The 12 tribes of Israel suffered at the hands of their oppressors for almost three hundred and fifty years. Joshua had exhorted the tribes to be faithful to their covenant relationship with God and warned them that there would be severe consequences to pay if they forgot their God. Joshua died and the faith of the people all but died too. Instead of continuing to do life with God as He would lead, they took leadership of their lives into their own hands. So God removed His hand from them and they were helpless before their enemies. "Who would save them?", was their cry. God would anoint men and women to inspire, lead, and fight for the tribes not just saving their physical lives, but serving as a reminder of who their God truly was. Some got the message, but most did not. Now one of those heaven anointed judges was a young man named Samson.
To make a long story short, God gave Samson miraculous strength to use against the Philistine marauders. Children would hear the stories of his freakish strength...like one battle that Samson won all by himself...how he killed a thousand Philistine soldiers with simply the jawbone of a donkey. Samson's great strength was legendary, but there would come another whose strength was of a different kind. This strength would change hearts and lives forever to the glory of God...and not just change some circumstances for twenty years.
Samson's God given physical strength was great, but from the cross, as Jesus was destroying satan and death and securing salvation for us, He was showing us that our greatest strength is found in our weakness. Samson’s greatest moment in life came when He finally realized that His strength was not sufficient. Although it is safe to say that Jesus is far stronger than Samson, Jesus is better not because He made Himself stronger than Samson but because He made Himself weaker. It is because Jesus emptied Himself of His glorious position in heaven that we have salvation today. It is out of our weakness that God bestows life conquering faith. It is out of our weakness that we have the opportunity to see God’s strength made perfect in and through us for His glory. No matter how strong we are we were never meant to be strong enough. We were always meant to need someone stronger! What a gracious moment it is when we find it in Jesus.