Having spent much of the Introduction to the second book of his treatise On the Holy Spirit demonstrating how Samson is filled with the Holy Spirit, St. Ambrose has this to say about Smason’s loss of his great strength and subsequent recovery:
Is that, then, Samson who broke ropes twisted with thongs, and new cords like weak threads? Is that Samson who did not feel the bonds of his hair fastened to the beam, so long as he had the grace of the Spirit? He, I say, after the Spirit of God departed from him, was greatly changed from that Samson Who returned clothed in the spoils of the aliens, but fallen from his greatness on the knees of a woman, caressed and deceived, is shorn of his hair (Judges 16:7, 11, 19).
Thus, it was not the length of his hair that gave or denied him strength, rather it was his relationship with the Holy Spirit. Samson was:
unconquered so long as he kept the grace of the Spirit . . . and so invincible as to be able to smite a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass (Judg. 15:15); so full of heavenly grace that when thirsty he found even water in the jawbone of an ass
This is another reminder that with God, nothing is impossible, while turning our back on God invites disaster and slavery. It would do all of us well to remember the strength Samson had through the Holy Spirit — the same Spirit with which every Orthodox Christian is sealed. In other words, we have the same strength in the face of our enemies — sin and death. Therefore, the next time we are faced with temptation, remember the strength of Samson and know that we have the power to overcome. Amen.