The Real “Nazir”

An angel appeared to Samson’s parents who told them that…

I would like to share this meditation from the book of Judges about the life of Samson, and a word from the Bible in Hebrew, which makes all the difference.

The children of Israel turned away from the Lord and, as a consequence, they were delivered into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years. God sent Samson to save them.

An angel appeared to Samson’s parents who told them that he would be a Nazirite.

In Hebrew, the word for Nazirite is “Nazir”, meaning someone who denies himself to serve the Lord. A “Nazir” would receive a GIFT from God and would live to serve Him, restricting themselves from the pleasures of life. For example, they couldn’t drink wine, as they had to live in sobriety.

Samson’s first mistake was exactly that he did not “deny himself”.

The Bible mentions that he was always involved with Philistine women and prostitutes, surrounded by friends and visiting the enemy’s territory. God had even tried to use him before, but He couldn’t.

Samson ended up getting involved with a prostitute to the point of trusting her, and acting on his emotions, he told her the secret to his strength.

Figuratively, prostitution means to defile yourself in exchange for purely personal interests; to corrupt and degrade yourself.

Whenever we are careless, we forget this “restriction” while serving God. We end up mixing with the wrong people, trusting them and opening up to them. This is the beginning of a downfall!

When there is no restriction and no separation, we become equal to everyone else. And we must always remember that we are not equal, because we were called and chosen to be a “Nazir”.

It was only after Samson was blinded that he was able to truly see himself. He was alone, without what he valued the most. He lost his strength – which is the gift that came from God – and became the laughing stock of the Philistine princes.

This is exactly what the devil does to those who stop serving God.

However, Samson repented, asking God to remember him.

He recognised that his strength came from the Lord when he asked:

“Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God” (Judges 16:28).

This is the translation of the last sentence he spoke in Hebrew:

“וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן תָּמוֹת נַפְשִׁי עִם־פְּלִשְׁתִּים”

Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30).

Only when we “die” to our personal desires and aspirations and deny ourselves, are we able to become true “Nazirs” and fulfil the calling we were assigned to.

During the moment of his death, Samson killed all the Philistine princes at once, in addition to other men and women. He killed more enemies than when he was alive, and he delivered Israel. He had been a judge over Israel for twenty years.

  • Josiane Boccoli

Bishop Edir Macedo