Snapshots: Day 146

Snapshots: Day 146

The Snapshot: “Samson… grew and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.” (Judg 13:24,25) I’ve heard Samson described as a ‘carnal charismatic’. He’s a walking disaster, utterly self-centred with a life focused on personal pleasure. The trouble is that he’s been chosen by God, his birth was miraculous (to a barren woman), his job is to deliver Israel from their enemies, and God’s Spirit is on him. Whatever is God up to? As Habakkuk declared, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Hab 1:13) Yes, well just watch this! God is going to use this self-centred character’s carnal appetite to upset the enemy and when he does God will give him the strength to sort them out. Wow, God who works into and even uses the sinful world for His purposes (see also Acts 2:23).

Further Consideration: It is one of those things that upsets Pharisees, nice believers who like everything straight forward and fitting their pattern of how things should work. The only trouble is that the Bible is littered with people who don’t fit the pattern. For instance, there is Rahab the prostitute or innkeeper (in those days bad as each other) who lied to her authorities and became part of the Messianic family tree. I bet you didn’t see that one coming.

When it comes to guidance there was that hilarious time when the Lord send Samuel back to scare the life out of the witch of Endor and Saul (1 Sam 28:12-20) or Balaam’s ass that spoke to him (Num 22:28), and Balaam himself, a money-seeking seer who couldn’t help himself prophesying great things for Israel (Num 23,24). I always think the Nativity ‘Wise Men’ are like this, pagan philosophers, maybe even astrologers, who come to herald the newly born king of the Jews.

If it’s not specific people it’s the Lord’s general strategy of pushing the religious elite to reject and crucify His son so he could be the redeemer of the world (see Acts 2:23). But you can’t help but get dragged back to the people the Lord works with, for example Jacob, twister and inheritance stealer, Joseph arrogant and full of pride, destined to become saviour of the Middle East. Moses, hasty murderer. David, adulterer and murderer. Solomon, most wise and most stupid king in history. Peter, loud mouthed God-corrector and denier. James and John arrogant, angry would-be fire bringers. And so it goes on and on, so don’t be surprised about Samson; he just fits the mould, just like you and me.

But that’s the thing about ‘Sin’ this propensity that we all have to be self-centred and godless. It makes us like cracked earthenware (2 Cor 4:7) or even pots of clay that need constantly remaking (Jer 18:5-7), even bones in a graveyard needing His life (Ezek 37). Amazing! Wonderful!

That is the wonder of the ‘big picture’ we call Redemption. Hallelujah!

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