“Samson’s life is seen as one of great but wasted opportunity…The story of Samson is the tale of what might have been. No potential savior-figure offered more promise, yet delivered less.”
These quotes from Bible scholar F.F. Bruce (Bible Commentary pp 331, 333) encapsulate the life and let-down of the final judge in the book of Judges. Here is a man who is included in the “list of heroes” in Hebrews 11, and who without a doubt did do great things through the Spirit’s power, yet the best I can think of calling Samson is a “tragic hero”. In Samson’s positive features he is a great type of Christ (for more on this you’ll have to listen to the January 10th, 2010 Oasis sermon in a few weeks), yet his self-centered lifestyle and problem with lust led to his downfall.
Samson’s life can be both an inspiration and a warning to all those who love Jesus and desire to serve Him. An inspiration because of the picture of strength (in our case spiritual strength typified by Samson’s physical strength) we can have through the Spirit. A warning because if we do not deal with our self-centered tendencies and lust (or other sin problems) we too can leave a legacy of great opportunity wasted.