In this familiar passage of Scripture, we see that Samson has caved-in under the constant pleading of Delilah, and revealed the source of his strength. At first glance, we may believe that Samson’s hair was the source of his strength. In this line of reasoning, we would conclude that removing the hair would remove the strength. After all, this is what we see occurring in our story. I submit to you that the source of Samson’s strength lay not in the length of his hair, but rather in his vow to God.
As a Nazarite, there were certain vows made unto God. Simply stated, a Nazarite had made the consecration of himself to God by the keeping of his vows. Failure to keep the vow breaks the consecration. We see the same principle with fasting: to eat food would be to break the fast, hence our word “breakfast.” A Nazarite’s vow was a bond between himself and God. When Samson’s hair was cut, his vow/bond was broken because its strength was dissolved.
But Samson did not cut his own hair. It could therefore be argued that he is free from any blame in the breaking of his vow. However, I don’t believe for a moment that Samson did not expect Delilah to cut his hair; just as she had in previous verses attempted to rob him of his strength. This expectation would have been reasonable; and it leads to the conclusion that Samson actively broke his vow by revealing such to be his strength. Samson surrendered his strength.
We as Christians also have a vow/bond with the Lord. This is not based upon any vows we may be trying to keep, but on the vow that God Himself has made: “…I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10). As our God, the Lord is our Strength (Psalms 18:1; 19:14; 27:1; 28:8; 37:39, etc.). This Strength is sufficient to meet all needs (Philippians 4:13).
However, just as Samson surrendered his strength, we too can surrender ours. We do this by not relying on the Lord as our Strength, but trusting in our own flesh to overcome our problems. Samson met disaster when he was left with his own strength. So will we. It is important then, that we recognize the Source of our Strength and rest therein; trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to remove every mountain, calm every storm, and overcome every adversary; in Him is Everlasting Strength (Isaiah 26:4).