On so many levels Sampson’s story is a strange one.
I think about what it means to ‘lead’ Israel. As near as I can surmise, it can mean as little as ‘be a strong guy who keeps the enemies at bay’. There is no sense of moral leadership. Israel wants a big guy who can keep them safe.
As I consider what I just journaled about Israel I realize, in many respects, we, as humans, haven’t changed much over the millennia. How many of our leaders are little more than the big strong guy today? Sadly, even in the church, moral leadership isn’t always at the top of the list.
I think about what it means to be filled/empowered/used by God. I mean Sampson was no jewel of a person. He was impulsive. He was a womanizer who couldn’t maintain a relationship, and was easily manipulated by women. He doesn’t seem to be too sharp. Come on Sampson, can’t you sniff what Delilah is up to?
Sampson certainly has a vindictive, get-even mentality. There is little wonder why he doesn’t seem to have many (any) friends. Where other leaders in Judges called people around themselves, Sampson is a one-man wrecking crew.
And yet, despite all these negatives, he is a tool in God’s hands to free Israel from the oppression of the Philistines.
Even as that last sentences were appearing on the screen in front of me, it hit me, I just got part of my answer. Sampson was a tool in God’s hands. As a woodworker if I have a tool I can do things. The tool may have nicks and no longer be in factory perfect condition but I can still use it. It is my skill that makes the tool work. Oh, I might have to hone it some to keep it functioning and each tool has a particular purpose. Sampson wasn’t God’s tool to write Psalms or teach the people to pray, he was a warrior. God put him in positions to make war, win battles and slay enemies.
God has every right to use me (and you) as He sees fit as well...
Oh, Lord, may I be a tool in Your hands. Use me as You will to teach, protect, lead, encourage or whatever You want of me to do for Your people. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.