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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.



June 25, 2017


SCRIPTURE: Judges 13:1-7, 24-25


KEY VERSE: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. (Judges 13:5)




A. We may experience the power of God in our lives at times, but this does not exempt us from temptations.


Samson is an example of one who served the Lord, then fell under the pressure of temptation and sin. Though a judge of Israel, he became a servant of sin for a season.


B. Few accounts in the Bible are as tragic as the account about Samson.


1. Samson had a twenty year ministry.


Here is a man to whom God gave twenty years’ time to begin to overcome the enemy, yet in the end, he himself was overcome by the enemy. Samson’s history is an illustration of Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 9:27, for Samson was a castaway.


2. Samson had a very tragic end.


Hebrews 11:32 cites Samson for his faith in God’s Word, but apart from this, very little can be said on his behalf. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Consider the steps that led to Samson’s sin and tragic end.




A. Israel Is Dominated By The Philistines. (Judges 13:1)


And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. (Judges 13:1)


1. A repeated apostasy.


The repeated apostasy of Israel forms the setting for a time of oppression by the Philistines. The Philistines were probably the worst enemies that Israel had. This time their oppression lasted for forty years.


2. A needed deliverer.


During this time we come to a judge named “Samson,” and he was one of the most outstanding of the judges. He probably had more glorious opportunity than any man ever had. Everything was promising for a career and a brilliant future, but he failed. That is the tragedy of this man’s life. He came to judge during the seventh apostasy and is, in one sense, the last of the judges.


3. A missed opportunity.


Israel was conquered by the Philistines and was only partially delivered by Samson. The small civil war that began in Jephthah’s day got bigger and bigger, and the Book of Judges ends in absolute confusion.


INSIGHT: During Samson’s time of leadership we are given (1) the secret of his success, (2) the secret of his strength, and (3) the secret of his failure. Again, let me repeat, never was a man born with a more wonderful opportunity than this man.


B. Israel Is Given A Powerful Deliverer. (Judges 13:2-5)


1. A miraculous birth. (Judges 13:2-3)


And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. (Judges 13:2-3)


Zorah was a city between Dan and Judah, several miles west of Jerusalem. Manoah and his wife did not have any children because she was barren. So the birth of Samson was miraculous as was the birth of Isaac, or Joseph, or Benjamin.


2. A marked child.


a. Samson was marked by God. (Judges 13:4–5a)


Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head. (Judges 13:4–5a)


Before Samson was born, God marked him out. God raised him up to perform a gigantic task: he was to deliver Israel. The people of Israel were in a bad way because God had delivered them into the hands of the Philistines. The angel of the Lord that appeared to the mother of Samson told her what her son was to be -- a Nazarite.


INSIGHT: You will note that in Numbers 6:1-27 we are told what constituted a Nazarite vow. It was threefold:


·        A Nazarite was not to touch strong drink or use grapes in any form. (Numbers 6:1-4)


·        A Nazarite was not to cut his hair. (Numbers 6:5)


·        A Nazarite was not to go near a dead body. (Numbers 6:6)


This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the Lord for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation” (Numbers 6:21).


b. Samson WAS a Nazarite. (Judges 13:5b)


For the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. (Judges 13:5b)


·        Samson was God’s man, and that was the secret of his success. He was raised up for a great purpose, and his success was in God. Unfortunately he never succeeded in performing his God-appointed task.


·        Did you notice what verse 5 said? Samson began to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. Success knocked at his door. He was a beginner, not a finisher. He began to deliver Israel, but he never finished the job.


INSIGHT: There are many Christians who make great beginnings, but they do not finish the task. Paul said to the Galatians, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). They started out with a bang and ended up with a fizzle.


Many people begin to read the Bible, but many fall by the wayside. They just begin and don’t go on with it. I have been a Bible preacher for nearly sixty years, and I have known lots of people who start something and never conclude it. They never finish what they are called to do.


·        Samson was born into a godly home, to parents who believed in prayer. Samson was God’s special gift to them and to the nation of Israel. (1) He had a father who prayed, “Teach us what we shall do unto the child” (Judges 13:8). (2) His parents had a fear of God and tried to instill this same fear in their son. (3) They brought offerings to God, and (4) they dared to believe God’s wonderful promises.


C. Samson’s Parents Were Learners. (Judges 13:6-7)


1. Manoah's wife was barren. (Judges 13:6-7)


Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. (Judges 13:6-7)


a. When God wanted to do something wonderful He often used a barren woman.


b. God did it with Abraham and Sarah.


c. God did it with Elkanah and Hannah.


d. God did it with Zacharias and Elizabeth.


e. God did it with Joseph and Mary.


2. The angel of the Lord came to give them some wonderful news.


3. Manoah's response was to pray that God would send His messenger back to teach them. (Judges 13:8)


Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. (Judges 13:8)


II. GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE. (Judges 13:24-25)


A. Samson’s Strength. (Judges 13:24-25)


And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. (Judges 13:24–25)


1. These verses tell us the secret of Samson’s strength.


Samson’s strength was not in his arms, although he killed a thousand Philistines with those arms. His strength was not in his back, although he carried the gates of Gaza on his back, which was a remarkable undertaking. Samson’s strength was not in his hair, although he was weak when it was cut.


2. Samson was strong only when the Holy Spirit of God was moving him.


Just cutting his hair off was not actually what weakened him. His hair was the badge of his Nazarite vow. The Holy Spirit of God was not on him when his hair was cut. Why? Because he had failed in his vow. He had not made good on what he had promised.


B. Samson’s Secret. (Judges 13:25)


And the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. (Judges 13:25)


The people in Samson’s day wanted to know the source of his strength. They did not realize that God chooses the weak things of this world to accomplish His purposes. They marveled at Samson, “How can this little scrawny, timid, unassertive fellow, perform these feats of tremendous strength?” There was only one explanation – GOD DID IT!


A Lock Of Hair
By Dennis Fisher


For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (2 Chronicles 16:9)


·        After his return from the moon, Neil Armstrong was often plagued by the media.


Seeking greater privacy, he moved his family into a small town. But notoriety was a nuisance even there. Armstrong’s barber found out that people would pay good money to get a lock of his hair. So after giving the space hero several haircuts, he sold the clippings to a buyer for $3,000! Armstrong was shocked at the barber’s opportunism.


·        The Scriptures tell of another story of disloyalty and a haircut.


As a symbol of God’s calling of Samson as a Nazirite, he was never to cut his hair (Judges 13:5). When the Spirit of God came upon him, he was given super-human strength over his enemies (Judges 15:14). Wanting to overpower him, the Philistines hired Delilah, a woman who had a relationship with him, to find out the secret of that strength. He foolishly told her that his power would be gone if his hair were cut. She lulled him to sleep and had him shorn (Judges 16:5, 19).


·        Greed can drive us to be disloyal to others and to God, causing us to make sinful choices.


Our desire should be to exhibit a heart that is fully committed to love the Lord and others. He shows “Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).


O Lord, may my heart be loyal to You

In all that I say and all that I do;

When a trusted person is not a true friend,

I know that on You I can always depend. -- Hess


 -- Adapted from Dennis Fisher, Our Daily Bread, October 27, 2010




·        The name “Samson” means “sunny,” and initially Samson did bring sunshine to his home and to Israel at a dark period in their history.


1. But his life ended in the darkness because he did not fully obey the Lord.


2. He began to deliver Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:5), but Samuel and David had to finish the job.


·        How could Samson fail when he had so much in his favor?


1. Samson was born to godly parents who feared the God of the Bible, obeyed His will, and prayed for wisdom.


2. Samson was dedicated to the Lord as a lifelong Nazirite (Numbers 6).


3. A Christian home (a godly home) is no guarantee of a godly life if the spiritual influence is rejected by the children.


4. The parents were not at fault; Samson was.


·        Samson began his ministry blessed by the Lord and closed his life mocked by a heathen crowd.


1. In Samson’s death, he killed many of the enemy.


2. How much better would it have been if he had been a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) and not a dead sacrifice.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Faith in Christ can make extraordinary heroes out of ordinary people.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.



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