Sermon #1319 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: SAMSON AND ME
A Picture of Christ
Text: Judges 14:1
Reading: Judges 13:1-25
Subject: Samson as a Type of Christ
Date: Sunday Morning - March 29, 1998
Tape # U-59b
I hardly know where to begin this morning. If I had a couple of hours to preach, I would like to simply begin in Judges 13, read through chapter sixteen, and preach the whole life of this great man, Samson, who is named by God the Holy Spirit as one of the great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. But, you will be relieved to know, I do not plan to preach for two hours. So that is out of the question.
Without question, Samson was a man of remarkable faith, remarkable strength, and remarkable weaknesses. As such he stands as a vivid example of believers in this world. When preachers preach about him and Sunday School teachers teach about him, he is held up as an example of what we ought not be and do. We have all heard sermons from Judges 16 about “The Binding, Blinding, Grinding Power of Sin”. Such sermons are certainly proper, legitimate uses of Samson’s life story. But I am convinced that there is much more to be found in this story.
I want to preach to you about Samson as a type and picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. That statement in itself will be shocking to some. I recognize that this man was not a perfect type of Christ, any more than the paschal lamb was; but he does stand before us in the Word of God as a very vivid type of our great Savior. The title of my message is SAMSON AND ME. We will begin in Judges 14:1.
Proposition: In his birth, in his life, and in his death, Samson portrayed our Lord Jesus Christ in many ways.
Divisions: Stay with me, here in Judges 13-16. I want to show you an obvious fivefold comparison of Samson and the Lord Jesus Christ, our great Savior. Samson was a type and picture of Christ in…
1. His Coming.
2. His Commission.
3. His Consecration.
4. His Choices.
5. His Conquests.
I. HIS COMING
Many things about Samson’s birth, his coming into this world, show him to be a type of our Lord Jesus Christ in his birth.
In chapter thirteen, we read how that “the Angel of the Lord” appeared to Manoah and his wife. This “Angel” who appeared in the form of a man, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself, in one of his special, pre-incarnate appearances. It was Christ himself who graciously appeared to Manoah and his wife and promised that Samson would be born to this barren woman.
A. Like our Savior’s, Samson’s birth was miraculous.
1. His mother was barren.
2. He was the special gift of God.
3. His birth was accomplished by divine intervention.
B. Samson’s birth was also foretold by an Angel of the Lord.
Just as the angel came to Mary first and then to her husband Joseph, so here the Angel of the Lord came first to Manoah’s wife and then to him.
C. Everything about Samson, everything about his birth, his life, and his death, was intimately connected with three things.
If you miss everything else I say in this message, be sure you do not miss this. Everything about Samson, and everything about Christ was intimately connected with a promise, a sacrifice, and a name.
1. Samson was born, lived and died according to the merciful promise and purpose of God to save his people (Jud. 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 Tim. 1:1; Tit. 1:2).
2. Everything about this man was related to and for the glory of the name by which the Angel of the Lord revealed himself to Manoah and his wife (Jud. 13:18).
If you look in the margin reference of your Bible, you will notice that the word “secret” here is really “WONDERFUL”.
You know whose name that is. It belongs to our Savior (Isa. 9:6), for whom and by whom all things are. 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 (Rev. 4 and 5).
It is his name which is the name of salvation (Acts 4:12). It is in his name that we are accepted of God and forgiven (Eph. 4:32).
3. Everything Samson was and did for Israel was connected with, arose from, and pointed to a sacrifice (Jud. 13:19-21).
There is no difficulty determining what this refers to. It speaks of the great, sin-atoning sacrifice of our Samson, our all-glorious Christ, when he laid down his life for us at Calvary.
a. The offering Manoah made, the slain lamb, is a picture of Christ, the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for us.
b. 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.
c. 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”!
II. HIS COMMISSION
When the Angel of the LORD announced the birth of Samson, he also declared that this great deliverer would come into the world with a special commission from the Lord (Jud. 13:5). In that commission, he was also typical of Christ.
Look at the last sentence of verse five in this thirteenth chapter. “He shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
You know the parallel text in the New Testament. You can all quote it, I am sure. The Angel who announced the coming of our great Redeemer said almost the very same thing in Matthew 1:21. Just as Samson came to deliver Israel from the Philistines, the Son of God came into this world to save his people from their sins.
A. Before ever he came into the world, indeed, from all eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ had a people called his people, the elect of God.
B. The Son of God came specifically to save his people, the Israel of God, from their sins.
C. Just as Samson, before he left this world, delivered his people, so the Lord Jesus, as he was leaving this world, saved his people, everyone of them, by the sacrifice of himself.
III. HIS CONSECRATION
Samson was also a type and picture of Christ in his consecration to God from his mother’s womb, as a Nazarite (Jud. 13:5).
“A Nazarite was a man or woman who, under Hebrew law, bound himself to abstain from wine and all products of the grape, to wear long, uncut hair, and to observe various forms of purification in the service of the LORD.” Henry Mahan
You can read about this vow in Numbers 6:1-21. In Samson’s case, this vow was to be a matter of lifelong consecration to the LORD. So it was with our blessed Savior who, from his conception in the womb of the virgin to his last breath upon the cursed tree, did always those things that pleased and honored his Father. Samson had the vow. Christ fulfilled it!
WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SAMSON’S LONG HAIR? A Nazarite was required never to cut his hair. But why? This seems rather strange to me. The Scriptures give explicit, clear instructions that a man who wears long hair behaves in a most shameful manner. The appearance of effeminance in a man is obnoxious to God and ought to be to us. Why, then, was Samson required to wear long hair as a Nazarite?
It was a symbol of his consecration to God. In order to be consecrated to God, he had to be willing to appear before men in a manner that other people would despise. His long hair, for which he no doubt suffered much secret mockery as a boy and a man, was the symbol of his complete surrender to the will of God, a mark of complete dedication to the Lord and complete separation from the world.
I agree fully with B. A. Ramsbottom, who wrote, “Samson’s strength, which he received from God, did not literally lie in his hair. It lay in his separation and sanctification and complete dedication to his God and Savior.”
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.
“Emptied of earth I fain would be,
The world, myself, and all but Thee;
Only reserved for Christ that died,
Surrendered to the Crucified!”
IV. HIS CHOICES
The fourth point of comparison, the fourth way in which Samson was a beautiful, clear, blessed picture of Christ, was in his choices, particularly his choices in the women he loved. This otherwise great man seemed to have an insatiable love for harlots. First, he took a Philistine (Gentile) woman to wife (Jud. 14:1), in direct violation of God’s law. Next, he went in unto a harlot (Jud. 14:1). Then, he laid his head in the lap of Delilah, who was so well known as a harlot that the Philistines did not hesitate to ask her to entice him to her bed (Jud. 16:4).
NOTE: The word translated “woman” here means “a wild, adulteress woman”. Delilah means “languishing”. Some suggest that Delilah was a name given to her by the men of the city because of her reputation.
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.
A. The Scriptures tell us plainly that this too was of the LORD (Jud. 14:1-4).
Samson did wickedly in choosing the women he chose and suffered greatly for it. But our great, glorious, sovereign and merciful God wisely overruled evil for good for the salvation of his people and the glory of his name (Ps. 76:10).
In much the same way, all that was done by the Jews and the Romans in crucifying our dear Savior was horribly evil; but it was indeed of the Lord (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 13:27-29).
B. 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.
1. In his family tree, by birth, our blessed Lord identified himself with such.
His grandmothers were Tamar an incestuous adulteress, Rahab the harlot, Ruth the Moabitess, and Bathsheba an adulteress.
2. This may shock the pants off some good, self-righteous, religious folks, but I am here today, preaching this message to you, because my great Samson, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God has, to this day, an insatiable love for harlots like us!
In Samson’s case, this was his greatest shame. In Christ’s case, this is his greatest honor. You will always find him in the company of publicans, harlots, and sinners. Can you take your place in this crowd?
Much more could be said here, but I must move on to show you another part of this man’s representation of Christ as a type.
V. HIS CONQUESTS
In chapters 14-16 there are numerous pictures of the great power that Samson possessed. Let me just show you some of his mighty conquests, which typified the great conquests of our all-glorious Christ.
A. The Slaughter of the Young Lion (Jud. 14:5-9)
As Samson rent this 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.
NOTE: 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!
B. The Slaughter of a Thousand Philistines with the Jawbone of An Ass (Jud. 15:15-16)
Much has been said about this, but nothing better than what I heard from a preacher when I was just eighteen years old. He said, “The Lord still uses the jawbones of asses to do his work.” You may think, “That is not a very complimentary way to talk about preachers.” You are right. But it is most complimentary of our great Samson. He still takes men who are as empty, worthless, and useless as an ass’s dried jawbone and uses them as instruments of great good in his omnipotent hands!
C. The Slaughter of the Philistines in His Voluntary Death (Jud. 16:28-30)
Like Samson, our great Redeemer…
· Voluntarily laid down his life for us.
· Destroyed forever all those who would destroy us (Sin - Satan - Death - Hell - and the Grave).
Now, look at chapter sixteen, verses one through three. When our great Samson died for us, he did what is pictured here.
D. The Carrying Away of the Gates of the City of Gaza (Jud. 16:1-3)
Our accusers, those who would condemn us, secured us as prisoners, and locked us behind the gates of the city of despair. They laid in wait all night for our Beloved, saying, “In the morning we shall kill him”. In the case of our Samson, they did kill him. But he awoke on the third day and carried away the gates of the city (bolt, bar, and posts!) unto a high mountain.
The gates we are told were ninety feet across. Samson snatched them out of the ground, carried them on his shoulders up a mountain next to Hebron, some twenty miles! But, by comparison, that was nothing!
Our all-glorious Christ was laid in the sepulchre. It was sealed with a huge stone. Soldiers were appointed to keep watch over the tomb, while all hell trembled. Yet, at the appointed time, he arose from the dead, broke the iron bars of death, hell, and the grave, and ascended up into heaven, and laid claim to GLORY LAND as our Representative and Forerunner, declaring himself the victorious, all-glorious Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness arisen with healing under his wings! And, as my friend, Bro. Larry Brown, put it, “You know what? Under all that weight and burden of my sin, He never even staggered!”
Application: What more can I say?