Samson’s dramatic story today continues with his disastrous marriage arrangements. It has been, and continues to be a racy and tragic narrative ……….what will happen next?
This Nazarite ruled Israel for 20 years. Though chosen and blessed by God he is hardly an example for us to follow! He has known God’s power in the presence of His Spirit even from his birth (Judges 13:5 ) but also in adult life (Chapter 15:14), yet he continues to seek love from forbidden Philistine women, even though in previous chapters he has been responsible for the destruction of these people. Delilah, his current Philistine wife, is willing to betray him for money ( a similar situation we will recall as we come to Good Friday – remembering Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, also for money). She cajoles, nags and pesters Samson until he finally gives in and reveals the source of his God-given strength. She, of course uses this against him, calls in the waiting Philistines and he is shaved, thus losing his astonishing strength. He is then blinded, taken to prison and forced into manual labour often carried out by animals! His brutalisation and humiliation also demonstrated a mocking of God and continued untill his hair began to regrow. This gave him the opportunity for revenge. ‘Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.’ V30
It is interesting that at the end of his life Samson cries to God – ‘ Sovereign Lord, remember me’ v 28 (we are alerted to the similarity of the thief’s cry of repentance to JESUS from the cross.) Samson however asks for strength before he dies, ‘Please God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes’.
This is a story worth reading through in one sitting and contemplating what we will pray to God for when our life here is about to end.
This part of Paul’s letter holds for us two striking commands for our everyday living.
1 devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. V2
2 let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. V6
Prayer is an extraordinary gift that God has given us to be grasped and enjoyed We are afraid we too often neglect it or take it for granted.
I wonder why other things crowd out prayer when wisdom and insight, guidance and …………….. are ours when we seek them in prayer from our Father.
Paul, the prisoner, asks this church for prayer for himself V3&4, so that he will ‘proclaim the mystery of Christ clearly’. What an aspiration for us all!
Of course our behaviour at all times needs to reflect the truth of the God of love as we live with and meet up with others.
Lord help us to be people of prayer.
Peter and Elizabeth