Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Day 23: Samson

Judges 13-16

- so Israel is back to their cycle of sin and as a result, were under the oppression of the Philistines for 40 years.
- Samson's mom was sterile and childless but God allowed her to conceive and give birth to him.
- she wasn't allowed to drink alcohol or eat anything unclean because Samson was to be a Nazirite, set apart for God from birth. He wasn't supposed to cut his hair either.
- an angel of God told her all this but she and her husband didn't realize this until later when they offered a goat as a sacrifice to God.
- so Samson was born and the Spirit of the LORD was with him and blessed him.

- later, Samson is led by the Lord to seek marriage with a Philistine woman as an excuse to confront the Philistines. His parents did not know this however and didn't understand why he wouldn't marry someone from Israel.
- Samson killed a lion with his bare hands. Sometime later, he passed the carcass and saw some honey so he ate some. Later, he used this as a riddle at his wedding party. But the Philistines pressured his wife into getting the answer from them.
- his wife was given to his friend and he was upset so he caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together in pairs, tied torches to the tails, and let them loose in the standing grain of the Philistines (standing grain I believe refers to the total grain crop that they had at the time...so basically he totally destroy all their crops).
- when they found out it was Samson they burned his wife and her father to death.
- so Sampson went and killed a bunch of them. Then, he pretended to let the men of Judah capture him, only to kill a thousand Philistines with a donkey's jawbone.
- he was thirsty, cried out to God, and he cause a spring to appear where Samson was after all the fighting (I'd be a little thirsty after all that fighting too).

- Samson fell in love with Delilah and the Philistines offered her a lot of silver if she could discover the secret to his strength.
- it took her 5 tries to finally get him to confess. Then the Philistines came, gouged out his eyes and took him to their grinding prison.
- during the celebration of Samson's capture, they brought him out to entertain them. He got a servant to place his hands on the pillars of the temple and brought the temple down upon the Philistine rulers and people. He killed more of them here than he did during the rest of his lifetime.
- he had led Israel for 20 years.

Famous for his strength, I think Samson is a perfect example of even the strongest of people have their weaknesses. God was with him as long as he was faithful to the Nazirite laws and faithful to God. But as soon as he gave that up, God left him. Samson was set apart for God from birth but we as followers of Christ are called to be set apart for God upon being saved.



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