Anyone that knows the story of Samson knows that he was blessed with incredible strength. This was first revealed in the book of Judges when Samson and his parents went to Timnah to meet a girl that he wanted as his wife. In the vineyards of Timnah, he was confronted by a young lion. Judges 14:6 in the Amplified Bible describes what happened next:
And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion as he would have torn a kid, and he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo website, an average lion stands at approximately four feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh between three hundred and thirty to five hundred and fifty pounds. They “have strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth and jaws for pulling down and killing prey.” If you’ve seen a lion on television killing either an antelope or water buffalo, you know how ferocious and vicious they are in their attack. Yet Samson, a man, easily killed a lion with his bare hands.
Judges 14:19 described once again how tough and formidable Samson was by attacking the men who manipulated his wife into giving them the answer to his riddle. It states:
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Askelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle…
He killed thirty men by himself! If you think that was impressive, later on he killed a thousand men with only the jawbone of a donkey.
Samson and his parents believed that the source of his strength was his hair. He eventually shared this secret with Delilah, a woman that he loved. He did not know, however, that she was secretly working for his enemies. One night, when he was asleep, she brought a man into their room to shave Samson’s head. This allowed his enemies, the Philistines, to capture and blind him. They then placed him between two pillars inside the lords of the Philistines’ temple so their people could mock him.
Notice in the Bible that in almost every instance before he uses his strength, it says that “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him.” My interpretation of this is that his hair had little impact on his physical strength. The real source of his strength came from God.
Samson, blinded, with his hands on the pillars of the Philistine’s temple, prayed to the Lord for strength to destroy his enemies. Judges 16 says that he pushed against the pillars with his hands and asked the Lord, ‘“Let me die with the Philistines.’ And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people.” It then says that, “he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.”
Each time Samson used his enormous strength, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him. I believe that the real source of his strength was not his height, his muscle mass, what he ate, or even his hair. Even though each played a part in it, the real source of his strength came from God. It came from the Spirit; the Spirit is what gave him the ability to destroy his enemies and protect the people of Israel.