Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 132 Wise questions of parenthood - Samson

Judges13: 5c "He will begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines"
From the outset this was YHWH's purpose for Samson as told to his mother.

8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: "Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born."......

12 So Manoah asked him, "When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy's life and work?"

13 The angel of the LORD answered, "Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her."

Here we have parents who know their inadequacies in nurturing and training a man who would deliver the Israelites from the Philistines.

Who should capture his heart but a Philistine woman! The first "rule of engagement" was more literal than Manoah or his wife imagined.

It is worth noting that God begins a work, picks a fight and lays out the enemy - How he achieves this may look odd to us. Usually when we consider Samson esp through the lens of Sunday school, we are shown a man driven by anger, vengeance and lust. Samson is an odd fellow, it will be interesting to hear his story in heaven! Would God say he has been misjudged or misguided?



  1. Samson always struck me as a spoiled child. He learned his lesson the hard way. But at least he learned it.

    Shirley Fay

  2. It's difficult to work out really, Samson was cunning and had a very raw, guttural and physical approach to problem solving! There is nothing to suggest he was acting out of God's will. Even his choice of wife was somehow prompted by God. How he expressed himself to his father has ug ug #4 painted all over it!

    But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me. She's the right one for me." 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

    His vengeance "style" shall we say was "eye for an eye" and in keeping with the times.

    18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the LORD, "You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived.

    His language is short but his thought processes are deeper than those of his day. His intellect was no match for his enemies. But two nagging women did have an upper hand and ultimately were his undoing.

    At the end "he killed many more when he died than while he lived". So I suppose that in itself is a measure of success. He did lead Isreal 20 years. Its just a strange way to go about things.

    "Then his brothers and his father's whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father.

  3. Interesting points. There are several pardoxes in the bible in addition to this one. I believe it is Chronicles that says God sent a spirit to tempt King David to number the Children of Israel because he wanted to punish them. Yet God punishes David for doing it.

    These are very interestng mysteries.

    Shirley Fay