God’s strongman - 9 June 2021
By Ben Fourie
When we were small boys, we sometimes had arguments about who was stronger: Samson, Hercules or Superman. Usually Superman won the argument because he had a supernatural kind of power. We were too young to realise that Samson was also blessed with “supernatural” power in that he was specially selected by God when His people were being oppressed by the Philistines. He was not called a Nazirite for nothing, he really was set aside for the service of God.
He was not someone to trifle with. One day, he would kill a lion, and on another day, 30 men from Ashkelon. He tied torches to the tails of 300 foxes, lit the torches and turned the foxes loose in the cornfields of the Philistines, thereby destroying their entire crop. He once got so angry that he killed a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey and on another occasion he broke and dislodged the big doors of the city gates from their place.
For 20 years, he was the Judge of God’s people and held the Philistines in check. In the end, his association with Delilah meant the end of his special power and his special relationship with God. He was a Nazirite no more.
Lonely and blind at the festival in honour of the idol Dagon, he is nothing more than entertainment for the Philistines. In the end, he returned to God, prayed to him and God gave him the strength to pull down the temple, killing himself and all the Philistine rulers. Thus he killed more people at his death than during his lifetime.
Is this story just a Biblical fairytale about a very strong man as we thought when we were little boys or is there something else? A fairytale certainly not, just the true story about a person chosen by God to fight against the enemies of God’s people. He sinned and lost his special power, but when he called to God, the crux of this story was that God did not ignore him but heard his plea. God never stops trying to find us again.
Prayer: Dear Lord in heaven, please help me to understand that although I am no strongman, I am someone special in your service. Please help me to live in such a way that others can see that I am set aside for your service. Amen