No .06 Samson
If there ever was an amazing action story in the bible is has to be that of Samson. You can have a look on YouTube of course and find some interesting films made about 50 years ago, but this is begging for a full Hollywood work up.
Samson’s parents had a visit from an angel and they knew that their boy child was to be set apart, dedicated to the service of God. This meant that Samson was living as a Nazarite with a particular set of skills, (sorry that should be code, I am mixing this with my favourite film!).
The code was simple and the benefit was massive. Samson must abstain from fermented drink, not touch any dead bodies and never let a razor cut his hair. The return for this code? A life of unique blessing and power from the Lord, well worth the effort!
The battles Samson got involved with are incredible, and a bit hard to fathom really. On one occasion after tying the tails together of 300 foxes he had caught, he secures a flaming torch to each set and lets them loose in the philistine’s fields to burn them all. Understandable upset they retaliate and burn two people to death, so then Samson gets very cross. Samson gets the jawbone of a donkey and sets about stabbing, slashing and clubbing about one thousand men to death.
There is a lot of stuff like this in the life of Samson, did I mention he found a dead lion? If you have been following this blog series you will understand.
The thing I want to point out in this short blog is simply about God’s grace being incredibly abundant in the Old Testament. Samson actually ends up losing the one thing that made him so incredibly distinct and focused in his life, the spirit of God.
Samson had let the Nazarite code go and the final straw was letting his deceptive wife know his secret, she cut his hair and boom, the Lord left him.
The sad bit is, and you can read it here in Judges 16:20 that ‘he did not know that the LORD had left him.’
“During that journey of wandering, prayer becomes stale and lifeless, the bible is like walking through treacle and going to church fells like just another thing to get done.”
I remember hearing Beechy (CVMs President!) speak about Samson, and I think he wrote this in 52 Men too. That for Samson the spirit of God was brooding over him and had taken such great power in his life, but Samson and his life choices were such that he just hadn’t noticed the spirit leave. I liked that.
Sometimes, we can actively walk in the opposite direction to the Holy Spirits leading in our lives. I have done it, been there and got the t shirt. Absolute conviction both in my spirit and in what I know of God form the bible however I wander off in the opposite direction. During that journey of wandering, prayer becomes stale and lifeless, the bible is like walking through treacle and going to church is just another thing to get done.
Have you been there? I have, a few times.
I think this is a place we can often find ourselves, I am not suggesting the Holy Spirit has packed up his bags in a tantrum and walked out the door of your life. However, I am suggesting that he retreats, steps back, let’s you wander and he did it with Samson.
Cool thing is, remember I talked about God’s grace being incredible in the Old Testament? Well for Samson he called out to God one last time, blinded and restrained by his enemies he called to God:
“Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Judges 16:28
Samson pushed the pillars in the building down with indescribable power killing even more of his enemies in his death than he had in his life. Not easy reading to be honest, but Samson discovered that God forgives, restores and hadn’t forgotten him. I found that encouraging anyway.
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.