Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday - Judges 15 - Samson on the Loose

In this chapter, there are multiple accounts of Samson's various conquests over a 20-year period. Let's not retell all the details of the whole story, but consider at least a listing of the main events. 

To avenge the loss of his wife Samson caught 300 foxes (a sizable accomplishment in and of itself) and used them to burn the Philistines' harvest to the ground. Then he killed the Philistines who arose in response against him. Later he was bound willingly by 3000 men of Judah, but broke the cords off his arms like they were spider webs, and killed 1000 more Philistines with a donkey's jawbone. Afterward, to quench his thirst, God miraculously gave Samson water out of that same bone.

From the jawbone story, we see the amazing grace of God. Notice that one of the Nazarite vow conditions was violated again in the process of Samson's vigorous efforts against his enemies. Samson was not supposed to touch anything dead, yet God blessed him and used him in killing 1000 Philistines while he held a dead donkey's jawbone in his hand. He even gave Samson water to drink from that same dead animal part, which one could assume that to drink from it Samson had to be touching again. Why would God bless him if he was doing something in direct contradiction to the standards that God himself had set?  God's grace picks us up where we fall. While rebellion is despised by God, our weaknesses are not despised... and there is a difference. Humanity lives in a world cursed by sin. Everywhere we turn there are occasions that demonstrate the effects of the fall on us. If God didn't condescend to using us despite some of our flaws, he would never use any of us at all.

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