone thrown by a woman, he begged his armour bearer to kill him. He did not want it said that he had been killed by a woman. This is symbolic of the Host where Satan, who makes war on the 70 of the celestial Host, is overcome by the woman that is the Church. (Gen. 3:15) – the seed of the woman bruises the head of the serpent.
Jephthah, another judge, made a very foolish vow to God. There is still controversy as to whether it was carried out or not – but the point is that no person in Israel is bound by a vow, which breaches God’s law.
After many generations of this collapse/restitution sequence, the Lord delivered Israel into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years (Judg. 13:1).
The Angel of the LORD informed Manoah of the tribe of Dan and his wife, that they would have a child who would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines. Thus the deliverance was ordained by the Angel of YHVH who is identified as Christ.
Samson was set aside under the Nazarite law before birth as being holy to the Lord. This mirrors the predestination of the elect from the foundation of the world.
In Genesis 49:16 the inheritance of Dan was to judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel, and so Samson became the first of the Judges from Dan.
The vow of a Nazarite was the only means of becoming close to God, without the indwelling Holy Spirit. After Messiah, the vow was no longer necessary, as the Holy Spirit is available to the elect, and direct contact made with God.
Samson’s education was also under direction (Judg. 13:8-18). In verse 18 the LORD says that His name is Wonderful (SHD 6383) which is also his name from Isaiah 9:6.
So Samson was born and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir in him. (Judg. 13:19-25). Samson’s long hair was the physical symbol, given as a manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit within him.
Samson desires a Timnite (Gentile) girl and her father gives her to him. This is representative of God choosing the members who make up the bride of Christ. He selects and gives them to Christ (Jn. 6:44). This marriage of Samson’s was allowed within the plan by the Lord, for the saving of Israel from the Philistines (Judg. 14: 1-4)
During the marriage festivities Samson poses a riddle to the thirty companions, with specific gifts for them if they can answer. But his wife betrays him. So Samson takes revenge, kills another 30, and strips them of their robes, which he gives to the others. The garments of the 30 relate to the gifts of God, which cannot be obtained under duress. By the deceit the 30 obtained the correct, and 30 of their own people were slain.
Samson went home angry and his bride was given to the best man, under Gentile Laws. These laws were instituted by the fallen host, in replacement of God’s Laws. Thus the traditions of the Gentiles interfere with the calling of the elect, and the bride lost her position as first wife.
Later Samson returned for his wife, only to be told she had been passed to another. In his anger, he caught 300 foxes, and by using them as burning torches he destroyed the grain in the fields and olive trees of the Gentiles. But in revenge, the Gentiles then burnt the girl and her father and the household.
The symbolism is, the false systems of the Gentiles are overthrown by the Holy Spirit in the hands of the Judges, but the bride of Christ suffers persecution and violence.
This is akin to Gideon’s 300 men with lights who confounded the enemy (Judges chapter 7). The symbolism is to show that in the last days there will be a small force, who will illuminate the earth with God’s truth, and so destroy the Satanic system.
Then the Philistines attacked Judah (Judg. 15:9-13), and Judah makes a deal to hand over Samson to them. This is the picture we see when the Jews hand Christ over to the Romans for crucifixion.
Anyway, Samson breaks free with the mighty help of the LORD, and despatches 1000 Philistines with the fresh jawbone of an ass. (Judg. 15:14-17). So is borne out the words of Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts.
In Judges 15:18-20, Samson is very thirsty and God opens the rock and water pours forth. This is a replication of Moses’ activity, and thus we see the activity of Messiah making available the fountain of living waters, from the rock, which is God.
In Judges 16:1-3 we again see Samson using the power he has been given due to his preparation from birth as a Nazarite. Christ can work better with a clean mind and a willing heart, which we possess after repentance and conversion.
The well-known, but little understood story of Samson and Delilah ensues from Judges 16:4-20. Samson escapes from each situation – each one being harder than the one before. He begins to think that it is his own strength that saves him. Alas! The last sentence of verse 20 is so sad and poignant – "And he did not know that the LORD had left him". Everyone should examine his own spirituality with this echoing in his ears, as it is a very frightening state to be in.
The Gentiles took the power of the Judge, the embodiment of the Holy Spirit. They blinded him, as was done to Judah and the majority of Israel. The beast power is an extension of this process.
Samson is brought to blindness and humiliation by the Gentiles who mock and scorn him in their temple of Dagon. But his hair has grown, and he calls to God and so it all ends in great triumph over the god of the Philistines, but at the cost of his own life.
The story of Samson in the temple of Dagon is actually the story of the last era of the Church. The Laodicean era who are poor, pitiable, blind and naked, is mocked by the Gentiles, but out of that weak apostate system come chosen ones, who by the power of God in the Holy Spirit, will bring down the Satanic system which rules this earth. The apostate priesthood will be replaced by Messiah’s new Temple at Jerusalem, ruling under and enforcing the Law of God the Father.