Samson And The Spirit Of The Lord
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
“And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25).
Samson’s incredible strength was greater than even the strongest of men could develop in their own bodies. “The Spirit of the LORD” came on him “at times,” giving him supernatural strength. Three of the other judges also experienced this energizing, including the first, Othniel. “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him . . . and the LORD delivered Chushan-rishathaim, King of Mesopotamia into his hand” (Judges 3:10). This is the first time this phrase—“the Spirit of the LORD”—occurs in Scripture.
Then there was Gideon. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-ezer was gathered after him” (Judges 6:34). Finally, Jephthah: “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah” (Judges 11:29). Both Gideon and Jephthah won great victories and delivered Israel out of bondage to their enemies.
Finally, there are four separate references, including our text, where it is said that the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson, enabling him to perform superhuman feats of strength in overcoming the Philistines (Judges 14:6,19; 15:14). Interestingly, “the Spirit of the Lord,” as a specific title, occurs only five times in the entire New Testament. The seven occurrences of this important phrase in Judges, perhaps surprisingly, are more than in any other book of the Bible.
Samson was a man easily tempted, but he was also a man of great faith (Hebrews 11:32,33), and God used him greatly. Today, the Spirit of the Lord may not “come upon” us to give us superhuman strength as He did to Samson, but He indwells us so that, through God’s word, we are being “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). HMM