Pathway to Purpose: 7 Important Things We Learn From Samson the Judge
Samson was a judge in Israel before they had kings. Before he was born, an angel of the Lord announced his birth to his parents. God set apart Samson before He formed him in his mother’s womb. Samson’s purpose was very specific—to begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:5). The Philistines had dominion over Israel for forty years because the nation had done evil in the sight of God. In Samson’s story, we learn important things about his pathway to purpose. You can read his story in Judges 13 -16.
Samson’s birth brought hope to Israel because God was going to deliver them from Philistine rule. God was merciful enough to send help through the birth of Samson. Is this not what we love about God, that He shows us mercy?
Samson judged Israel for twenty years and eventually died a cruel death. He gave away the secret of his strength to Delilah, his lover, and she used it against him leading to his death.
Samson’s story teaches us important things about purpose.
1. God Set You Apart Before Your Birth
Before you came into this world, God had a purpose for you. He set you apart before birth, and He makes it clear what He wants you to do. You may not know your purpose today, but God has one for you. It existed before you were born. God has given you gifts and talents and has wired you uniquely to fulfill your purpose.
We see from Samson’s story that God brings us into this world for a purpose. Many of us didn’t know this while growing up. We are only learning now that purpose exists and each of us has a unique one. Knowing that God has set us apart for a purpose will inspire us to seek Him to find out what it is.
2. God is Specific about Your Purpose
Sometimes, people describe their purpose broadly and have no clue how to take specific action. God knows the purpose He has for each of us and will reveal it to us when we are ready. Your purpose is specific because you are unique. We have a Father who will give us details of what He wants us to do.
God sent an angel to tell Samson’s parents that they would have a son who would begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. He wanted them to know that their child would have a specific purpose upon the earth and they were to prepare him for it.
3. God Directs Your Steps on the pathway to purpose
When Samson went to the Philistines, he found a woman whom he wanted to marry. His parents were against it, but they did not know that it was the Lord who was directing Samson that way (Judges 14:3-4). God was directing Samson’s heart towards marrying the woman because He was looking for an opportunity to move against the Philistines.
God directs our steps on the pathway to purpose and leads us to those we need to meet along our path. Our hearts will desire to walk in a certain direction, sometimes not knowing that it is God’s will. God will direct you on the pathway of purpose and will ensure you are in the right place. The journey may not be what we expect, but we can trust that God is with us all the way. He promises to never leave or forsake us.
4. Beware of False Relationships
Not everyone will be happy that you are fulfilling your purpose. Some will misadvise you while others will betray you. Have you had a friend who advised you to move in the opposite direction from where God was directing you? You had spent time with your friend and told him or her what God was calling you to do and the direction He wanted you to take. Pray for discernment over your friendships and other relationships. This will help you know the relationships to keep and those to let go of.
Samson’s wife and lover betrayed him. His wife wanted him to tell her the answer to the riddle he asked her people. She wanted to tell her kin the answer so they would receive the reward of clothing. His lover, Delilah, wanted to know the source of his great strength so she could tell the Philistine lords who wanted to destroy him. She manipulated him until he revealed his secret (Judges 16:15-17), and this led to his eventual death. Be careful who you tell your plans or secret things. They may use them against you.
5. Sometimes You Will Get Weary
When Samson had killed one thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey, he became thirsty. He cried out to God because he felt exhausted after the victory God had given him (Judges 15:18-19). He had nothing more to pour into his work, and God had to revive his spirit. When God provided him with water, he felt refreshed and his spirit revived.
On our journey of purpose, we will get weary because of the physical, spiritual and mental energy it will take to fulfill our purpose. However, God is always ready to refresh us and revive our spirits so that we can keep going. This means spending more time in the Word daily, taking a weekend spiritual retreat, or a day off work to focus on God.
The pathway to purpose has enemies that work against us. We must battle these enemies, and this leaves us exhausted and our spirits tired. Times of refreshing from the Lord will re-energize us for the next assignment.
6. If Single, Be Aware of Who You Date or Want to Marry
A woman Samson was having a relationship with – Delilah – orchestrated his downfall. She lured him to his destruction when she pestered him to tell her the secret of his strength. When Samson lied to Delilah, she threw a tantrum and accused him of not loving her. Yet, she is the one who did not love him because she readily accepted money from the Philistine rulers to betray him. When he finally told her the truth, she told the Philistines the source of his strength and they captured him, gouged out his eyes and threw him in prison. He later died when they called him to entertain them and he brought down the entire building with everyone in it.
You may be in a relationship with someone who will never support you on your journey of purpose. They will derail you and lead you in the wrong direction. Others will be a snare to you all your life if not careful. Ask God to reveal whether the person you are dating is going to walk with you and support you on your journey of faith and purpose. If not, it may be time to let go of the relationship. You don’t want to spend your life with someone who will oppose you every day as you try to fulfill your purpose.
7. God Gives Us Second Chances
God gives us second chances when we make mistakes on our journey of purpose. He forgives, heals, and restores us. Samson needed a second chance from God when the Philistines shaved off his hair and his strength left him. When his hair grew back, he asked God for a chance to take vengeance on the Philistines for gouging out his eyes (Judges 16:28).
If you want a second chance from God, pray and ask Him to give it to you. When we repent, we get a second chance and God’s help on the pathway to purpose.
The pathway to purpose is unique for each of us but there are important things we can learn from others. Samson’s journey of purpose offers us nuggets of wisdom we can apply to our lives. God has set you apart for your purpose and will direct your steps daily.
If you would like to know your purpose and need guidance, please get a copy of Life Purpose: A Beginner’s Guide. It is available in leading eBook stores worldwide.
You can also get free resources about purpose on this link.
Josephine Ngatia is a Digital Content Writer & Strategist. She works with Christian ministers and business owners to plan, develop, and manage digital content for them. She develops digital content for their websites, blogs, and other channels. Josephine mostly works with new authors, business startups, and small businesses.