The Bible in Art: Samson

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Verses for Consideration: Judges 14:1-9

1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”

3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.

8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. 9 He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.


Samson married a non-Jewish woman. That was contrary to God’s command: “When the LORD your God brings you into the land . . . and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you . . . do not intermarry with them . . . for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD ‘s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you” (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). Nevertheless, the Lord used Samson’s poor decision to put him in a situation in which he would carry out God’s judgment against Israel’s enemies.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God promises, “I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He spoke those words at one of the darkest times in Israel’s history, a time when his people were reaping the bitter harvest of spiritual unfaithfulness. We can expect God to deal with us in the same way-even though our sins are many in number.

In Romans chapter 8 Paul explains, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” He says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Of course God is for us. He loves us so much that he punished Jesus for all our sins. So Paul continues, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (verses 28,31,32).

Our Savior is the guarantee that “The LORD ‘s . . . compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22). By living and dying for us, Jesus assures us that God uses all the circumstances of our lives to help us and to benefit others. No wonder the Bible urges us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the forgiveness of sins you have given through Jesus. Thank you also for working in all things for my good. Amen.


Title: The Blinding of Samson(1636)

Artist: Rembrandt