What a disappointment.
Yesterday I was all “Samson is a Christ figure/messianic”. How could I have forgotten the story. He is deeply sinful.
Set apart with vows from birth: a nazarene, he was supposed to be teetotal, and not touch dead things, not to cut his hair. God made him strong, a traditional Greek style hero.
Instead of being a moral super example to his people, he marries a Philistine. He holds a drunken bachelor feast. Attacked by a lion he wins the fight bare handed in a show of God given power, but returns to the carcass in defilement of his vow. He takes honey from the carcass, and gives it to his parents, hiding from them that he’s made them ritually unclean.
He murders 30 of the philistines as part of a bet.
All we see this chapter is a man who abuses god given grace and talent.
The morality of the age is “whatever”. The Bible describes it “men did as they saw fit”. Samson is living that way in extreme.
So often it seems harsh that God brings judgement. This chapter is one where you are left asking why he doesn’t judge, why he won’t intervene in Samson’s free will.
That god acts in a sinful world, loves a sinner like me is a complex miracle. Grace seems impractical, plain wrong.
The hard verse is 4, where it is clear that god is allowing his folly, to be part of the plan to free the Israelites from oppression. God can bring good from bad. It’s hard to understand, easy to mock.
The life of Samson has diverged so far from where God designed it to be, yet still he works with it. Plan B, C, D, E, F, G and beyond.