When I read the Word of God, I am humbled again and again by the absolute sovereignty of the one and only God of Heaven and earth 🌎.
In the flow of the centuries, past, present, and future encapsulated in Biblical history, one is brought to his knees with bowed reverence as he hears the voice of God saying over it all,
“I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE.” Isaiah 45:5
That pretty well settles the God issue. So hold all of your arguments and disagreements; silence yourselves, let God be true, and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
Do we even begin to understand or even slightly grasp 👊 the ways and intents and the choices of God? Not much at all according to the Word of God.
He speaks words that instantly dwarf us, as He gives us a real talking to:
“FOR MY WAYS ARE NOT YOUR WAYS, AND MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, DECLARES THE LORD. FOR AS HIGH AS THE HEAVENS ARE ABOVE THE EARTH, SO ARE MY THOUGHTS ABOVE YOUR THOUGHTS, AND MY WAYS ABOVE YOUR WAYS.” Isaiah 55:8-9
How is that for a GOD TOPPER! It is as if God is saying, “Top this if you can!”
Not only that, but God’s thinking is as far above our thinking as the heavens are above the earth. Compared to God we are all earthly retards.
It sounds like we are not at all on God’s wavelength, doesn’t it? When our thought processes are that far apart, it is really very hard to connect with God in terms of what He is thinking, let alone what He is doing and why.
So we learn, though not easily, the the following truth,
“WHILE I HAVE OFTEN ASKED GOD WHY, I HAVE ALSO LEARNED TO ASK WHY NOT.”
Maybe, just maybe, that is the indicator that I have matured a bit. In any event, my heart ❤ has found peace not always in answers, but in asking two questions, and not just one.
Why would God choose to use this man 🚹 or that woman 🚺, when from all obvious appearences, they are such clutzes? And yet God turns clutzes into captains in His army! Why not him? Why not her? Why not?
“GOD IS ALWAYS A MUCH BETTER FIT FOR OUR WORSHIP THAN FOR OUR UNDERSTANDING.”
A SUPERNATURAL BEGINNING
The husband’s name was Manoah, from the tribe of Dan. Manoah’s wife, Mrs. Manoah, was barren. She was unable to conceive which was a real stigma for a woman to carry.
One day Mrs. Manoah was suddenly confronted by an awesome looking angel of the Lord, whose appearance was overwhelming. (The KJV says the angel was awful in appearence, which I take to mean fearfully and stunningly awesome.) In other words,
the angel got her total attention!
Then the angel spoke and said to Mrs. Manoah in Judges 13:3,
“THOU ART BARREN, and BEAREST
NOT. THOU SHALT CONCEIVE, and BEAR A SON.”
Wow! How would that make your day? Your going to have a BABY BOY. BOY OH BOY!
When an angel of the Lord declares a conception, in that moment you as a woman go from barren to pregnant. Just ask the virgin Mary how angels have a way of changing your life! Not only pregnant, but mother of a son. No ultra sound needed! Gender determined.
Her husband wouldn’t believe her story until he talked to the angel himself. Which he did! The angel left no doubts! You can read it all in Judges 13.
And so begins one of the most amazing, instructive, and singular storys in the Word of God. History introduced by and involving angels usually is going to be quite unusual.
THE BABY’S LIFE IS DIVINELY PRESCRIBED
The angel of God then added the following to Mrs. Manoah in Judges 13:7,
“THE CHILD SHALL BE A NAZARITE UNTO GOD, FROM THE WOMB TO THE DAY OF HIS DEATH.”
Well that pretty well covers it from beginning to end. Whatever else the baby was to become from his mother’s womb, he was to be a NAZARITE. From birth to death! All his life!
In plain terms, that meant the following:
-He was to be totally devoted unto God. Nazarite comes from the Hebrew word NAZIR meaning CONSECRATED, SEPARATED.
-He would not be allowed to drink
strong drink. In short, no 🍸alcohol.
-He would not be allowed to touch any dead body – man or animal.
-He could never have his hair cut.
That really meant the following:
-Holiness – set apart to God.
-Sobriety – always fully alert to God.
-Untouched By Death – serving the living God.
-Head Covered – humble before God.
In other words:
-👎No Barber Shops
-👎No Biers or Bones
And so Mrs. Manoah’s 🚼 baby boy’s conception and birth come with very specific instructions from the angel of God. That is, this son was set apart from conception to death by God as a very special child unto the Lord. A very pregnant pregnancy indeed!
All children are special, but this one was on HIGH ASSIGNMENT FROM GOD, even when he was still but a thought in the mind of God.
And to fulfill that calling, there were certain things that He absolutely has to stay away from! Negatives are just as important to God as positives. To experience the positive, the negative must be obeyed!
Most church people today would flunk the Nazarite test. Social drinking 🍸alone would do them in. Barber shops and hair salons are major industries in America, whether 9 years old or 90. We touch and even hug and kiss departed loved one’s bodies. Those things would be considered huge if not impossible sacrifices to make.
THE CHILD’S BRIGHT 🌞 NAME
I am sure you will recognize the name when you hear it! Very few haven’t heard of him.
We read in Judges 13:24,
“The woman bear a son, and called his name SAMSON, and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.”
As best as we can determine, the name SAMSON means SUNNY 🌞 or MAN OF THE SUN. I guess we might refer to him as SUNNY SAM or SUNNY BOY. He in Israel would be like the SUN shining in very dark times.
FIRST- part of that darkness was from without – the PHILISTINES. They were always a dark cloud hanging over Israel.
From the day that they entered the Promised Land, Israel was always fighting someone. Under Judge Deborah they fought the Canaanites. Under Judge Gideon they fought the Midianites. Under Judge Samson they fought the Philistines. It was like:
“FLAVOR OF THE DAY ENEMIES.”
Under Samson’s Judgeship, the Philistines were an unending pain in the neck who needed to be continually fought against. Judge Samson hated them with a passion, and inflicted great pain on them.
Remember the words of Judges 13:24,
“AND THE LORD BLESSED HIM.”
As ominous and dark as the constant presence of the warring Philistines was, yet FOR 20 YEARS SAMSON WAS USED BY GOD FAITHFULLY
TO GIVE ISRAEL VICTORY OVER THEM.
No wonder Samson is listed in Hebrews 11:32 among the HEROS OF FAITH. He finds himself joined to a very select company – The Bible’s Heroes and Heroines of Faith. No small honor! It’s the Academy Awards of Heaven. There he is! His name is called! Best Supporting Actor! SAMSON!
SECOND – the other part of the darkness was far worse, from within. Israel was suffering from ACUTE SPIRITUAL AMNESIA, just like America. She constantly forgot that God was her source and deliverer, just like America. She put her trust in man and not in God, just like America. It led her far from God, even as America is in the main far from God today.
Israel needed a ray of sunlight, and that came in the person of SUNNY 🌞 SAMSON.
America needed a ray of sunlight as well in her spiritual and moral darkness. That ray has come into her darkness in the person of President Donald Trump. Pro God, Pro Christ, Pro Bible, Pro Life, Pro Israel, Pro Heterosexual Marriage, Pro Biblical Family. Each Pro is a ray of sunlight needed desperately to fight the darkness!
Outside of physical strength 💪, the similarities between Judge Samson and President Trump are eerily very close. Both of them are bold, courageous, strong in their convictions, relentless, not easily intimadated, and always ready to
fight the enemies of their nations.
I would want both of them on my team and on my side. Any day and all day.
And Samson and Donald share negatives as well such as crudeness and rudeness. Each adept at picking fights. Both womanizers, and both married foreign women. But both confessors of God.
The likenesses are numerous and spot on identical! Downright uncanny! Both are impetuous, arrogant, lone rangers, and easily irritated.
And the most glaring likeness is relying on their OWN STRENGTH instead of putting their complete trust in God. Self-reliant and taking sole credit for their success.
And both of them chosen by God to serve His purposes.
GOD’S CROOKED STICKS
We must note at the outset here, that SAMSON-SUNNY BOY would be one of the most UNLIKELY JUDGES -LEADERS in Israel. Just like Peter the Apostle! Both impetuous and seriously flawed, seemed destined for the trash can of history. Think again!
Samson, Peter, and Donald illustrate the following principle of God’s choices of His servants throughout history:
“GOD OFTEN DRAWS STRAIGHT LINES WITH CROOKED STICKS.”
This surely would be so in the case of Samson, as SUNNY’S CHARACTER WOULD OFTEN ECLIPSE THE SUN.
All of us have CROOKS IN OUR STICKNESS. Some of us have more CROOKS than others. But there is not a perfectly straight stick in the entire world.
We all have sin in our lives, even though we are redeemed by the blood of Christ. In short:
“WE ARE NOT AS CROOKED AS WE USED TO BE, AND WE ARE NOT AS STRAIGHT AS WE ARE GOING TO BE.”
Nonetheless we read in Judges 13:25,
“AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD BEGAN TO MOVE HIM IN DAN….”
Samson was a God-chosen, Holy Spirit moved servant of God, but one of the most crooked sticks that God ever used. Samson and Donald would be right there at the top of the crooked stick leadership contest.
But God uses them mightily for His purposes, for they have the stuff to stand for Him and against the evil forces of their day. They are raw, rough, and tough as nails.
SAMSON’S MAIN TRAITS
1. TREMENDOUSLY STRONG
It goes without saying that SAMSON was the HULK HOGAN – RAMBO of that time in Israel.
He was incredibly strong. SUPER STRONG. A REAL HUNK. A KNOCK OUT OF A GUY. The type of fella that women drool over. A real STUD as they say.
Kind of reminds me of Arnold BodyBuilder Schwarzenegger of movie and Hollywood fame. As far as I could tell, one of the most unlikely characters to ever become governor of California. We will leave that one to the state of Californication. He underscores the following TRUISM:
“JUST BECAUSE A MAN LOOKS GOOD DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE IS GOOD.”
Now then, Samson one day came face to face with a young LION. The young lion roared at Samson full throated as only lions can. It would not be a standoff. The lion would attack, and there was no escape. Run 🏃!
Gives me shudder bumps just reading about it. I mean what is more ravenous than a hungry lion? But this lion not only lost his dinner, He lost his life.
You can read the story in Judges 14. Samson was not at all 😱 fearful of the cocky lion. Without hesitation Samson took care of the matter.
The Bible tells us that Samson barehandedly tore apart that lion as easily as he would a baby goat. Are you serious? Yes! The roar was totally silenced very quickly. Dead lion! Alive Samson! End of story!
And we read in that very context the ultimate and real reason for mighty Samson’s incredible lion-rending power. Before he laid his hands on the lion, Judges 14:7 says,
“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAME MIGHTILY UPON HIM.”
That is what made that lion weaker than a baby 🐐 goat, and what made Samson much stronger than a lion.
The problem was:
-Samson thought that the power 🔋was in himself.
-He did not cry out unto God for help. He never does until the end of his life.
-He did not give God the glory for the victory. He never does until the end of his life.
-That was his MODUS OPERANDI until his dying day.
Samson failed to do what Joshua said to Achan in Joshua 7:19,
“MY SON, GIVE, I PRAY THEE GLORY TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL…”
Though Samson failed God, God never failed Samson. When we are faithless, God remains faithful.
2. OBSESSIVE FIERCE HATRED OF HIS ENEMIES
“SAMSON WAS MORE FOCUSED ON GOD’S ENEMIES THAN HE WAS ON HIS GOD.”
Not only focused on the enemy, but at times acted like a crazy man in his violent rage against the Philistines.
In Judges 15, we read the unlikely story of Samson capturing 300 foxes mind you. Foxes are not only sly and cunning, they are very quick and fast. Don’t ask me how you round up 300 foxes, but remember we are talking about Samson here, and not just your ordinary fox rounder-upper.
The Spirit of God was mightily upon him! We cannot emphasize that enough.
When he got his 300 foxes, SAMSON then tied their tails together in pairs. That according to my calculations is 150 fox pairs. Then he lit each pair’s tied tails on fire 🔥with torches.
Then, once each fox pair had their tails tied and torched, he sent the flaming foxes into the Philistines’ crop fields and vineyards. The flaming foxes did their fiery fox trot and burned the crops down.
Every where there was ROASTED CORN and GRAPE AND OLIVE FLAMBEAUX. Let alone FRIED FOX as the main entree.
And according to Judges 15:6, the Philistines in turn burned Samson’s wife and her father to death. In other words, they fought fire with fire.
When it comes to the Philistines, THE SHADOW OF DEATH WENT WHERE SAMSON WENT.
Then Samson went to live in a cave. When the Philistines caught up with him, He found the jawbone of a dead donkey skull. And with that jackass jawbone he killed a thousand PHILISTINE men.
Concerning which Samson says in Judges 15:16,
“With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain 1000 men.”
And I should again quickly point out what is stated in Judges 15:14,
“…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him. ”
It wasn’t the ass or the jawbone or Samson, it was the Spirit of God. However, true to form, SAMSON takes all the credit to himself. He is an arrogant, self-centered man who God is using powerfully for His purposes.
And Samson is not doing it for God, but for His fierce hateful self- satisfaction. The real rub comes in realizing that Samson ENJOYED INFLICTING AS MUCH PAIN AS POSSIBLE. It was there that he stepped over the line.
The parallel is stunning! I have no doubt that God has appointed crooked-stick President Trump, and is using him to drain more than one PHILISTINE swamp.
But at this point, President Trump is far more obsessed with his enemies than with his God. Like Samson:
“HE IS REACTING TO ENEMIES, AND NOT ACTING FOR GOD.”
President Trump is far more aware of the FAKE NEWS than he is the GOOD NEWS that the Lord is with him, and the Spirit of the Lord is empowering him.
In the 20 years of Samson’s Judgeship in Israel there was great PROSPERITY, as well relative peace and PROTECTION from the Philistines.
“GOD USES CROOKED STICKS TO STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT.”
End of Part I