“When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.”
Whenever an artist attempts to illustrate Samson, he looks like a cross between an NFL linebacker and a competitive body builder. He is painted as bigger, stronger and more muscular than all those in in Israel or Philistia. You might find it interesting that no physical description of Samson is ever recorded in Scripture. What is evident is the fact that his strength and subsequent victories, were all directly connected to the Spirit of the Lord being upon him. It was not Samson’s ability that gave him strength, but the power of the Spirit. In this text, we find the Spirt of God enabling him to break the bonds that held him as a captive. Ropes that would hold the average man at bay were torn, as if they were wet tissue paper.
This serves as a beautiful example of the work of the Spirit, in the life of a believer. We are all held back by the things we lack the power to overcome. For some, it is a difficult experience in our past, others, struggle with a particular desire of the flesh, still others are consumed with addiction. Like Samson, we need a work of the Spirit to enable us to break the bonds that hold us captive. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask. However, Jesus explained that this asking requires persistence. If we are in need of God’s intervention to set us free from any form of bondage, we must ask, seek and knock, until the windows of heaven open, and the Spirit is poured out upon us.
Sadly, when Samson was set free, he went right back into the behaviors that got him in trouble in the first place. Many times, it is not that God has failed to provide the power for deliverance, but that once we are set free, we begin to take steps leading us right back into bondage. If you are struggling, take time to confess it, call out to God for help, and begin to remove those things which make it easy to go back into sin.