Samson’s time to judge comes to an end. He spends his final days in the custody of the Philistines who are very pleased with themselves. No sign of his beloved Delilah or any family or tribe members coming to his rescue. What do you think Samson was feeling?
It almost seems that it was in desperation that Samson called out to God. “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time.” Whether Samson believed it before or not, he clearly realizes now that the LORD was the source of his strength. It’s like he wanted one more chance to be used by God.
Will he ever learn? I don’t think I’m the only one who sees Samson’s “weakness” to be women. It’s almost as if he is a lovesick puppy. God gave him the gift of strength, but when it comes to women, he melts all over the place! Delilah had him wrapped around her finger! Whether she loved Samson or not we never hear. Instead, we see Delilah as conniving and money hungry.
Samson had enough sense to keep Delilah in the dark about the source of his strength at first. But don’t you wonder what was going through Samson’s mind when the Philistines came to capture him the very way he had just told Delilah?
Taking a moment of silence right now for those present day in and near Gaza. It breaks my heart any time we hear news reports of unrest between people in the world. What timing that we would be reading about this very region today as fighting erupts there after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem.
Our reading focuses on a little side trip for our latest judge, Samson. Again, we see him giving in to his carnal desires. When I first imagined what life as a Nazirite would be like, I pictured monks praying. This is not the kind of life we see Samson living. He seems to take his might for granted. That’s lesson #1–don’t take your God given abilities for granted.
Samson was a little like a loose cannon, don’t you think? He had gone home to cool down after the wedding fiasco, but it appears he thought he was still married. Imagine his surprise when he found out his wife was no longer his wife. That surprise sparked more destruction of Philistine property. Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.”
Samson truly believed that he had proper justification to sacrifice those foxes and burn down the grain fields, the vineyards, and olive groves. All over a woman! His pride had been damaged after all. He needed to show who was in control. That did not end well for his wife or her father.
Samson seems a bit spoiled. He saw the woman of his dreams and said to his parents, “I want to marry her. Get her for me.” I thought that was a bit demanding. Especially in light of the fact she was a Philistine, the enemy that was oppressing the Israelites. Didn’t he care? “His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.” There you have it, God was at work. Now, it all makes sense!
If you’ve ever wondered why you have a desire for something that doesn’t make sense, it could be that God is working inside you. Don’t take that as an opportunity to go eat a whole carton of ice cream in one sitting because of a “desire.” That’s not what I meant. This is a good reminder, however, that God will use unusual circumstances to do his work.