I’m told that it’s very funny if you’re an Israelite. But I don’t get the joke. And it’s weird. Sex and the City meets The Killing; but not in a good way.
(Check out Judges chapter 13-16). Samson sounds like the sort of bloke who stands too close when there’s plenty of space. In between protein shakes, he’s chasing women, or setting foxes on fire. Now, some folks like the neanderthal thing – but don’t be deceived. Despite the muscles, Samson is a bad date. His fiance marries his best man and then ends up dead.
You’d think Samson would learn. You’d think he’d stay well clear of (smoking hot) Bible bad girls.
He marries a woman (Delilah) who’s in cahoots with his enemies, (which is everyone). Delilah asks him to tell her the secret of his muscles, (his long hair). He lies. She then asks his enemies to attack him – and (because he lied) he defeats them.
At this point, you’d expect Samson to stop and say, ‘hmmm. I told Delilah a secret – and she told my enemies. What’s with that?’
He doesn’t. And it happens again. She asks, he lies, the Philistines turn up and he escapes.
At which point, you’d expect Samson to raise the delicate issue of trust. Book an (emergency) appointment with Relate. Or at least call his mum.
Still, nothing. The man’s a ROCK.
And if it happened a third time, well. You’d never tell her Anything Ever, right? You wouldn’t share so much as a sandwich with the double-crossing vixen. And you wouldn’t say, ‘well honey, I cannot tell a lie. It’s all in the hair’. Unless of course, you’re Samson.
At this point it all became too much. I found myself shouting at the Bible. ‘You IDIOT!’ And I closed it in disgust.
But I opened it again, because it’s the BIBLE. And Samson is in there for a reason.
So let’s think this through.
He prays and talks to God. His power comes from the Spirit, not his press-ups (Judges 13:25). And he’s marked out as special, even before his birth.
A special baby who’s filled by the Spirit.
A teller of stories that only he can explain (Judges 14:12-20)
A bridegroom, determined to pursue his unfaithful bride – even though it cost him everything.
A hero brought low and mocked by the people he ruled.
A saviour, who dies to defeat the enemies of his people (Judges 16:28-30).
Remind you of anyone?
Samson is not perfect. Most of the time, he’s not even good. But even he points us to Jesus.