Favor and Faith Please!

The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. Judges 13:24-25

God blessed Samson, the man who ordered his parents about (“Get her for me.” – Judges 14:3), tore lions apart, broke his oath by eating honey from the dead lion’s carcass (Judges 14:9), intentionally hid his oath breaking from his parents, burned with anger, had little self control, was incredibly weak in will power around his wife, Delilah, visited prostitutes (Judges 16:1), and lived a life that many would consider quite filled with barbarity and vulgarity. God repeatedly came upon Samson, filling him with his Spirit, and enabling him to do great feats of strength and power.

Samson led the people of Israel for 20 years and his story can be found in Judges 13-16. From the beginning of his life, one can see how God ordered his life, from enabling his barren mother to bear him to coming upon him in strength and power as he pushed down pillars to kill himself and thousands of Philistines.

I don’t think there is a modern counterpart to a man like Samson, at least not to his incredible strength, but if one can picture a mix of a professional wrestler and Elvis Presley perhaps that might be a dim reflection of who Samson was. He does not seem to be the man we would model at the front of many modern day churches.

Nevertheless, this man is listed among the men and women of great faith in Hebrews 11. His name appears alongside men such as David, Abraham, Noah, and others. In reading his story it is difficult to find what many would judge to be redeeming qualities about him, but he is seen as a hero of the faith. The one redeeming quality he has is that God blessed him and filled him with His Spirit.

Did you catch that?

The one redeeming quality Samson had was that God blessed him and filled him with His Spirit. Samson had faith not because he mustered it up, but because God gave it to him. Samson was a hero because God made him a hero.

God’s ways are difficult to understand (Romans 11:33-36), but I do understand this: I want to be a man of faith, love, grace, and wisdom. I see repeatedly in the Scripture that those are things that men and women don’t gain themselves. Those qualities come from God, the only one who is Good. Therefore, I shall – I must – go to God and plead for an increase in my faith, love, grace, wisdom and more. I want to live as Jesus lived. May God make it so. Romans 12:1-2.

May His face shine upon me.

Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.

Psalm 4:6

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