I love a good discussion with a friend over a steaming cup of chai, but since I can’t gather all of you at a comfortable cafe, I’ll have to be content with this little corner of the Internet.
I want to thank each and every person who has come to these coffee chats and commented. I have thoroughly enjoyed your insights and inspiration! Thank you for your time.
This week, I want to talk about Samson.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
I often wish that the Hebrew writer had elaborated more on Gideon, Barak, Samson etcetera.
I am reading through Judges at the moment, and I just finished the Samson saga.
There is a question that has always nagged at me, and while I plan to do some digging tomorrow, I thought I would pose my burning question to you:
How on earth did Samson make the list of the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11???
I am confident that God knows the hearts of people far better than any human ever could, yet when I look at the information supplied on Samson, all I see is a man who was unstable, selfish and extremely foolish when it came to beautiful women. How on earth did he rate as a man of faith?
The account of Samson is in Judges 13-16.
Initially, when he goes to marry the Philistine girl in chapter 14, it says that this was “from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.”
I see obedience and faith there. So far so good.
Then it says he went in to a prostitute. I don’t see God approving that…
[gritting teeth in confusion!]
Then, there is Delilah, an infamous name synonymous with deceitfulness and duplicity.
And Samson fell for her, hook, line and sinker. And literally, it sank him.
Delilah used the oldest trick in the book, the “You must not really love me if …” The truth was, she did not love him. It surprises me how gullible he was. I mean, it took persistence and persuasion on her part. He didn’t instantly give in, but still, he divulged the secret of his strength and the Lord left him.
At the end of his life, when he is blind and imprisoned, he makes one final plea to God. I’m not sure if his time in prison humbled him and his faith grew in the jail cell, but he calls out to God, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16.26)
I suppose that could be the faith spoken of in Hebrews… and yet, it seems to me a very self-centered request that fits in with his behavior pattern.
This is one of those things in scripture that I have always struggled to understand.
I would love some insight here! Can you help me?
Please leave a comment below while you sip on your favorite cup of tea or coffee!
If you have some time after commenting here, please visit this previous coffee chat and share your reason for being a Christian.