The Samson Anointing

“And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him [Samson]…” – Judges 14:19

For Christians, the question of how Samson could be so anointed by the Holy Spirit and yet so ungodly is a mystery. Sadly, he does not make moral progress throughout his life; he is a carnal and sinful man whom, apparently, God loved and saved by pure grace. One of the reasons so many pastors ignore preaching and teaching on the life of Samson is that they do not want their people to consider him an option of how to live the Christian life. No preacher feels quite right telling people they can live like Hell and still go to Heaven.

A Bible dictionary says:

Samson’s character as a judge is difficult to evaluate. A giant in physical strength 

but weak-willed with women, he did serve God’s purpose by beginning to deliver Israel from the Philistines. The OT states clearly that the Spirit of the Lord was active in him, enabling him to perform heroic feats (Judges 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14, 19; cf. 16:19, 28, 30). But does the presence of God’s Spirit imply anything about his moral character? Samson was tempted in the area of his weakness, and he sometimes used his power without much thought for righteousness or justice (e.g., 14:19; 15:3–8; 16:3). He was a man of his times—times when “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25). But there were also occasions when Samson did call upon God (15:18; 16:28), and God’s response implies that Samson was sincere in his entreaty. In this Samson differed from his contemporaries, and for this the NT includes his name among the heroes of faith (He. 11:32). (1)

By all accounts, Samson went to Heaven, but because of his sinful rejection of God’s anointing, constantly living in the flesh instead of the Spirit, his life was Hell on earth. Galatians 5:19-21 sounds a lot like Samson’s life, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.” The Bible tells us not to “grieve,” “quench” or “resist” the Holy Spirit – and Samson is a case study in what a life looks like that does those very things. He was constantly in fights, seeking love and never finding it, never had one friend, and died by suicide as a blind captive in war, having been betrayed by his wife as a lonely, broken man with no children to pray for him. Sometimes, the difference in behavior between a believer and an unbeliever is a blurry line. One thing is for sure – like Samson, if we live in the flesh, life will feel like Hell even if we die and go to Heaven.

Which works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21 do you struggle with the most?

D. R. Hildebrand, “Samson,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 311.

Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to opt out or HELP for help. Visit for privacy and terms info.