Samson's Gift
Judges 13:24-25
And the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.…

I. HERE WAS A MAN OF SURPASSING PHYSICAL STRENGTH. His distinction was, that in splendour of muscle and sinew none could approach him, and hence his popularity and the high position he acquired. In a later age and a more advanced state of society it would not have enthroned him thus. But these are the earliest masters, these are the primitive heroes, the men who can do great things with their limbs. Afterwards, the dominion is taken from them and given to the largest brains. Now, Samson was simply mighty in muscle and sinew. Unlike most of the other judges he does not appear to have possessed the slightest military genius or enterprise, nor any power of combining his countrymen in opposition to their enemies, or inspiring them with spirit and desire to fight for liberty. There was no generalship in him, and no gift for leading. He had but massive, magnificent limbs, and went in, straightway, for applying them to the help of Israel without caring or aiming to be more and other than heaven had qualified him to be. Is it not a grand thing always to perceive the line along which we can minister, and to be willing to pursue it, and able to keep to it, however narrow or relatively inferior it may be. Not a few would be more successful and more useful than they are were they but more bravely content to be themselves — did they but accept more unreservedly the talent committed to them, and study more simply and independently to be faithful to it. Samson's gift was not much, was not of the highest kind. It was far below that of other judges in Israel, nor did it produce any great results. Is it not possible that the reported mighty deeds of the redoubtable Nazarite of Dan had something to do in moving Hannah to set apart her boy, the boy for whom she had prayed, to be a Nazarite from his birth? Samson may have contributed to give to Israel the greater Samuel. "I, too," he had stirred the woman in Mount Ephraim to say to herself — "I too, would fain have a son devoted to work wonders in the cause of God's people; let me make sacred for the purpose this new-born babe of mine!" and out of that came, not a mere repetition of the same wonder-working strength, but something infinitely superior — even the wisest, noblest, and most powerful judge the land had ever seen. And so, often, they who are doing faithfully, in quite a small way, on quite a small scale, may be secretly conducive to the awakening and inspiring of grander actors than themselves. There are those who, with their rough and crude performances, with their honest yet blundering attempts, with their dim guesses and half-discoveries, do prepare the way, and furnish the clue for subsequent splendid successes on the part of some who come after them.

II. But observe WHAT SAMSON'S COUNTRYMEN THOUGHT OF HIS AMAZING PHYSICAL STRENGTH, AND HOW IT IMPRESSED AND AFFECTED THEM. They ascribed it to the Spirit of the Lord: "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him." That was how they looked at it. Their mountains were to them more than mountains, they were the mountains of the Lord, and the might of their mighty men was the might of the Lord. It is worth cherishing, this old Hebrew sense of the sacredness of things; it helps to make the world a grander place, and to enhance and elevate one's enjoyment of all skills and powers displayed by men. Samson's chief value lay, perhaps, after all, in the one inspiring thought which his prowess awakened — the thought that God was there; for it is a blessed thing to be the means of starting in any sluggish, despondent, or earth-bound human breast some inspiring thought. Good work it is, and great, to be the instrument of putting another, for a while, into a better and holier frame, of leading him to be more tender, more patient, more finely sympathetic, or more believing in the Divine government of things, and in the reality of the kingdom of God.

(S. A. Tipple.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

WEB: The woman bore a son, and named him Samson: and the child grew, and Yahweh blessed him.

Samson: Inferior Influences Over Large Minds
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