Have you ever watched one of those strong man competitions? Admittedly, I haven’t watched many, probably because they remind me just how un-manly I am (and they say Barbie gives women false understanding of what women should look like). On the occasion that I have seen part of a competition, I have thought about Samson. We’re not actually told he looked like He-Man, but that’s kind of the mental image I have of him from all of the feats he performed. He couldn’t possibly have ripped a lion apart if he looked like Steve Urkel.
The thing that stood out to me very strongly as I read Samson’s story this time through was just how susceptible he was to a beautiful woman, and how easily he gave in to those women. Both his first wife and Delilah are able to drag information from him. Depending on the translation you read, various words are used to describe this situation. The CEV says that they put pressure on him. The NIV says that they pressed him hard. The HCSB is less diplomatic about it and says that they nagged him until he gave them an answer. I am not foolish enough to comment on that, even from the relative safety of an internet blog. But I will comment on Samson’s reaction to those situations.
He knew that God had called him and was using him to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines. He knew that his continuing strength and ability came from the fulfillment of his vow to God as a Nazarite; and yet on two occasions he endangers God’s plans because of pressure from women in his life. Ignore the fact that the pressure come from women and think about times in your life when decisions or plans were altered because of outside pressure from those around you. What if those decisions or plans were intended by God to go one way and the ability of other people to influence you caused them to go another?
Just a question.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Judges 19-21