Today’s thoughts rest on Samson, who could very well have been a heavy weight champion! Interesting story, huh? This guy is born into a vow, consecrated to God and somehow turns out to be the cockiest most dangerous guy on the planet. For instance, after he discovers he’s been cheated out of a riddle, he kills 30 men in order to fulfill his obligations. Then when he finds out he’s lost his wife to the best man at the wedding (because, I mean, let’s face it he had “spousal abuse” written all over him!), he didn’t just beat down the guy that ticks him off; he catches a bunch of foxes (300 to be exact), ties their tails together, and proceeds to burn completely the fields of the town! And that’s not all, because of his “fox stunt” the town gets mad and burns to death his ex-wife and her dad (which I can’t say I didn’t see coming since we are talking about the old testament) so Samson, not one to back down from revenge, gets even and slaughters 1000 men with a jaw bone! Can you say anger issues?!
And yet, despite all this and more (including a romp with a prostitute) God still shows favor and uses him. I can’t help but think there might have been less blood shed if he’d been a little less egotistical and a lot more spiritually obedient, but we don’t get that story; we get this one – about a cocky, rash, and vengeful man with dreadlocks (7 braids precisely). What does that mean? Well, I think there could be many lessons found, but the one that stands out to me, that pretty much meets me where I am is this: God doesn’t call the perfect. What a relief that is! I was having a hard time looking at my many mistakes and still believing I was called. Luckily for us, Samson isn’t the only flawed vessel…Abraham, David, Paul, Peter, and Jonah just to name a few! But honestly, Samson makes them look tame! I’m thinking David, with all his courage and might, might have stepped back a bit when met in the dark by Samson! No doubt he was intimidating.
Sadly, or rather, finally we come to the end of Samson’s, (shall we say interesting?) life. He’s been imprisoned for years, blind and destitute, weak and humbled. He is called out at a party to be mocked, spit on, and ridiculed. His anger rises up one last time. What does he do? Shout out a Tarzan yell, grab the closest pig carcass, and go to town on the people? No. He requests, he prays and he seems somehow less cocky, less self assured, less rash. He simply asks to rest his frame on the pillars of the building. Then, he prays for God to endow him with strength once more to take out the people that had taken down his people, that had gouged out his eyes, and had mocked his God. And he IS vindicated.
Sometimes it takes a great tragedy to humble us and equip us for the work God has for us. Upon his conception, Samson was destined to take down the philistines. It was destined, and his whole life he gave them hell; But, it wasn’t until he was imprisoned and humbled that he finally fulfilled his purpose. Might it have played out differently if he’d not been as hard, as cocky, and as angry as he was? Perhaps. But God created him for a purpose, seeing all time and space, knowing exactly how and what he’d be, and though it baffles us, He chose Samson anyway… Maybe because. That’s something to think about isn’t it?
So where are you? Struggling through the unthinkable, feeling that God is so disappointed in you, you couldn’t possibly be used? Wrestling with the enemy of doubt, thinking maybe you’ve been mistaken that His call must have been misplaced? Oh, sweet child of His, tell those voices to shut up! He used Samson (against all logic and without restraint) and He certainly has a plan for you… And me… Regardless, in spite of, or because of what we’ve done! It’s that simple. And that’s the story of Samson. 😉