Six tips for young people from Christian families | Portrait of Samson | Judges 13-16

Now I’m studying Samson’s life. He was born into a God-fearing family that knew God’s Word from infancy. Samson became a judge in Israel at a time when the people were under Philistine rule. Samson’s birth was announced by an angel, and he was to deliver his people from the hand of the enemy. Samson was set aside for God and was to be a Nazarene all his life. I would like to summarize six mistakes in the life of young Samson from which I hope young people will learn who were raised, as young children, in the Word of God, but also all other young people.

1. Don’t look for non-Christian girls

In Judges 14 we read how Samson fell in love with a woman of the daughters of the Philistines, whom he then married.

Then Samson went down to Timnah, and he saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. (Judges 14:1, NASB)

According to the Law, the people of Israel were not allowed to marry Gentiles, because the Gentiles would drive them away from the Lord and drag them into idolatry.

Otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they would prostitute themselves with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might prostitute themselves with their gods and cause your sons also to prostitute themselves with their gods. (Exodus 34:15-16, NASB)

In Judges 14 4 we read that “his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord.” At first glance, this seems to be a contradiction between this verse and the one above, but the second part of the verse explains why “this thing came from the Lord”: “For Samson sought an occasion for the Philistines to contend with them.” If you notice, Samson was always driven by personal distress, but the Lord used his weaknesses to carry out His plan.

It is the Lord’s will for you to seek a righteous Christian wife who loves God and not one from the world. The Apostle Paul writes to the believers in Corinth:

Do not be mismatched with unbelievers; for what do righteousness and lawlessness share together, or what does light have in common with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14, NASB)

2. Don’t be stubborn in your relationship with your parents

Samson asked his parents to marry the Philistine woman. His parents knew that God would not allow this, and they tried to stop him, but Samson stubbornly disobeyed them.

But his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” Yet Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she is right for me.” (Judges 14:3, NASB)

Many young people in Christian families believe that they are independent and make decisions on their own, without consulting their parents or pastors. Do you hear what Samson’s reason was for choosing that woman? “Because she is right for me.” Boys are often attracted to the outward beauty of girls, regardless of their relationship with God.

My dear, don’t look at your parents as enemies. Through their advice, they wish you well because they love you.

3 Do not play with sin

Samson lived an immoral life. He first married a Philistine woman. Later, we read about him having sex with a whore. “Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute there, and had relations with her.(Judges 16:1) Even then, he did not stop sinning, and he found another woman named Delilah. “After this it came about that he was in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.(Judges 16:4, NASB) 

Besides, Samson broke his Nazarite vow. When he was in Timnah we read about him:

And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, so that he tore it apart as one tears apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done… When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. So he took out the honey on his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had took the honey out of the body of the lion.’’ (Judges 14:6,8-9, NASB)

According to the law for a Nazarite, he had no right to touch death. Do you think he didn’t know about this? He certainly knew, but he ignored God’s Word. Self-confidence prevented him from fulfilling the Lord’s command.

His immoral life brought Samson to a tragic end. His enemies took out both of his eyes and God turned away from Him. Maybe you are now playing with sin and you think you will not reap consequences. You will definitely reap them. Remember that God is not just love, He is a consuming and judging fire and urges you to repent.

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. (Ecclesiastes 11:9, NASB)

4. Don’t waste your youth on useless things

In the passage above, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson not to tear the animals apart, but to fight the Philistines. Samson was then in enemy territory, and that was his mission from God. You are young and have a lot of energy. What are you doing with it? Where do you direct the powers of your youth? In God’s work or in vain things? Do you spend time in front of games on the phone and have fun on social networks? Or do you engage in the study of God’s Word among believers?

In Judges 14:10-20 we read how Samson made a feast, to which he invited young Philistines. At this feast he told them a riddle, making a bet with them. I wonder what he was doing in the midst of these young people and what were these pastimes about? Samson took part in worthless things. Don’t be a young man with worthless habits. God has a beautiful plan for your life and He wants you to discipline yourself in knowing Him. Choose faithful friends. The Bible says that bad companionship spoils good habits.

5. Do not let yourself be overcome by anger and do not take revenge

Samson’s whole life was a manifestation of his frustrations. All his vengeance on the Philistines came from personal troubles. After a conflict with his father-in-law, Samson went and burned the Philistine granaries. After this he mercilessly beat the Philistines who killed his father-in-law and his wife. Later, he kills a thousand people because they tried to tie him up. It is true that he was to deliver his people from the Philistines, but his motivation was not to do God’s will by God’s chosen methods, but he was moved by his own ambitions.

How do you react when someone hurts or upsets you? Do you explode, do you take revenge, or do you know how to control your emotions? Don’t take revenge on people. The Bible teaches us not to take revenge ourselves, but to give all judgment into God’s hands.

Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19, NASB)

6. Glorify God with your life!

In Judges 16 Samson crosses the red line. He reveals to Delilah the secret of his power and this woman, using his weakness, betrayed him and handed him over to the Philistines. In fact, she didn’t even love him. She was a cunning and opportunistic woman. Playing with sin blinded Samson and led him to defeat. He thought he was in control of the situation, but in reality sin had enslaved him. The Philistines stripped him of his power and took out both his eyes.

We read how the Philistine rulers gathered to sacrifice to their god Dagon, and in the midst of their joy, they summoned Samson from the dungeon and he played before them. What a tragic end for this young man, who missed his calling. When they laughed at him, they actually laughed and mocked Samson’s God.

It is good to learn a lesson from this and to understand that through our behavior we either bring glory to God or shame. Samson brought shame to both God and his parents who raised him and taught him the Word. May God help you to be a young man who glorifies God through your behavior and to be a role model for other young people.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:12, NASB)

Translated by Ina Croitoru