“A Contradicted Man, Samson I Am” Part One
“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Judges 13:1-5 (ESV)
When you first heard the story of Samson and Delilah what went through your mind? Did you envision a large man with huge bicep muscles holding a shapely tanned woman with them? What about the story where Samson goes into battle with the jawbone of a donkey? I wonder if you envisioned the jawbone being this huge piece of bone being held in the mighty grip of this muscular behemoth. Well let me ask you this, do you really believe this is a true vision of Samson? According to God’s word it’s not.
If we were to look at Samson right from where his mother is told “for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb”, Samson’s life is not his own. But from what I’ve read he sure didn’t act like it. In the book of Numbers, there in chapter six and starting at verse two God is laying down the law concerning the Nazirite Vow. In the English Standard Bible I read this as plain as day. I do not get confused with what this vow entails and I am quite certain that if El Shaddai has singled you out for this position with Him you should follow this vow to the letter. There are no grapes for you to eat, neither fresh or dried, skin nor seed. There are no grape by-products in your diet. There shall be no razor taken to their hair or getting close to the dead. The Nazirite lives a life of separation.
When the Nazirite has the unfortunate incident of someone dying close to him (close meaning to his physical being) there are hairs to shave and birds to sacrifice. There is a period of separation and then there are more sacrifices. There is a sin offering, peace offering, grain offering and a drink offering. If we were to have this many offerings in our churches today there would be no talk of a falling away, huh? And if the Nazirite wants to go beyond his vow that he has offered then he may do so as he can afford in exact accordance with the law of the Nazirite.
This is a pretty deep vow to take. But not only is Samson supposed to be destined to live in accordance with this dedication his mother is instructed to do so during the entire time she is pregnant with Samson. So what we have here is the double whammy for Manoah and his wife. Not only are they going to be parents after being childless for a long time but they get a visit from the angel of the Lord with special instructions for what will be the last of “The Judges of Israel”. I might just get a little crazy in the head like Manoah did and want to prepare a young goat , have a feast and ask, “Oh by the way, what’s your name?”But I guess there are secrets that are not for us to know and we need to be quite content to be ignorant of them.
The key to the beginning of the story of Samson is the part where Manoah asks the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” the response is, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” Manoah was afraid of what he had no faith in whereas his wife reflects a great faith. Manoah thought he would surely die after this encounter but his help mate encouraged him. In the words of Matthew Henry, “If God designed me to perish under His wrath; He would not give me tokens of His favour.” Mediate on this as you go throughout your day and I will be covering more of the contradicted man, Samson I am. – Chris Thompson blogs weekly and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “Some think Peter was a big talker and cowardly. But in the Garden, when the temple guard came to arrest Jesus, he unsheathed his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear (John 18:10). Not many cowards attack when they are outnumbered by enemy soldiers. So he was strong, but his strength was in his own personality, not in God’s humility, for the sifting had not yet begun. It happened just as Jesus predicted. The same bold, strong Simon Peter, ready to die for Jesus, wielding his sword in the Garden full of soldiers, was confronted by a little servant girl. He was intimidated by her and denied even knowing Jesus. Some think it is the big things that cause men to stumble. Often it is the minor ones that shake us the most. This shows the futility of self-confidence.” The Bait of Satan John Bevere
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. Psalm 143:8