The Bible has several stories showing the strength of their characters. The story of Samson is one about physical strength while the rest are about spiritual strength and trusting in the Lord. God offers strength to those who trust in Him (Isaiah 41:10; Philippians 4:13).
The Book of Joshua
Joshua is known as a great military leader. When he was a young man he was asked to be one of the 12 spies who entered into the Promised Land to see what their plan of attack should be. He was outnumbered and Moses chose to follow the crowd. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. At the end of those long years Moses turned over the leadership of Israel to Joshua.
The whole book of Joshua tells the story of how Joshua lead the people through battle after battle to inhabit the land that God had promised Abraham several hundred years before.
Two Strength Stories from the Book of Judges
The story of Gideon is one of how God used Gideon to overthrow their oppressors—the Midianites. Israel had rebelled against the Lord and brought judgment on the people.
When God sought out Gideon he had to be convinced that the Lord really wanted him to be the one to lead the people. God proved Himself to Gideon with little victories to prepare him for the battle to come. The angel which delivered the message to Gideon performed a miracle before him and then asked him to destroy an altar. Gideon did so with the help of 10 men. Gideon then asked God to prove Himself once again by wetting a fleece with the morning dew, but not the ground around it. The following day he asked that the fleece be dry, but the ground wet.
God helped Gideon learn to trust Him. While he did not start out as a strong and valiant man, he learned to trust the Lord for his strength.
The next step was to assemble his army to fight the Midaanites. He started with 3,000 men. God pared down the army to just 300 men before the battle. God’s intention was that when the battle was over the people of Israel would acknowledge that it was the Lord who delivered them, not the strength of men.
When it came time to fight the Midianites God used Gideon to confuse the enemy by making it appear that the Israelite army was huge compared to the Midianites. In their confusion, the Midianites battled within their own army and killed one another. Those who did escape were captured or killed by the few men in Gideon’s army.
Gideon’s strength came through trusting God’s Word.
The physical strength of Samson was given by God. Because of promises that Samson’s parents had made to the Lord, Samson was a powerful man whom God used to fight Israel’s enemy. Though God worked through him, Samson did not always obey the Lord. Samson accomplished much in his own physical strength, but it wasn’t until he trusted in what God could do through him that he was able to accomplish his greatest victory.
Samson was a Nazarite from birth. A Nazarite is someone who makes certain sacrifices to serve the Lord in a special way. Most of the time the vow of a Nazarite is taken for a limited period of time and for a specific purpose. However, Samson was dedicated to the Lord before he was born. He was to be a Nazarite for life. Part of his vow was that his hair would never be shaved from his head. In return, God gave him an unbelievable strength.
As Samson grew, he did not obey his parents nor the Lord. God still used him to fight the enemy. Sadly, he was doing it in his own physical strength instead of trusting God to guide him.
His strength was given by God because of his vow as a Nazarite. But Samson grew to believe that he did not need God or his vow to have the physical strength that he enjoyed in life. Samson told Delilah (a Philistine woman and an enemy) that he would lose his strength if his hair was shaved. The result was that Samson was captured by the enemy and was made a slave. His eyes were gouged out and the enemy made a mockery of him and the God of Israel.
Samson learned that his strength did come from God. He asked God to allow him to perform one final act of strength. This time he trusted in God and was able to kill more of the enemy in his final work for God than he did his whole life.
Two Stories About Strength from the Book of Daniel
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—Daniel 3
King Nebuchadnezzar built an idol to show his own power and strength in the world. He commanded all of the inhabitants of Babylon to bow and worship his creation. There was to be a great ceremony in which the people would worship together. When the ceremony began everyone bowed to the idol except three young Hebrew men—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
The three men had been brought from Israel as slaves, yet through time they were promoted to positions of authority because of their great wisdom. When it was time to worship the image they stood strong because of their belief in the God of Israel.
For not obeying the king’s command, they were sentenced to be burned in a furnace. The king was so angry at their disobedience that he demanded the furnace be heated seven times more than normal for the trio.
The Bible says that the furnace was so hot that the soldiers who threw the three men in were consumed by the fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not harmed in any way. The ropes which bound them were burned away, but they walked about freely in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said that he saw them walking around with a fourth person who he believed was the Son of God.
For their strength and trust in God, the king proclaimed his trust in the God of Israel.
Daniel in the Lion’s Den—Daniel 6
Many years after the three Hebrew children were spared from the flames, there was a new king in Babylon. He and Daniel became friends. But not everyone loved Daniel as the king did. Some men tricked the king into making a law that required the people to worship him only. If they were caught worshiping any other person, idol or god, they would be thrown into a den of lions.
This law was made specifically to capture Daniel. His habit was to pray at least three times a day. The men caught Daniel praying and brought him to the king for punishment. Though King Darius was saddened at this turn of events, he still carried out the punishment he authorized.
Daniel said to the king that he would trust the Lord even if the lions killed him. The lions didn’t kill Daniel though. He was spared through the night by God. When he emerged from the lion’s den the king ordered that the men who made the law be lowered down to face the same punishment they wanted for Daniel. The Bible says they did not even touch the ground before the lions consumed them.
When looking for Bible stories about strength you can see most stories are about the strength that comes from trusting in the Lord.