Judges 15-16 B

I’d like to think Samson lived as long as he did because the LORD loved his mother (13:3).

We get caught up in his magical hair (as if he’s Rapunzel or something), but his power always stemmed from continued obedience to the LORD concerning Nazarite laws. His hair was only part of that.

He had been dedicated to the LORD from the womb, much like other great men like Samuel and John the Baptist would be. But unlike those great men of God, Samson was deceitful, violent and barbaric. He certainly was not supposed to be eating out of animal carcasses, but here we are–deep in the dark days of a downward spiral–unclean foods is the least of our worries.

I’ve read this story a ton of times and I feel I always get to the end and think, “what in the world was I supposed to glean from this?”

“He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out and took it and killed a thousand men with it. Then Samson said, ‘With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have killed a thousand men.’ (15:15-16‬)

A guy with this kind of violent record, and a proclivity for riddles and poems, is the stuff horror movie psychopaths are made of.

What is this sex-addicted clown doing in the Bible?

Judging Israel, I guess. Or at least hijacking the title for 20 years (15:20) The only time I can see him saving Israelites from trouble, is in response to his own stirring up of trouble with the fox fire. His temper about his wife going to a friend (a pointed detail) results in her eventual death and MANY others.

I’m not sure how this all counts toward being a judge, but whatever. The point is, things were bad, and if this clown was supposed to their their judge-leader, he was very selfishly not doing a great job. Another sign of tough times.

Even to say that the LORD’s task for Samson was merely to haphazardly murder a few thousand Philistines seems insufficient.

What are your thoughts? He’s a tantalizing guy. I dare say only Jesus rivals Samson for cinematic adaptations of a Biblical person’s life. The sex, the violence, the presupposed muscles… (seriously, wouldn’t it be hilarious if he wasn’t ripped? I mean, he had no need to work out, so there’s a chance he was normally-sized, which is hilarious to visualize).

I can shrug and say, God can use anybody, which is true, but I feel this time around I’m going to chalk it up to a mom who caught the LORD’s attention and compassion, and who kept a promise; raising a son who understood that promise–to an extent.

Women are powerful influencers. We can use that power to impart the importance of obedience. Or we can annoy men within an inch of their lives, like Delilah. How’s that for a spectrum? Where do you land?

-Bethany

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