The Strength of Samson – Gospel in Life

The Strength of Samson

Tim Keller |  October 12, 1997

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • Atonement
Judges 15:9-20
RS 83-06


Forget the heroes. These days, we want authenticity. We want personal vision. We’ve done away with hero worship.
In the story of Samson, we see that the Bible doesn’t give us hero worship, but it also doesn’t give us hero hatred or deconstruction. Some people have called Samson an old-fashioned hero, like Superman—but he’s not. I’ve been waiting for people to call him the anti-hero—he even makes jokes when he’s killing people. Samson is physically quite strong and morally quite weak. But in spite of this, God actually judges Israel with him. What does it all mean?
In the story of Samson we see that 1) hero worship does not help, 2) but hero deconstruction doesn’t help either, and 3) we need something else.

Judges 15:9–20

We look at the change in society’s preference from admirable heroes to relatable people, using Mother Teresa and Princess Diana as examples. We question the idea of tearing down heroes, using Paul’s life to show that faith is more important than personal goodness. The story ends with Samson’s mistakes and his part in saving Israel, and Jesus showing the greatest strength and forgiveness on the cross.

1. He lived the life we should’ve lived

The World Harvest Mission suggests trying to avoid negative talk and defending ourselves for a week to show our spiritual state. This can be hard to do even for an hour. But Jesus Christ won the ultimate struggle. He lived a life of perfect love for God and others, showing us how we should live.

2. He died the death we should’ve died

Jesus is shown as a hero who gave himself up for people, outdoing Old Testament heroes by showing love and salvation. He forgave his enemies, changing them into church members, and filled the world with the body of Christ. This shows how important it is to be humble and depend on God’s grace. To be like Jesus, we need to admit our faults, forgive others, and depend on Him as our rescuer. This shows how important it is to say sorry and be humble in reaching our potential.



A Covenant Relationship

By Tim Keller

I Am He

By Tim Keller

The Story of the Lamb

By Tim Keller

May Book Offer

Share the reason for the hope within you!

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.