Sunday, September 30, 2018

Judges: Samson - God's dumb jock

It took me a month and a half to get around to blogging about Samson.  Why?   My schedule changed and I still don't have a rhythm.  Samson's story is 4 chapters long.  Samson is so conflicted.

First, the Philistines are attacking Israel.  Israel sinned by worshiping other gods again, and God sent an enemy to seriously scar them.  Israel is repenting again and they need a savior.

So God goes to a childless couple in the tribe of Dan to announce that Manoah and his Mrs. will have a son.  He was to be a lifelong Nazarite and avoid alcohol, grapes, and never cut his hair.  Just like Jesus, he was a longed for child, and he was supposed to be set apart and holy.  The only thing is, Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived.  I don't see any indication that Samson ever tried to live holy.

He grew up and saw a sexy lady among the Philistines.  He wanted to marry her.  His parents warned him not to do so because she was not an Israelite.  But Samson followed his urges and married her.  Then he found a lion along a path and killed it.  He passed by the lion again, and some bees made honey in it.  Samson ate some knowing full well that it is unclean to touch a dead body.  He also gave some to his parents and defiled them.  Then he made a riddle and messed with the minds of his new in-laws.  He placed bets on if they could solve it.  They threatened Samson's new wife for the answer and she made his life miserable until he told her.  Then they found out.  In payment, he went to a Philistine town, killed some men, and took their clothes.  Then he went home and they gave his wife to the "best man."

Later on, Samson came back for his wife, found out that she had been given to another man, and then grabbed 300 foxes, tied their tails together, and set them on fire.  They ran and burned down towns.  Then, men came to attack him and he killed them all with the jawbone of a donkey.

Samson led Israel for 20 years, but in his old age, he had not learned to stay away from Philistine women.  He went into a prostitute in Gaza.  The paparazzi ambushed him, hoping to catch him in the morning, but at midnight, he took the gates of the city and marched them all the way to Hebron.

Then, he fell in love with Delilah who coaxed him into telling the secret of his strength.  He told many lies such as, "Bind me with new cords," or "Bind me with old cords" or "Tie my hair to a loom."  Each time she told her Philistine friends.  Each time they came.  He knew he couldn't trust her. Yet he still told her that he had never cut his hair.  So she told her friends and they cut his hair, captured him, gouged out his eyes, and made him do slave labor.  But then his hair grew back, he found the main poles of the place he was in, and caused the building to collapse and kill many Philistines and himself. 

Samson was a puzzle.  He slept around and never tried to honor the Lord with his choices, and yet God chose him to judge the Philistines.  He's like Donald Trump.  I can't stand him, but he still is doing what he said he would do when elected and he's still better than the alternatives.  It shows how far away from God both Israel and America had come to fall under such weak leadership.  We only have the choice between godless and more godless.

And yet, I know I have not always followed the Lord in my attitudes and practices either.  I certainly don't deserve to be leading the church in any capacity, but God can made straight lines with crooked sticks.  And I'm thankful that he uses anybody at all to carry out his will.  And I'm certainly thankful he finally sent Jesus to save us and will do so again.

No comments:

Post a Comment