Judges, Misconceptions, and Life Today Part 2
You know those movies that portray the football jock that is just stupid? All he knows is strength and football. He sees a girl and all he can do is stare and say “uh girl” in a very unintelligent way. This is exactly who Samson was! He was a dude with the strength of five men combined. He knew he was strong and invincible and so he showed off the muscles to impress the ladies. Although, he was not very smart as we will see in a min. But from the reaction of many of the Philistines, Samson was probably not a huge guy. I would guess that he was a small shrimp that took everyone by surprise. That way it was completely understood that it was God who got the glory. I can’t “prove” that from the text, but that would be my guess as I read his story this past week. So here is this Nazerite, someone who couldn’t drink wine, cut their hair, or touch anything dead, and he has been given this special strength by God to judge Israel and free them from the oppression of the Philistines. So what is the first thing Samson does? He goes and marries a Philistine wife! Talk about an idiot! I mean God says go free your people from this people and so you go out and marry in? Does not make sense at all. But the text says specifically says in 14:4 that the Lord was causing this to happen so that Samson would actually do his job. Needless to say it went south from there, he killed a bunch of Philistines they took revenge, and Samson took more lives. One time Samson was trapped in the city and he just took off the city gates by the hinge and carried them 18 miles at a 3000 foot elevation! These gate doors weighed possible 4000lb! Well he picks up a Philistine girl friend who keeps trying to find out his weakness then do it to him and call the soldiers. You would think that he would have got the idea that she was using him…but no he was so consumed by his lust for her that he could not even think straight. He couldn’t see his own destruction before his eyes. So here is a judge set apart to God who decides to live immorally because he can. Again no role model for your kids.
Then there is the whole Danites rejecting what God had given them and committing apostasy, stealing some guys idols and making a Levite be a priest to them. The striking thing about this is that the Levite is the grandson of Moses! How sad that in just two generations the nation could turn their back on God. Then their was the civil war that happened between Israel and Benjamin. They pretty much wiped out the tribe of Benjamin. What a dark dark time in the nation of Israel’s history. The book of Judges is written in such a way where it goes from bad to worse. The last four chapters are not chronological timeline wise, but the author purposely adds it at the end to make his point. “In those days there was no King in Israel and every one did what was right in their own eyes”.
So where is the hope for us today in that? Well as I read this book I noticed two major things. First God kept working despite the circumstances. He does not give up on His people. Even when they have crazy ideas about what He desires. Because today is much like the judges times where people do what is right in their own eyes, but God will keep working among His people! The second area of hope is that even when times get dark, God still uses it to ultimately fulfill His will! The change that happens within 40 years is incredible. I mean David would be king from the end of the book in 40 years! God can change the nation’s heart and bring them to Himself as soon as He pleases. There is no lost cause! May God start changing the hearts of this nation to conform to His and may He begin with believers!