In the popular Faith’s Hall of Fame found in Hebrews 11, there’s a surprising entrant that seemed kind of out of place.
For years, I battled with the idea of Samson being counted as one of the heroes of faith.
Seriously, it didn’t make any sense to my little church mind.
Religion had taught me that Samson was a moral and character failure that had a lot of biceps, but very little brains.
But, I believe that Samson’s name wouldn’t have occured in Hebrews 11, if he didn’t have a particular trait of faith that the Holy Spirit wanted to pass across to us.
However, I’ve found some interesting answers that I’d share shortly.
First of all, I don’t believe that Samson was a physically imposing figure.
But what of the comics?
For once, forget the comics and movies depicting Samson as a muscular guy with bulging biceps and a 6-pack abs.
Astonishing, right? Stay with me…
You see, when it comes to describing the physical attributes of individuals, the Bible is quite explicit about it.
For example, Saul was a head and shoulder taller than all the Israelites of his day (1 Samuel 10:23); while Zacchaeus was extremely short (Luke 19:3); and 2 Samuel 23:20 refers to the two lionlike men of Moab. By the way, Vashti (Esther 1:11) and Rachel (Genesis 29:17) were very, very, very beautiful.
My point is this: If Samson had been a muscular specimen of a man, the Bible would have mentioned it!
And since the Bible was silent about Samson’s physical attributes, it’s safe to say that he was a very ordinary-looking guy. The Bible was also silent about Jesus’ physical looks…but that’s a matter for another day.
It’s important that we understand this, because it’s key to our understanding how Samson could be an example of faith to us.
Now, Judges 13 tells us the story of the circumstances surrounding Samson’s birth. His parents had received the revelation from the angel of the Lord, and they were given specific instructions on how he would be brought up as a Nazarene because he would be used to deliver their nation from their enemies.
Again, Samson was not yet born when the angel visited his parents with God’s Word about his life and destiny as a deliverer. Yet, Samson could walk in supernatural strength for one single reason.
His parents told him about God’s Word concerning his destiny!
Of course, his parents told him, what’s the big deal?
Well, Romans 10:17 tells us the implication of that truth,
‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’
That’s what made Samson a man of faith.
Samson had no physical sign that could indicate to him that he was going to be a great deliverer filled with supernatural strength. He had no angel appear to him, neither did he see a glory cloud or feel a goose bump…
All that Samson had was the Word from the angel of the Lord that his Mama had told him!
It was that Word that was manifested when Samson tore a lion like a baby goat (Judges 14:6).
That same Word caused Samson to tear out the gates of Gaza (Judges 16:3).
That same Word provided the wisdom that Samson used in catching 300 foxes, pairing them by their tails and putting a burning stick between the tails (Judges 15:4).
That Word came to Samson by hearing God’s Word about him, as his parents told him!
Samson was able to look at things that were not seen with the eyes of faith – created by the Word. He was able to call things that are not as though they were, because somehow, Samson got to know that he did not need to see large biceps and triceps, complete with well-developed pects and 6-pack abs to match, before God could use him mightily.
Samson didn’t need any of this. His parents had told him that he would be the deliverer of Israel. Samson believed, and the Spirit of God could move him as He willed.
Friend, Samson may not have been an epitome of excellence when it came to moral matters. But, in terms of having a crazy faith in God’s Word concerning his life, very few can trump Samson’s attitude.
Has God spoken His Mind concerning your destiny? Emulate Samson – a man of faith!