Samson has been a mystical disgraced hero figure according to many Bible teachers. But recently when I listened to our Hebrew bible teacher, he indicated that Samson symbolises Jesus in many ways. I was shocked but a bit relieved also, because he was my childhood bible hero. However, I do not wish to divulge the details of that comparison here.
Yes, Samson was a failure in many ways, especially with regard to the women affairs in his life. Yet, knowing that God still heard his last cry reveals the heart of a benevolent father responding to the cry of his suffering child.
Looking into the Old Testament characters, how many men can you find with a faithful solo monogamous marital relationship? (e.g. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc). So when we look into Samson’s relationship failures, we could put a reserve on our judgemental attitude, especially if we study deeper in the context of spiritual warfare involved.
Samson was the only judge who has been seen going into offensive warfare against the enemy even when nobody came to support him from his own people. We could reason it as because of his arrogant attitude or independent nature etc. But was it also because God had designed him for such a kind of warfare? A sniper is usually trained in working from a solitude range, unlike others in infantry. A commando operation involves backing of highly skilled fighters when they head into most dangerous enemy territory. Rarely do you see a modern warfare tactic of head-on combat by a solo fighter with no or least tactical back up. In such cases it is usually labelled as ‘suicide mission’.
How many suicide missions did Samson attempt? At least 6 times!! (i.e. 100% of his combat track record mentioned in the Bible!). Not even a Danite (his own tribesmen), do we find in the bible, who helped or even accompanied Samson. But rather we do read his own people were more than willing to hand him over to the enemy to punish. Can you now put yourself in such high-pressure combat situations as a solo fighter? What would be your success record? Ask any efficient neurosurgeon or a fighter pilot or a pioneer missionary of his/her experience that even with all the technological back-up available today, how they feel after one of their missions?
Has anybody taken the effort to study or empathise with such heroes of real life? What is the safe-limit in the margin-of-error for such high-risk life threatening work atmosphere? Many of such people undergo the most pressurised domestic relationships which can swing to either extremes unless their spouse/children/parent is exceptionally understanding and accommodative. Because the only area for relieving their high-pressured work life is within the confines of their home, a regular ‘ventilation session’ should be shared with someone trustworthy. And we often forget that in spite of our safe and comfort-zoned life, we criticize them for their failures in either professional or domestic life. Do we work as organs of the same body or do we pass judgements of self-righteousness?
Besides how many of us would deliberately look for ways to offend or involve into combat without any direct provocation from the enemy? But the scripture says that Samson did just that when he wanted to look for a wife from the Philistines contrary to the law of the Old Testament, but God provoked him to it (Judges 14:4). That relationship gave him a reason to later indulge in warfare with the enemy personally and destroy them in several instalments, powered by the Spirit of the Lord (Chapters 14&15). Can we see the omniscient blue print of spiritual warfare or do we only see the lustful eyes of Samson in all of this?
Samson cried out to his Lord to revenge for his two eyes. Yeshua on the cross cried out to His Father for the sake of His bride. Can we cry out for the sake of The Body of Christ on earth?
Samson searched for the pillars of that enemy temple and pleaded to God for strength for one final time. He had already plotted a plan in his mind even when he was dragged out to that place by his enemies. Do you have that kind of fervour when you are pulled down by the spiritual enemy at least to hit back with revenge? Or do you want to simply submit and humbly withdraw from the fight with your tail between your legs?
I have also in the past been judgemental without spiritual insight but to later regret such, many a times. As I see real life heroes who have sacrificed ‘to become fools’ for a life time, I bow my head in shame upon my own plight of ‘fishing from the land’ than going into the deep waters. I pray “Lord give me the strength to either be resolute to fight into the enemy territory or at the least support those who do so, without being judgemental.”