By Jacob Toman
These will be our last two weeks in Judges. We’ve seen the lives of 5 previous major judges; now we see the life of the final and perhaps most famous judge in the entire book: Samson. Many have heard of Samson in wider cultural references, as he, in many ways, fits the stereotypes of the tragic Hero.
Read Judges 13:1-25...
How long have the Israelites been oppressed at the time of Samson’s birth? (Hint: See 13:1)
What other biblical births does Samson remind you of?
What are the attributes of Samson as a leader? Is he a strong relational political thinker? Is he a warlord? Is he of noble birth?
Read Judges 14:1-20...
Who does Samson desire for his wife? (Hint: See 14:2)
Where are Samson’s wife’s loyalties? (Hint: See 14:15)
How does Samson speak to those he’s in relationship with? Would you describe him as a patient listener? How would you describe his manners of speaking?
How does Samson overcome his enemies? (Hint: See 14:19)
Read Judges 15:1-20...
On whose authority is Samson acting in this chapter? (Hint: See 15: 3)
Why are the Philistines angry with Samson? Why is Samson angry with the Philistines?
Who in this chapter does Samson feel betrayed by? (Hint: See 15:1-2, 11-12, 18)
Samson often finds himself embroiled in heated moments of life or death peril. Despite all his individual abilities, he keeps finding himself surrounded by foes. In our own lives, are we seeking to avoid the obstacles, challenges, and trials by which God is growing us? Do we see our various obstacles, challenges, and trials as moments when we can uniquely focus our faith and dependence on the Lord? What are the trials surrounding you in your life? Finances? Health? Relationships? Loneliness? Purpose? Are these things you are trying to avoid or escape from?
Samson’s failures are often a result of his determination to follow his own desires, rather than depend on the Lord. Samson’s successes are the result of the Lord’s determination to love his people.
Consider if, in your trials today, you are following your own determination, or depending on the Lord for his strength.