The battle lines between good and evil are blurred in the story of Samson. His life starts in impressive fashion with an announcement from the Angel of the LORD that he is to be a Nazarite from birth. The Angel instructs Samson’s parents how to prepare for their special baby.
The mother is told not to drink alcohol or to eat forbidden food (Judges 13:4, Judges 13:13-14; see also Leviticus 11). God, indeed, had special plans for Samson; unfortunately, things didn’t work out as well as they could have.
“Just as he was entering upon manhood, the time when he must execute his divine mission-the time above all others when he should have been true to God-Samson connected himself with the enemies of Israel. He did not ask whether he could better glorify God when united with the object of his choice, or whether he was placing himself in a position where he could not fulfill the purpose to be accomplished by his life. To all who seek first to honor Him, God has promised wisdom; but there is no promise to those who are bent upon self-pleasing.”-Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 563.
Samson “moved” against the Philistines in a number of ways, each in angry response to personal slights. First he killed 30 men and took their clothes back to his wedding feast to pay a debt (Judges 14:19) . Then he destroyed their crops when his wife was given to his best man (Judges 14:20, Judges 15:1-5) . Then Samson killed many in revenge for the Philistines killing his wife and her father (Judges 15:6-8) . When the Philistines tried to avenge that action (Judges 15:9-10) , he killed 1, 000 with a donkey’s jawbone (Judges 15:14-15) . Finally he pulled down their temple and killed 3, 000 for blinding him (Judges 16:21, Judges 16:28, Judges 16:30) .
Talk about a flawed hero. There seems to be very little from Samson that we should seek to emulate, even though he is listed in Hebrews 11:32 with some pretty exalted figures. Obviously, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Think about what God could have done with Samson. What about ourselves? How much more could we do were we living up to our potential?