Skip to main content

Wednesday Wanderings: Samson

We’re still in a section of Judges that I have recently preached, so I’ll link you back there first:

Now, on to today’s thoughts regarding Samson.

First, I find it interesting more and more how we tell Bible stories to children. Looking at the Gospel Project material that we are using, there are parts left out, and that’s often the case. For example, we don’t children the parts about Samson’s first fiancé being ‘given’ to the best man—or her and her father’s subsequent murder by angry mob.

Not that I think we need to bury children with such evil, but I think something is to be said for being careful not to make heroes of people for kids that we then deflate when they are adults. Or to sugarcoat them. Perhaps they are best left untold. Or done with what VeggieTales did with David and Bathsheba, and make a fairytale that covers the material differently. Kids can put together that King George’s rubber ducks were a stand-in for King David’s many wives. When they’re teenagers. You can learn the lesson without destroying a kid’s innocence.

Just a rambling there, but I think there’s got to be a better approach, or at least a more balanced one.

Second, Samson’s life sure seems to come back to missed opportunities and what-might-have-beens. He was distracted by his immediate needs and desires, driven by them even.

It’s a call for moderation in our lives. And for self-control.

Third, there’s the lesson here about being careful who you trust. There is not a single participant in this narrative that is trustworthy, except the Angel of the Lord. And He’s in and out pretty quickly.

Parents turn out less than trustworthy, family, spouses, friends, fellow countrymen. It’s just a mess. Trust the trustworthy—and verify as needed.

Fourth, there’s the whole Angel of YHWH and identity thing. Especially considering the “What is your name?” “Why ask? It is incomprehensible.” (Judges 13:17-18)

When you look at this, “incomprehensible” is the same word in Hebrew as “wonderful.” Or “Wonderful” as in Isaiah 9:6. Just an interesting set of words here.

Fifth, why does Samson lose his strength? DISOBEDIENCE. The haircut was the image of that—the final straw in the sack, so to speak.

Sixth, I remember being taught as a kid that Samson told the boy who brought him in to run away. But that’s not in the text. The boy, first of all, could have been a teenager and not a small kid. Second, he’s likely the son of one of the leaders of the Philistines. Probably he never left, and died with the Philistines.

Finally, Samson has half the judgeship span of the previous judge, and far less of the effectiveness. Yet he is the most ‘perfect’ of the judges: heroic in battle, attractive to women, strong…

Of all the judges, he’d win in an American election hands-down. What does that say of us?


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…