9 Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi. 10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they said, “We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us.” 11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.” 12 They said to him, “We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not [f]kill me.” 13 So they said to [g]him, “No, but we will bind you fast and give you into their hands; yet surely we will not kill you.” Then they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the Lord [h]came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds [i]dropped from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he [j]reached out and took it and [k]killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said,
“With the jawbone of a donkey,
[l]Heaps upon heaps,
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have [m]killed a thousand men.”
17 When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place [n]Ramath-lehi. 18 Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now [o]shall I die of thirst [p]and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his [q]strength returned and he revived. Therefore he named it [r]En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
We often think of Samson as this super strong man, but it says “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily…” While Samson may have been stronger than most, his true power came from God, and if he didn’t realize it before, he definitely knew it now.
For when Samson had gained the victory, he turns directly to God because of his immense thirst, and says “You have given this great deliverance…” Samson knew he was but a vessel for the power of God to flow through. For all his faults, Samson knew his true power came from God.
We should not forget this in our own lives. While God gifts many of us (probably all of us) in some way, it is only with Him that we gain our true strength in that gift. Without Him, we are just above average. But when we trust Him for our strength, we can say as Paul did, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”