Monthly Archives: May 2017


There is, perhaps, no better way to begin to describe Saul, son of Kish, except in the words of David upon Saul’s death: “How are the mighty fallen!” (II Sam. 1:19). Saul had great promise as a leader of God’s people. He was the first king of the new, Jewish monarchy, chosen by the Lord Himself (I Sam. 9:16). David often described him as “the Lord’s anointed” (e.g., I Sam. 24:10 26:9, 11, 16), as did Samuel (I Sam. 10:1). Physically, he was an impressive man, literally standing head and shoulders above every other man in Israel (I sam. 9:2). Though Saul downplayed it to Samuel (9:21), he was the son of a mighty man of power (9:1).

In the beginning, he was reluctant to become king, even to the point of “hiding among the stuff” (I Sam. 10:22). However, a short time after he was anointed king, he moved with great purpose and rallied the children of Israel and defeated the Ammonites so badly that there was not two of them left together (I Sam. 11:11). Saul had had his detractors. When he was first anointed king, some had spoken despairingly of him and did not honor him with presents (10:27). But now, after his impressive leadership against the Ammonites, all Israel came to Gilgal and renewed the kingdom there (11:14). While the people wanted to kill Saul’s detractors, he compassionately spared their lives and focused instead on the fact that this was the Lord’s victory (11:13).

But this humility and trust in God soon gave way to pride and trust in his own sword. The first crack in his character showed when Samuel was just a little late for an appointment with Saul in Gilgal, and the Philistines were gathered en masse and poised to attack at Michmash (13:4,5,8) and Israel was seemingly losing their trust in Saul and fleeing to the mountains, caves and pits (13:6). Saul became weary in waiting and proceeded to superficially present offerings to God (13:9). No sooner was this done that Samuel appeared and reproved Saul for his presumptuous actions (13:11). In what was to be the first in a series of character trait flaws, Saul blamed others and never took responsibility himself. Saul blamed his actions on Samuel being late and said “I forced myself” to act (13:11,12).

Even though Saul reigned for forty years, and this event was early during that period, yet it signaled the beginning of a downward spiral in Saul’s life that eventually ended in his death. Samuel told Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord” (13:13). Had Saul had kept God’s commandments, God would have established his kingdom upon Israel forever, but now his kingdom would not continue. God’s promises of blessings are always conditional upon obedience.

Saul committed yet another foolish act during the battle with the Philistines when he commanded his men not to eat any food till the evening, until he had been avenged of his enemies (14:24). This oath had repercussions that affected even his own son. First, it greatly distressed the men of Israel for they were faint from lack of sustenance (14:31). It further hurt God’s people because when the battle was concluded, they took of the spoil and ate the flesh with the blood, they were so famished (14:32). Finally, because Jonathan, his son, had not heard this command, he naturally took of some honey that he found on the ground while fighting and it gave him energy to continue. However, Saul wanted to slay his own son for breaking an oath for which he had no knowledge and which, to begin with, was unwise (14:44). It was only through the intervention of the people that Jonathan was saved (14:45)

Saul continued his downward spiral when, after being given a charge by God to utterly destroy the Amalekites, he spared “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them” (15:9). When confronted by Samuel about this, he returned to his favorite weapon–blame someone else. Saul said it was the people who took the spoil to save it to sacrifice to God (15:20,21). Obviously, as king, Saul had a hand in this, as well (15:9). Samuel informed Saul that the LORD does not have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, “as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (15:22,23). God was going to strip the kingdom from him and give it to a man after God’s own heart.

Samuel gives the key to understanding the change that occurred in Saul. Samuel said that initially Saul was little in his own sight (15:17). At the first, Saul was humble and obedient to the Lord. He hid from the spotlight leadership. He downplayed his own beginnings (9:21).  He was magnanimous to those who despised him (10:27). He did not feel compelled to boast about his being chosen as king to his uncle (10:16). After he was chosen and anointed and the people cheered, he went back home (10:26). He was even filled with the power of the Spirit of God and prophesied (10:10). But with a little power, Saul began to think more highly of himself than he ought. He began conscripting people to be warriors and he began disregarding God’s commands.

By the time David is introduced into the narrative, Saul is well on his way to madness. When the women begin praising David more than Saul, it is too much for him to bear and he spends the rest of his life trying to destroy David and regain his legacy, if not for himself, for his son Jonathan. His attempts at destroying David are continually thwarted by his daughter, by his son, by the priests and especially by God. God had great plans for Saul but Saul’s lust for power grew out of control and ultimately ended in his shameful demise (I Sam. 31:8-10). How are the mighty fallen!

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (I Corinthians 10:12).

Eric L. Padgett


Ruth lived during the time of the Judges of Israel (Ruth 1:1). This was an unusually turbulent time with much war and bloodshed and ungodliness (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Yet the endearing story of Ruth stands out like an oasis of peace and calm in the midst of this desert of chaos. She stands out particularly for her great, abiding love, her strength of character and her humble virtue (Ruth 3:11). She was not a queen like Esther, nor a prophetess like Deborah, nor even a Jewess, and yet she possessed several characteristics which guarantees her place in the history of Salvation.

There were several periods of famine and want in these times, occasioned by either natural causes or by oppression (e.g., 6:1-6). Perhaps the story of Ruth falls into one of these periods when Israel had sinned and God had sent the famine as a warning (Deut. 11:13-17). In any event, it was during one of these periods when Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, fled to Moab to find food, presumably until the famine was over. While there, Naomi meets with the tragic death of her husband, followed by the untimely death of her two sons Mahlon and Chilion, who had both married Moabite women. The circumstances surrounding the marriages is unknown, but the family’s sojourn turned into a ten years’ stay (1:4).

Ruth and Naomi

The Moabites were descendants of Lot (Gen. 19:37). Since Lot was the nephew of Abraham, the Moabites were distant relatives of the Jews. Because of this connection to Lot, the Lord would not suffer Israel to distress them nor would He give their land as a possession to Israel because He had given it unto the children of Lot (Deut. 2:9). However, while they were from the same stock they were still very different. The Moabites are referred to in scripture as the people of Chemosh (Num. 21:29). The Moabites also, under Balak, attempted to curse Israel through Balaam and succeeded in causing Israel to sin at Baalpeor (Num. 25:1-3).

It seems somewhat strange, then, that Elimelech would seek refuge in the land of Moab. If the famine that hit the land was due to an enemy, perhaps they did not attack Moab and this was where the food was. Nevertheless it would appear that this Moabitess named Ruth had not only been a good wife to Mahlon (Ruth 4:10), but equally a good daughter-in-law to Naomi. Ruth, in spite of all the odds against her, was willing to accompany Naomi to her homeland, leaving her own people and culture and gods (Ruth 1:16). Back in Bethlehem, Ruth willingly worked with her hands to provide for and take care of her mother-in law Naomi and herself (Ruth 2:2,7). Her care for Naomi was known among the people for Boaz tells her that he has been made aware of all she had done for Naomi (2:11). Ruth’s love for Naomi was obvious, palpable and enduring.

Ruth and Boaz

Boaz was of the family of Elimelech and so was a kinsman to Naomi (Ruth 2:1-3). He was a successful man, described as a “mighty man of wealth” who had fields which his many servants worked (Ruth 2:1). Clarke mentions that some identify Boaz as one of the Judges of Israel, though this is never stated and is not suggested by any obvious fact. He was, however, a God fearing man for his greeting indicated his faith (Ruth 2:4) and his speech revealed a trust in Jehovah (e.g., Ruth 2:12). Not only did Boaz love the Lord, but he treated his workers fairly and with dignity. Boaz also followed the law for while he was a kinsman, he recognized that there was another kinsman nearer than he who would have first opportunity to perform the service (Ruth 3:12; Deut. 25:5-10).

Boaz noticed Ruth immediately (2:5). He was particularly kind to her, especially upon learning that she came back with Naomi, with whom he was related (2:6). He blessed her by allowing her to stay close to his workers and permitting her to gather whatever they left behind. He instructed his men to leave some behind on purpose (Ruth 2:13-18). Ruth’s seemingly unusual and forward method of approaching Boaz suggested that she recognized Boaz’s affection for her but saw that he was timid about making his own feelings known explicitly. The delicacy yet innocence of the situation permits us to surmise that the feelings each felt for the other were always just below the surface. That Boaz immediately accepted Ruth’s request further strengthens the notion that he was of a willing mind, if only the legal obstacles of another kinsman redeemer were removed (Ruth 3:11,12).

Ruth and Christ

The story of Ruth is beautiful in its own right and yet there is a deeper, more powerful purpose found therein. After Ruth and Boaz marry and conceive, Naomi’s companions exclaim: “Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman…and he shall be unto thee a restorer of life…” (4:14,15). The word “kinsman” is translated from the Hebrew word goel which means to redeem and implies to be next of kin. Under the Law of Moses, it was the duty of the nearest relative to redeem (goel) land that was an individual’s inheritance, if the individual could not do so himself (Lev. 25:25-28). The kinsman must redeem (goel) one who was sold into slavery (Lev. 25:47-40).

The child born to Ruth and Boaz was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David (4:17). David’s seed is the Christ (Matt. 1:1,5; Rom. 1:3). Christ is our elder brother (Heb. 2:11; Rom. 8:29; John 20:17). He came to redeem His people (Luke 1:68) from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and from all iniquity (Tit. 2:14) through His own precious blood (Rev. 5:9) that we might receive the adoption of sons (Gal. 4:5). He is the Angel which redeemed Jacob from all evil (Gen. 48:6). He is the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Is. 54:5). He is the Redeemer that turns ungodliness away from Jacob (Is. 59:20; Rom. 11:26). Job said long ago, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25). He is our Near Kinsman Redeemer.

Eric L. Padgett


Samuel’s life showed promise from even before he was born. He was born to two godly parents, Elkanah and Hannah (I Sam. 1:1,2). Elkanah was of the line Kohath, whose descendants were in charge of bearing the holy furniture and utensils of the tabernacle (Num. 4:15). Both Elkanah and Hannah were faithful in their yearly worship at the tabernacle at Shiloh (I Sam. 1:3). That his mother Hannah fiercely believed in God is evidenced by her prayer to Him for a son (I Sam. 1:10,11). Her faith is further demonstrated by her acceptance of what Eli the Judge told her concerning God blessing her with a son (I Sam. 1:18). It is once more demonstrated by her keeping her vows to dedicate her son to God after he was born (I Sam. 1:11, 22). Even the name “Samuel,” which means “asked of God,” demonstrates her faith in God (I Sam. 1:20). Being born into a God-fearing family is a blessing.

Though loved by his mother and father, Samuel grew up not at their home in Ramah (I Sam. 1:19), but lived at Shiloh and studied at the feet of Eli where he ministered unto the Lord, girded with a linen ephod, even though he was but a child (I Sam. 2:11,18). His character and life is contrasted to that of Eli’s sons, who are described as “sons of belial,” who knew not the Lord (I Sam. 2:12). Samuel had a winning personality, for he grew in favor with both God and man (I Sam. 2:26). Eventually, all Israel came to understand that the Lord was with him, letting none of his words fall to the ground, or not come to pass, and “knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord” (I Sam. 3:19).

The times in which Samuel grew up were troubled times, ones in which many people were not faithful to the Lord. Men abhorred the offering of the Lord (I Sam. 2:26). Women were committing immorality with the priests (I Sam. 2:22) and the priests were stealing from and committing violence against those who came to worship (I Sam. 2:13-16). God spoke to no one perhaps because there were so few of that age worthy to receive a revelation from God (I Sam. 3:1). However, in these days when the word of God was precious God chose to speak to Samuel, even while a young child, instead of the aged but compromised Eli (I Sam. 3:2–8). Samuel, having never experienced a revelation before, did not understand at first that God was calling him (I Sam. 3:4,5,7).

When Samuel had ran to Eli three times to see what he wanted, for he thought it was Eli that was calling him, not Jehovah, Eli instructed him to listen to God (I Sam. 3:8,9). This is good advice for all of us, advice Eli, himself, should have taken with regard to his sons. The Lord chose to deliver this powerful warning to Eli through this young man Samuel. Another aspect of Samuel’s character reveals itself when Samuel is reluctant to inform Eli of God’s judgements against him until he is commanded to do so by Eli. He feared to show Eli the vision, perhaps out of concern for Eli (I Sam. 3:17). But when he was pressed by Eli, Samuel told him everything and held nothing back (I Sam. 3:18). He was faithful in revealing the word of God. It is now Samuel’s word that is heard by Israel as Eli dies at the news that the ark of the covenant is taken (I Sam. 4:1,15-18).

Samuel’s first test as a leader came when he rallied Israel to repent from their worshiping of false idols and to turn to God and serve only Him. It was only then that the Lord could deliver them from the yoke of the Philistines (I Sam. 7:3). Israel hearkened unto Samuel and put away their idols of baalim and astaroth and served the Lord only (I Sam. 7:4). It was then that Samuel cried unto the Lord and the Lord heard him (I Sam. 7:9). After God miraculously stops the advance of the Philistines, the Israelites pursue after and defeat them and Samuel raises a memorial stone, Ebenezer, or, stone of help (I Sam. 7:12). In our own worship we often sing of this Stone of Help.

Just as it was in Eli’s life, the great flaw in Samuel’s life was his sons. We learn from Samuel, himself, for he is the author of this book, that his sons did not walk in his ways (I Sam. 8:5). They were hungry for dishonest gain and were willing to pervert judgement in order to get their money (I Sam. 8:3). The goal in obtaining money this way is usually to fund some kind of profligate living. We are not told how it came to be that his sons were sinful, but, while every child is ultimately responsible for his own conduct, the path upon which he travels is determined by his upbringing in the home (Prov. 22:6). Eli did not restrain his sons when they made themselves vile (I Sam. 3:13). Perhaps Samuel was too busy to make the right choices regarding his son’s training.

Samuel is reckoned as the last of the judges (I Sam. 7:15,16). It is during this time that the children of Israel asked for a king. Because Samuel’s sons were wicked and Samuel was growing older, the children of Israel requested a king to rule over them so that they could be like the nations round about them (I Sam. 8:6). Samuel didn’t like it but the Lord told him that they were not rejecting him but were rejecting God (I Sam. 8:7). Samuel anointed the first king, Saul, who turned out to be just what Samuel had warned them against. It was also Samuel who told Saul that God rejected him from being king because he had rejected the word of the Lord (I Sam. 15:23). Finally, Samuel anointed the second king of Israel, king David (I Sam. 16:12,13).

While Samuel was last of the judges, he was first of the prophets (Acts 13:20; 3:24). While Moses was a prophet, and even Enoch had prophesied before him (Jude 14), and others are declared to be prophets, there was no regular succession of prophets until Samuel. We have seen that when Samuel came on the scene there was no open vision (I Sam. 4:1). During his days, however, there sprang up schools of prophets (e.g., I Sam 10:5; I Sam. 19:19-24). The Jews referred to Samuel as the “chief of the prophets.” In scripture, he is sometimes placed beside Moses (Ps. 99:6; Jer. 15:1). It is in his books that we find the prophecy that God would build a house for David and a throne (II Sam. 7:12ff – though these sections were probably added later by Nathan and God). Luke records that it is Christ who was the fulfillment of these prophecies (Acts 3:24).

Eric L. Padgett


The name Eli means “lofty” or “ascension,” and could possibly be a shortened form of Eliel, meaning “God is high” (Hastings). He was a descendant of Ithamar, the fourth son of Aaron, one of the two sons of Aaron which ministered in the priest’s office after Nadab and Abihu were struck dead when they offered a strange fire before the Lord (Lev. 10:1,2; Num. 3:4). Eli is distinguished as the first of the priests in Israel’s history to also function as a judge (I Sam. 1:9; 4:18). As a judge, he ruled for forty years, following Samson. There is not much information given regarding Eli and Eli is always mentioned, not for his own sake but, as his life is intertwined with others.

The time in which Eli served as judge, as recorded by Samuel, was marked by an absence of open revelation (II Sam. 3:1). We can assume from that fact that Eli eventually perceived that the Lord was talking to Samuel, that he had previously experienced such revelations on occasion himself, but not frequently (I Sam. 3:8). There were still a few prophets in Israel. Deborah had been a prophetess (Judges 4:4). A man of God also came to speak to Eli regarding the future of his house (I Sam. 2:27). This period was also marked by continued fighting with the Philistines (I Sam. 4:1) and it was also a time when men began to abhor the worship of God, precipitated in some measure by Eli’s wicked sons (I Sam. 2:17).

The first time we meet Eli is when he encounters Hannah (I Sam. 1). The account is more about Hannah than Eli but there are lessons to be learned from his actions. Hannah is the wife of Elkanah, who is also married to Penninah (I Sam. 1:2). Hannah is barren and Penninah, who had born children to Elkanah, would not let her forget it (I Sam. 1:6). When Hannah, weeping and sobbing, pours out her heart to God in prayer for a son, Eli notices her, that “her lips moved, but her voice was not heard” (I Sam. 1:13). From this Eli assumed she was drunk.

Does it tell us anything about Eli that he would assume Hannah was drunk from just this information? Not only did he assume Hannah was drunk, but also condemned her for it without a fair hearing? It is very possible, perhaps even likely, that, there were many in that society who were given to such vices as he imagined her to be practicing and his condemnation of this would have been just. But Eli seems here to quickly jump to the conclusion that Hannah must needs be like all others in that society. His quick and unmitigated condemnation of sin, was commendable. But Eli was a judge of Israel and a priest of the Lord, both positions requiring patience and understanding, which Eli failed to show.

On the other hand, when Eli learned from Hannah the truth about the situation, he quickly blessed her and prayed God that He would grant her petition. When Hannah’s petition was granted of the Lord, and she bore a son, she brought the child, as she promised, to Eli, with whom he stayed for the remainder of Eli’s life (I Sam. 1:15,28). The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. He was educated by Eli and trained by him to serve the Lord. The contrast between how Samuel was trained by Eli and how Eli reared his sons is quite stark. Samuel grew up to be a great prophet and judge of Israel while Eli’s sons were corrupt. This contrast is thrice pointed out, once before and twice after the sins of Eli’s sons are described (I Sam. 2:11,18,26).

The great tragedy of Eli’s life is the wickedness of his sons (I Sam. 2:12). They took portions of the offerings that did not belong to them, they threatened violence if their demands were not met and they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the Lord (I Sam. 2:13-16,22). Their father, Eli, condemned these wicked practices and warned them against sinning so against the Lord, but they would not listen (I Sam. 2:24,25). Certainly these two sons were guilty of great crimes against the people, against Eli, against the tabernacle and most of all against God.

Eli’s warnings notwithstanding, the Lord placed the blame on him because he apparently honored his sons above the Lord (I Sam. 2:29). Eli was the High Priest and was responsible for the conduct of all the priests, especially his own sons. The fact remains that Eli did not stop his sons from these practices. The Text says that Eli was guilty of “kicking” at the Lord’s sacrifices because he did not stop his sons. He was guilty by his association with them in these things and lack of action against them. Indeed, he may have even benefited from their actions. The Text again says you “make yourselves fat,” plural, which includes Eli. Was Eli receiving a kickback from his son’s actions? It pains one to think that Eli might have had such a flaw hidden in his heart.

The fierceness of the judgment God placed on Eli for his crime (of not restraining his sons) is indicative of the seriousness of the crime of which Eli had been guilty. The judgment affected the future of his line for all his descendants would die before they were very old (I Sam. 2:33). This especially included his two sons who were both going to die in the same day (I Sam. 2:34). This prophecy was fulfilled when, later, the Philistines would take the ark and kill both Hophni and Phinehas (I Sam. 4:11). Phinehas’s son, Ahitub, could not have been priest very long for his son Ahimelech was priest during the days of Saul.  Ahimelech was slaughtered by king Saul (I Sam. 22:16-19).  His son Abiathar was removed from the priesthood by Solomon (I Kings 2:27).

What a tragic ending to a man, a life, and a family.

Eric L. Padgett


Samson is celebrated in most circles because of his strength. His great, supernatural strength certainly set him apart in many ways but it is not unparalleled in Bible history. For instance, Shamgar, another Judge, slew six hundred Philistines with an ox goad (Judges 3:31). Adino, one of David’s mighty men, slew eight hundred at one time (II Sam. 23:8). Abishai, the brother of Joab, defeated and slew three hundred men (II Sam. 23:18). Benaiah killed a lion in the midst of a pit in a time of snow, as well as two lion-like men of Moab (II Sam. 23:20). Though perhaps more pronounced than all others, Samson’s strength is not all there is to this man.

He was born to God-fearing parents who were concerned about his moral and spiritual welfare. They asked the Angel Who announced his birth, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” (13:12). They were concerned about rearing him correctly. When Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman, his parents urged him to find a woman from among the children of Dan or any of the children of Israel rather than go to the uncircumcised (14:3). Samson recognized that his parents were conscientious enough of God’s Law not to tell them that the honey he brought them came from inside the dead carcass of lion, which could have potentially violated his Nazarite vow (Num. 6:6).

From the fact that he perplexed the Philistines with a riddle at his wedding ceremony, we may surmise that he was intelligent (14:12). He was not just some big, powerful, lumbering, dumb gorilla of a man but a thoughtful and emotional human being. The attacks he made on the Philistines also show his creativity. For instance, tying the tails of two foxes together to a firebrand would make their movements even more erratic, thus increasing the devastation (15:4,5). His playful and inventive answers to questions as to the source of his strength, demonstrate his quick and biting wit.

Samson also had the advantage of being moved by the Spirit of God. As Samson grew, the Bible tells us, the Lord blessed him (13:24). At different times the Spirit of the Lord began to move him in the camp of Dan (13:25). While others of his tribe were content to remain in the status quo–the Philistines had dominion over Israel for forty years at that time (13:1)–, Samson would find an occasion to attack the Philistines. The men of Judah, for instance, were content to be under the thumb of the Philistines and instead complained that Samson had endangered them by his actions. Instead of fighting the enemy, they actually tried to aid the enemy by binding Samson and delivering him to the Philistines (15:13). How very confused they were!

While his own brethren were complicit in his being bound and captured (although they could not do it on their own but had to gain Samson’s consent – 15:12,13), Samson all the while was plotting a way to use this to bring more devastation upon the Philistines. He allowed himself to be bound and ultimately taken by the Philistines, only to burst forth from his bonds, just like they were butter, when he was brought to the Philistine camp. And then, finding the nearest implement–the jawbone of an ass–he proceeded to slay one thousand men of the Philistines (15:15-17). Too many times we become complacent with sin and just overlook it instead of fighting it.

There is no doubt that Samson hit low points in his life and in his service to the Lord. He had a major weakness for women, especially Philistine women. The first woman from Timnath pleased him well but vexed his parents who wanted an Israelite for a daughter-in-law (14:1-3). But what his parents did not understand was that this was from the Lord so that an occasion might arise to attack the Philistines (14:4). Either this was revealed to Samson or this was the Lord’s plan and used Samson unawares. Either way, it was God’s way of provoking a conflict between the children of Israel and the Philistines.

The second woman was an harlot (16:1). The word translated harlot can also mean “inn-keeper” which often had prostitutes attached to it. But just as the spies went into the house of Rahab the harlot without intending to avail themselves of her services, perhaps Samson went into the Philistine territory of Gaza to learn more about the enemy. After all, it ended up with Samson destroying the city gates and carrying them off because the Philistines were waiting to try and take him. The city gates kept enemies out of the city and now that they were destroyed, the city became more vulnerable.

Unlike the first two women, Delilah had evil intentions. She was specifically employed by the Philistine Lords to learn the secret of Samson’s great strength (16:5). Samson’s misplaced love for this woman cost him God’s favor (16:0). In the end however, after suffering great humiliation for his weakness, Samson was able, by God’s help, to destroy more Philistines in his death than in his entire life (16:30). This was the beginning of the deliverance of Israel out of the hands of the Philistines (13:5).

While many take Samson to task for being too worldly, Samson also did great things for the Lord’s people. Samson is listed in the book of Hebrews among those who are said to be men of great faith (Heb. 11:32). For Samson to have been listed here, he must have acted according to God’s wishes for faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

Eric L. Padgett