The Living Bible
I’m living out the stories in the Bible.
I have to admit, sometimes it’s a little creepy. These stories about Jonah being swallowed by a whale and Samson’s hair seem wild. They seem impossible actually.
If they were so impossible, they wouldn’t be happening to me. I can assure you – these stories are real. I’m only 26 and I’ve lived them out.
The Lesson of Samson
Here’s the basic story of Samson.
Samson’s parents were visited by an angel from God who relayed a message: God desired a sacrifice. Typical sacrifices were blood offerings, but the angel told them that God did not desire an animal, but that he desired their unborn son. They were told to dedicate Samson’s life. As a part of this vow, his parents agreed to raise him as a Nazarite (abstaining from all alcoholic beverages and promising to never cut his hair).
As a young man (with very long hair), Samson traveled to the city to find a wife. Along the way, he is attacked by a lion and Samson receives divine empowerment from God that allows him to rip the animal to pieces with his bare hands. Samson recognizes that this is not normal. He knows God is moving through him. Humans are strong, but not this strong. He keeps it a secret.
Samson becomes a force of nature that cannot be stopped. After he slayed an entire army using only a “jawbone” from a mule, the Philistine’s decided they’d had enough. Samson’s strength was a threat.They had heard Samson had come to the city to find a wife, so they sent a very clever (and attractive) spy, Delilah, to figure out the source of his unnatural strength.
Samson was a man on the hunt for a woman, so of course he wanted her. But he wasn’t ready to give up his life for her right away. As they laid down to go to bed, she would ask him to tell her the secret to his strength. He resisted her at first, telling her his strength would leave if she bound him up with cords or ropes while he slept. She tried it, but Samson kept his strength because cords and ropes could not break his Nazarite vow. She tried everything he told her, but nothing worked. Until…
WAIT A MINUTE! Let’s get one thing straight before I continue with this story. He knew what she was trying to do. Each time he told her how to hurt him, she wasted no time in trying it. He had to know she wasn’t looking out for his best interest, but Samson gave into her anyways. Essentially, Samson trusts the human he knows over the God he has grown estranged from. OKAY… WE’LL KEEP GOING.
He told her if she cut his hair, he would have only the strength of an ordinary man. She cuts his hair and his vow is broken. Samson’s supernatural strength leaves him (except for one last time before he dies).
He regrets this decision for the rest of his life.
It’s a pretty wild story.
Here’s what makes it my story….
God may not have blessed me with supernatural strength or a great ability in war, but HE HAS BLESSED ME. Samson had a role to play and God gave him the tools to carry it out. This is true of my life as well – and yours.
So, I set off on this “God-given-path.” But invariably, I become distracted. I let in influences that take me off track. Not only that, I’ve been the one to cause others to stray from their path. I’ve cut their hair and let them cut my hair – figuratively speaking.
I realized this the other day when I listened to a song titled “Samson” Listen to it. It’s great. Here’s some of the lyrics I love…
“You are my sweetest downfall, I loved you first.
Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth. I have to go.
Your hair was long when we first met
Sampson went back to bed, not much hair left on his head”
I’ve taken other people off their path. Sometimes the best thing for me to do is to leave them. But, I don’t. Not right away anyways. I keep leading them off their path. I keep wondering what’s wrong with them. Why are they acting like a person I know they’re not? Well… part of that reason is me. I’m right there pulling them away from God. Leading them off the path. Cutting their hair.
“Samson came to my bed, told me that my hair was red.
told me I was beautiful, came into my bed
I cut his hair myself one night. A pair of dull scissors in the yellow light.
He told me I’d done all right. Kissed me until the morning light.
Samson went back to bed. Not much hair left on his head.”
I’ve let others come in between my relationship with God. Once again, sometimes the best thing for me to do is to leave them. I don’t leave them. I think I need them. I think without them, I might have nothing – which is worse than having something that is bad for you. It takes me awhile to realize that I’m better off leaving than staying. I’m so easy to sway.
I’m not proud of either one. I am both Samson and Delilah.
I realize we do it because we’re human.
We’re full of limited view points and bad decisions. It’s normal for us to disagree with the plan of the one who sees everything. He’s trying to guide us; but when you can’t see the entire plan, will you trust him to get you there safely?
What if something scary happens along the way? What if someone else is going a different direction? What if you meet someone very attractive who assures you your guide is all wrong?
Will you let them take you away from the one guide that knows and sees all things past, present and future?
Trust the guide. He’s taking you somewhere.
God’s not done with you. He hasn’t given up on you – no matter how many times you’ve gone off the path.
That’s why it’s called the good news. It is good; and even though it’s been around for centuries, sometimes it’s news.