Sunday, August 4, 2019
Unlikely Savior :: Religion Religious Essays
Unlikely Savior If people were asked to describe a judge or leader for the Israelites, imaginations might conjure up a pious, older man paying strict adherence to the Mosaic laws and Codes of his people. One would not call to mind a young man with superhuman strength who drinks, fights, gambles and goes whoring whenever the spirit moves him. Samson fits the latter description, a very unlikely vessel for the Holy Spirit. Even more remarkable is the realization that Samson was exactly the way God wanted him to beÃ¢â¬âa hell-raiser. Why would God pick such a rabble-rousing rogue to be the champion of freedom for His chosen people? Because Samson was a catalyst meant to disrupt the complacency of the Israelites with regards to their subjugation to the PhilistinesÃ¢â¬âthe proverbial lit match to the powder keg. He was also created to serve as an archetypical folk hero for his generation and those to follow, a larger-than-life symbol to remember and take heart from when thi ngs got tough. Ã¢â¬Å"CreatedÃ¢â¬ is the operative word for SamsonÃ¢â¬âhe is created for a purpose. He doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t become the man he will be due to happenstance; he is given no choice. God had plans for him since before he was born. In a passage similar to others found in both the Old and New Testaments, an angel comes to SamsonÃ¢â¬â¢s mother (then barren) and announces a miraculous birth. He instructs her to abstain from wine and not to eat things from the vine or unclean things. He adds that Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦no razor shall come to his head: for the child will be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.Ã¢â¬ Samson was predestined to initiate a chain of events, not to see what he started to its conclusion. Note that the angel said, Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦shall begin to deliver,Ã¢â¬ not Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦shall deliver...Ã¢â¬ (Judges 13:3-5). Regardless of the outcome, Sampson reaches adulthood and sets forth to fulfilling his destiny with great aplomb.