How in the world does Samson gain membership into the ‘Hall of Faith’ found in Hebrews 11? No mention there of Elijah or Elisha, Isaiah or Jeremiah. But Samson? Okay, more is mentioned about him than any other leader in the Book of Judges. More like notoriety. When you read Judges, doesn’t sound like the same story you heard in Sunday School! Not by a long shot.
Samson’s parents seem godly enough, wanting the Lord’s best for him. Bible scholars are not sure what his name means. Could be ‘sun’ from Canaanite language. As if the sun shines down on this little tyke! Maybe a bit too much for his own good.
He’s a grasping type, selfish and self-centered. His parents have taken a Nazirite vow for him. No wine bars. No haircut appointments. Stay far away from anything dead. All of which he violates without a wince. Has he taken a narcissist’s vow?! Speaking of Samson’s grabbing nature–‘I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife’ (Judges 14:1). Get her? Ever the romantic!
Quite the story! Chases after women rather than Israel’s enemies. Avenges his own rivals more than delivers the nation. Can you find one instance where he does anything at all for the Lord or Israel? Possibly… but I doubt it. And he’s in the Hall of Faith? Oy veh, already! What gives?
This is my take. My own. Things are so bad in Israel that the likes of Samson shine as a sunbeam of hope. He typifies the pitiful depths Israel has fallen into. Nevertheless, the Spirit of the Lord moves about in spite of this rough-and-tumble character. He’s certainly not a role-model. But God can work through the most difficult and resistant of His own.
What gives? The Lord hears the prayers of Samson’s parents, made long before he was born. Prayers are never wasted. God uses surprising people in His plans.
So, seek to live a godly life. Samson– our negative role model. A man who never lives up to his godly potential. We want better than that…for the Lord. To act with integrity, backing up our words with godly works. That sounds more like a life worthy of the ‘Hall of Faith’! Agreed? Welcome!
Prayer: Lord, help us to live lives honoring to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.