Hebrews 11:32 includes Samson in the “Hall of Faith,” implying that we can look to him as an example worth following. If you’ve read the history of Samson in Judges 13-16, you may feel somewhat puzzled by this apparent tribute to him. Throughout his adult life, this man repeatedly ignored the Lord’s claim on him (Judges 13:7, 13-14), by defiling himself with heathen women (Judges 14:1-3, 16:1, 4) and engaging in ceremonially unclean practices, (Judges 14:6-9, 15:15). The Lord used Samson’s rebellious behavior to accomplish His purpose of conquering the Philistines, certainly, but it remains that Samson was a disgusting man.
If you’re like me, you probably dislike Samson and scratch your head at his commendation in Hebrews 11:32. Furthermore, you wish you could just skip Judges 13-16 altogether. Many of the people in the book of Judges are distasteful, to be sure, but there’s something particularly annoying about Samson. As we read about his actions, our stomach turns in revulsion, Why did the Holy Spirit devote four chapters of His Holy Word to someone so despicable, and then centuries later inspire a New Testament writer to list him among the heroes of the faith?
As I came to this portion of God’s Word this past Saturday, I prayed that God would help me see Him in the passage. Maybe that sounds like a strange prayer, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that it’s a necessary one.Read More »