Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Holy Spirit, Part 4

Finally our trip through Judges brings us to the person of Samson. Samson’s supernatural strength had nothing to do with the fitness of his body, but with his Nazarite vows and his faith in God. Of the latter, we know that Samson did indeed have a strong trust in the Lord despite the carnality of his lifestyle, Hebrews 11:32. Samson had the Holy Spirit come upon him “mightily” for exploits of heroism that defy human explanation, and are thusly ridiculed by humanistic, atheistic commentators.

Three times it is written that the Spirit of the Lord “came mightily” upon Samson when he was in need. It was not for the selfish purposes of Samson’s own carnal pursuits, but the use of this chosen man (whom God had chosen prior to his birth, Judges 13:3, etc) in the liberation of His people, Israel. In this case Samson walked with the Lord so long as he observed his Nazarite vows about abstaining from cutting his hair to demonstrate that he was under God’s authority. I believe this subject also sheds a little light on the topic of a woman’s submission to her parents, and later her husband, since she only leaves the authority of her parents when she marries, Genesis 2:24; 1st Corinthians 7:36-37; Ephesians 5:23-24. A woman is told to keep her long hair as a symbol that she is under authority, 1st Corinthians 11:10, 15. The Nazarite was wholly given over, sanctified, separated to the Lord; he was the Lord’s and had no authority to act on his own about certain things. The long hair of the Nazarite then simply may have been a symbol of the willing submission of a man to God for the duration of his dedication to the Lord as a Nazarite. In this case, Samson had been one from the womb, and would remain so until his death.

As previously noted, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Samson thrice in the written narrative. I say this because He may have come upon Samson more than this; but this only is written so we might know that there was far more than human agency at work in Samson. He was dedicated to the Lord, like the furniture of the tabernacle, and to that end the Holy Spirit used him for God’s glory despite, not because of, his questionable moral character. This also shows us something. When we receive the Holy Spirit we are not instantly made perfect. Some Christian sects and cults falsely teach that one cannot sin after receiving the Holy Spirit because they misapply certain verses such as “Whoever has been born of God does not sin for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God,” 1st John 3:9. Unfortunately for these teachers John already addressed the fact that saints can and do still sin, 1st John 1:8-10; 2:1. Furthermore, the context of 1st John 3:9 clearly comes from earlier passages such as 1st John 3:6: “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.” We only accomplish spiritual works, reaping spiritual fruit if we are abiding in Christ and walking in the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of abiding is the coveted goal of the saints. Adhering to God’s word and choosing to obey Him permits the Holy Spirit to work in us and accomplish His goals; for then He can likewise abide in us, John 15:4.


The Holy Spirit produces only what comes naturally from God through us when we abide in Him. In this case, He was producing in Samson the fruit of God’s holiness as He avenged His earthly people, the Jews, upon a godless nation that was sorely vexing them. “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them,” Deuteronomy 32:35.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. Ian.

    Great point about the symbolism of the long hair. That is what I Corinthians 11 was talking about, but has often been distorted.

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  2. I had troubles with that passage for a good while, and was further confused by commentators. Finally, God had mercy and explained it through intensive Scripture study. One day I was reading and meditating and He simply gave me some light. I was very grateful.

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