Q) Can you compare Samson to a suicide bomber?
A) This is an accusation commonly made by Muslims. But there are some big differences between a suicide bomber, and the Martyrs of the Bible who gave their life. Though I can see how there would be some confusion based on how our english language and various Bible translations phrase the events.
If you are unfamiliar with Samson’s life and death, it can be found in Judges 13-16.
Samson’s death was far different from that of a suicide bomber. Samson was captured, his eyes had been taken, he was shackled, and he was likely going to be put death. The taking of his own life was clearly done through supernatural powers given by the Lord that he directly prayed to for help for vengeance against his enemies. A suicide bomber on the other hand is not doing anything supernatural. Bombs are not supernatural, thus cannot be confirmed to be approved by God. Suicide bombers have not been captured, they have not been tortured, and they are not being held captive and mocked in an act of worship towards the god of their enemies. Suicide bombers are not God’s chosen representatives of his judgment amongst his people.
Samson was a judge over Israel, the people of God. The position he had was appointed by God. Justice needed to be served. The false god and the temple of the Philistines should not prevail against the real God of the universe. Samson prayed to the Lord and asked for vindication against the enemies of God, and he was willing to offer his own life in the process. His death was not a self-righteous vindication either. He was laying his life down for the good of God’s people, that they might be spared from their enemies, even if it cost him his own life.
From the Biblical worldview, all life comes from God and it is his to give or take. All humans die as punishment for our sin (man, woman, or child). When and how death shall come is a matter left to God. When suicide bombers take their own lives and the lives of the innocent, it means that God has allowed the evil action to occur. It does not mean that he ordains it to be good. Samson’s sacrificial death brought glory to God and confirmed to all the remaining Philistines that the God of Israel is real and he is not to be mocked! The death of the Philistines quite possibly led to others in their community to repent and be brought to saving faith in the one true Lord, turning from Dagon The hope that we have from the Bible is that no matter what occurs, God will work through all situations for the good of his people who love him. (Romans 8:28)