A Calling of Separation

What do you think about when you hear the name Sampson? Many of us, when we think about Sampson, think about a strong, talented guy who fell asleep on the lap of the wrong girl. The next think he knew, he was blind and weak and grinding wheat for his enemies to eat. This is not the destiny God had planned for him. But he was indeed gifted.

When we take a deeper look at Sampson’s life we see that his relationship with Delilah was not the first thing that caused him to become defiled, but the last. See, Sampson was called by God to be a Nazarite. A Nazarite could not partake in anything that came from the vine. Not from the seed, not from the skin not even vinegar that was made from wine. A Nazarite could not come into contact with any dead thing not even for the sake of burying a close relative. Coming into contact with the dead would defile the Nazarite and the vow would be broken. The last thing that separated a Nazarite was that they could not cut their hair. Having long hair was a visible sign that a man had taken a Nazarite vow and many times, it was only for a period of time.

Early on in Sampson’s life, he was confronted by a lion which he ripped apart with the strength that God had given him. But later on, he passed by that same way and he saw that some bees had built a hive in the carcass of the lion and there was honey. Sampson was hungry, so he ate that honey from inside the dead lion and he broke his vow.

Then, he took a philistine girl to be his wife. He celebrated his marriage for one whole week and there were thirty Philistines who celebrated with them. Now, the Bible doesn’t say that he drank wine during the ceremony, but it was customary for a person to drink wine in celebrations and it is hard to imagine that the Philistine’s would have understood that Sampson could not enjoy a drink of wine because of a vow he had made.

Then, years later, Sampson broke his final Nazarite vow when he gave Delilah the secret to his strength and she cut his hair while he slept in her lap. When he awoke to her cries that his enemies were upon him, he thought he go out as always in the strength of the Lord and take on his enemies but the Lord had departed from him. And his shaven head was a visible sign that his anointing has come to an end.

“The Philistine’s took him and put out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters and he became a grinder in the prison”– Judges 16:21.

In the end, what is it we can learn from Sampson’s life? Here was a guy who had giftings and a calling and an anointing to deliver the children of Israel from the hand of their oppressor. But he did not value the calling to be visibly separate from those around him and it ended up causing his blindness and his early death.

God has a calling on our lives as well and we have to recognize that His calling is contingent on our separation from the world around us. We cannot live like the world and walk in God’s anointing- it will not work. So, choose this day the calling of God in your life. Make a commitment to not fulfill the short term satisfactions of this life but to enter into the eternal satisfaction of knowing that you have been a good and faithful servant.


  1. REPLY
    Scott Henderson says

    Too much wine; touching the dead; cutting the hair after marrying the wrong woman. That was obviously true of Samson’s life. When I read this story now I don’t see/hear those things I reflect on my life and look at the things that separate me from the Lord. What sin is causing me too miss my true calling – what keeps me from drawing closer to a more intimate knowledge of my creator. Fulfilling all that God has in store for me – I’m not sure if that’s possible? That’s why I’m so glad it’s Him that has begun the good work in me & it’s the Lord who’s faithful to complete it. When eventually he calls me home – AMEN

    • REPLY
      Sandra says

      Amen. However, when working and living in a godless society, this teaching reminds me to purpose in my heart not to become like image of those living in the muck and mire, but to stay close to God, taking every thought captive.

      It also reminds me that all of my gifts, talents and abilities, are not mine, but are His, to be used for His glory. I would hate to wake up one day only to discover that His anointing had departed from me because I had allowed my ego to eclipse His purpose.

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