Sunday, January 28, 2018

Block 96 Samson

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“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.Judges 17:6
Who doesn’t love a story with a hero, the strongest man in the Bible — a man who was given his strength from God?  The Bible stories we heard as children describe Samson as a hero with a miraculous birth.  An angel came to his barren mother and told her that she would soon give birth to a son who was destined to deliver Israel from the Philistines.  The angel went on to explain the “rules” as to how Samson was to be raised — dedicated to God at his birth, and never allowed to cut his hair or drink wine.  In return, God bestowed Samson with superhuman strength and install him as the 15th judge of the Hebrews.  The children’s version of the Bible stories depict Samson as a hero who first slayed a lion with his bare hands.  Later he captures 300 foxes, ties their tails together, set them on fire and used them as a living torch to burn the Philistine crops.  Then he slew 3000 Philistines with nothing more than a donkey’s jawbone.  The children’s stories also told of Samson’s weakness — Delilah.  She tricked Samson into telling the source of his strength, his long locks.  She cut his hair, and he was captured by the Philistines and blinded.  When his hair grew back, God returned his strength.  Samson  knocked down the columns of the Philistine temple, killed the Philistines and killed HIMSELF.  A hero’s death.
The details not included in the children’s stories were Samson’s weaknesses and sins.  Many times, Samson showed total disregard for God’s law.  He was to dedicate his life to God in the Nazirite tradition, yet he touched the dead lion and ate from his carcass (against Nazirite teaching), he sought revenge against the Philistines (again, against teaching), but his greatest disregard came when he fell in love and married a foreign woman, a Philistine, the sworn enemy who he was supposed to defeat.  Samson’s disobedience resulted in his capture, and later, his death.  He did what was right in his own eyes, but not in the eyes of God.  (In Samson’s defense, this was not uncommon among the Hebrew judges.  But just because other judges followed their own judgment, did not make it right.)  Samson’s true legacy was the lesson that God can use sinners to accomplish His purpose.  Samson’s other lasting lesson is the caution that we should do what is right in God’s eyes, not our own.


I chose Fox and Geese to represent Samson as a reminder of one of the stories of his heroic strength (which resulted in a violation of his Nazirite tradition).


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