Written by Fiona Monaghan
What an interesting man. Anger, strength and arrogance reign in him…but he still is God’s chosen one as a Judge for Israel.
Samson is one of those heroes in the Bible that for every strength he had, there was an equal and opposite weakness. He is seen doing a good thing and then making a terrible decision in the next action. Moving from one catastrophe to the next- leaving chaos and heartbreak in their wake. Why would he do this? He should have known better. He was raised with good morals and a dedicated family. Why this immaturity housed in a physically daunting body. Samson’s life truly reads like a bad movie…
He chooses to be with a Philistine woman. This choice leads to a dramatic storyline in which he ends up slaughtering 30 men for their clothes to pay back a debt! A debt he incurred because the Philistine woman was forced to tell a bunch of Philistine men the answer to a riddle Samson arrogantly posed to them. He then finds out that his “to be” father-in-law married the woman off to Samson’s best man. Samson is so angry he lashes out in revenge. He catches 300 foxes, ties their tails together, sets them on fire and lets them go into the Philistine fields. In retaliation, those men burn the house of Samson’s not quite father-in-law and ex- bride to be. Again, responding with wrath, Samson finds the men responsible and massacres them.
Now it’s the Philistines turn. They come into Judah and want to wreak havoc on those people because of what Samson has done. They demand the Israelites turn Samson over… Samson acquiesces; he is tied up and handed over to the Philistines. However, as they approach, the ropes fall away and he takes the jawbone of a donkey and kills all the Philistines. A similar cycle continues throughout Samson’s life.
What comes through loud and clear after reading all of the ups and downs of this man’s life is that even in all that he did wrong and his questionable motives, God still chose him to be his champion against the Philistines. His anger and arrogance is funneled into that of Protector and Judge for the Israelites at this time in history, and he fulfilled the role of Judge for 20 years. God had set Samson apart to be used and God knew what strengths and weaknesses Samson would have and he chose to use him regardless.
So remember when you lose your temper, make bad judgment calls, fall back to old ways when you should know better, that nothing is irredeemable when God is in the mix. He can use us no matter our disposition and character. He will take those traits we have, both good and bad, and engineer circumstances so that when we seek Him we will reach those higher goals. We all have failings and strengths and the story of Samson shows us that even in these God can use us.
Take time today to pray about your weaknesses, the chinks in your armor. Ask God to take them and use them for his will. It is hard to know the wonders God will work through us when we seek his will. So don’t be discouraged by your failings but look to him in all aspects of your life- He has a mighty plan for you.