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March 20 Today’s Reading: — Judges 16-18
“Let me die with the Philistines.”
As Samson cried unto the Lord God, “Let me die with the Philistines,” and bowed himself into death with all his might, our Lord Jesus Christ died for his enemies and with his enemies, bowing himself into death under the wrath of God with all his might. As one of Israel’s judges, one of those raised up by God to save Israel from her enemies, Samson is set before us in these three chapters of Inspiration as a vivid type and picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. His name, “Samson,” means “sunshine”, or “shining sun,” and our Lord Jesus Christ is “the Sun of Righteousness.” Samson loved a woman “in the valley of Sorek.” “Sorek” means, “a vine” or “redness,” as in red wine. And our dear Savior loved a woman, the Church of God’s elect, he calls his vine, his fruitful vine, in the red earth, a woman washed in the fountain of his red blood. The woman’s name was “Delilah.” She is a vivid representation of us. Her name means, “languishing, feeble, oppressed, low, emptied, failing, impoverished, thin, wasted.” Well might I be called “Delilah!”
Everything about Samson’s birth, his life, and his death was intimately connected with three things: a promise, a sacrifice, and a name.
1st Samson was born, lived, and died according to the merciful promise and purpose of God to save his people (Judges 13:5). So it was with our Lord Jesus Christ. He came into this world on an errand of mercy to save his people, because God promised eternal life to his elect before the world began (2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:2).
2nd Everything about this man was related to and for the glory of the name (Wonderful), by which the Angel of the Lord revealed himself to Manoah and his wife (Judges 13:18). Everything is designed to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Samson, whose name is Wonderful. Most particularly, the work of redemption and salvation is to the praise, honor, and glory of his wonderful name (Revelation 4 and 5).
3rd Everything Samson was and did for Israel was connected with, arose from, and pointed to a sacrifice (Judges 13:19-21). The offering Manoah made, the slain lamb, is a picture of Christ the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for us. Once the sacrifice was made to the Lord, “the Angel did wondrously.” — Once justice was satisfied by the precious blood of the Son of God, our crucified Savior did a wondrous thing. He was resurrected from the grave. Next, we are told that the Angel of the Lord “ascended in the flame of the altar.” Even so, our great Savior ascended up into heaven, obtained eternal redemption for us, and took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high by the merit of his sacrifice “in the flame of the altar!”
When the Angel of the Lord announced Samson’s birth, he declared that this great deliverer would come into the world with a special commission from the Lord (Judges 13:5). In that commission, he was also typical of Christ. — “He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” Just as Samson came to deliver Israel from the Philistines, the Son of God came into this world to save his Israel from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
Samson was also typical of the Lord Jesus in his consecration to God from his mother’s womb, as a Nazarite (Judges 13:5-7). As such, he was typical of him of whom all Nazarites and the law of the Nazarite (Numbers 6) spoke. — “Jesus the Nazarene!” Samson’s strength, like our Savior’s strength as a man, was his consecration to God. What a lesson there is for us in this. Children of God, here is your strength in this world, consecration to God our Savior. Let us be true Nazarites to God.
Samson was also a beautiful, clear, blessed picture of our dear Savior in his choices, particularly his choices in the women he loved. This otherwise great man seemed to have an insatiable love for harlots. In Samson’s case, his choice of harlots was a terrible evil, just as was his choice of a Philistine (Gentile) woman. Both were forbidden by God’s holy law. Yet, even in this, perhaps most in this, he was a type of our blessed Savior. I do not see why anyone who knows the grace of God would object to that, but many do. The Scriptures tell us plainly that this, too, was of the Lord (Judges 14:1-4). When the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to get a bride for himself, he chose publicans, Gentiles, harlots, and sinners as the objects of his love and grace.
As Samson rent a lion as a young kid, with nothing but his bare hands, so the Lord Jesus has crushed the serpent’s head and destroyed forever our accuser, who is as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. When he comes again to take his bride home, our mighty Samson will eat honey out of this lion’s carcass, and will give honey to his Father as well! Like Samson, our great Redeemer voluntarily laid down his life for us and thereby destroyed forever all those who would destroy us: sin, Satan, death, hell, and the grave.
O Lord Jesus, may your sovereign word be like Samson’s mighty arms, pulling down all the strong holds of sin and Satan. Let that cursed foe be beheld by your people, falling as lightning from heaven. Let every false god and every false way be cast down and the ruin of antichrist be brought to pass. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”