We met Samson’s parents in Judges 13 and read the story preceding his birth.
In the following chapter we bypassed his childhood to arrive at the young Samson’s doomed marriage to a foreign beauty.
Judges 15 chronicles the consequent escalating warfare between Samson and the Philistines which concludes with his near-death victory. It is followed with the verse:
And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
It is at this point we come to the realisation that all we have read (Judges 13-15, three quarters of what the Bible records about Samson) has been but a prelude, an introduction to his role as judge.
It highlights once again that God is focusing our attention to only a very few specific events in Samson’s life. God is painting a picture with a particular message – of being made strong out of weakness. Samson’s lust, anger, pride, jealousy, fear and isolation were overcome by faith in the one who works wonders, and his woes have prepared Samson well.
I like to think of Samson dwelling in the land, living in Hebron, and the people of Israel coming up to him for judgment. He is well equipped to be their Judge – having been ‘tempted in all points as they were’. Merciful and faithful in the service of God, for 20 years.
And not another word is recorded of it.